vegan baklava sticky buns


One of my favorite things on earth is baklava. No, not just one of my favorite desserts and yes, all of earth. The whole thing. I love everything about it from the flaky, crispy dough to the honey-rosewater-pistachio layers. Sadly, this perfect trifecta an underused combo outside of traditional Mediterranean dessert world. Why? I can't see any reason why these ingredients wouldn't translate well to a cake, pie, or even a bowl of morning oatmeal. Which got me thinking: how can I get away with having baklava for breakfast?

Aside from just digging into a super sweet piece before 9AM (not above it), I tried to translate these familiar flavors into a more traditional breakfast pastry: the sticky bun. Even though there might not be much more nutritional virtue in one of these rolls than just going for the dessert, they signify something special, an exciting day ahead (maybe first started by a sugar-induced nap). Bake them up for special occasions, holidays and family gatherings, or as the perfect way to wake up. Who can say no to the smell of toasting pistachios?

For this recipe you'll need:

For the dough

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (any non-dairy variety will do)
3 tablespoons vegan butter
1 packet rapid rise yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2-3 cups of all purpose flour

For the filling

1/2 cup vegan butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Bee Free Honee**
1/4 cup pistachios, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon rosewater (optional)

For the glaze 

1/2 cup vegan butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped
Splash of rosewater (still optional)

**If you can't find this or don't want to use it, substitute for another 1/4 cup brown sugar. If you aren't worried about keeping it vegan, you can also use real honey for the most authentic baklava flavor.

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, heat the almond milk and 3 tablespoons vegan butter until warm and melted but not boiling. Remove from heat and let cool to 110 degrees - if it's too hot, it will kill the yeast which will result in flat sticky buns - bummer.

Transfer mixture to the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Sprinkle in your yeast and allow to activate for 10 minutes. It should start to look foamy and bubbly. Next, add your tablespoon of sugar and the salt and whisk together.

Switch to the dough hook attachment and begin to add in flour 1/2 cup increments, stirring as you go. When the dough comes together and is too thick to stir, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or so until it forms a loose ball, adding more flour as you go. Coat a large bowl lightly with oil (grapeseed or olive will do) and place your dough in the center of the bowl. Roll around to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

While you wait, prepare your pan (a 9-inch square or round will do). Whisk together your melted vegan butter and brown sugar (and rosewater, if using) until smooth. Spread across the bottom of the pan and sprinkle the chopped pistachios in an even layer. Set aside.

Once the dough has just about doubled in size, on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a rectangle that's about 1/8 inch thick. Brush with 1/4 cup melted vegan butter and top with brown sugar and Bee Free Honee (or all brown sugar). Sprinkle with cinnamon and rosewater (again, if using). Top with remaining pistachios and roll up your dough, starting with the shorter side.  

Using a serrated knife (trust me here), cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch rolls. Place in your prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set on top of the oven to let it briefly rise again while you preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until slightly golden. Cool for about 5 minutes before inverting the pan and serve immediately.

Hi, I heard you were looking for some other vegan breakfast options: