As is often the case, some of the best recipes seem to come out of everything going pear-shaped. Case in point: coconut breakfast buns.
Cinnamon buns had been on brain for a while, and I had a recipe sketched out. I happened to have some time on my hands and I thought I would bake. But I was well overdue for a grocery run. In my poor, nearly-empty fridge, next to expired milk (which I tossed), was non-expired table cream I had for guests for coffee. I had only salted butter. And when I went to my pantry, my coconut oil was sitting there looking me right in the eye.
Well, I like coconut. In fact, I'd say it'd be a good candidate for long-term dating material. And I had coconut for garnish.
As I was making the sugar mix, I opted for my somewhat-ignored palm sugar instead of brown. And when I opened up the cinnamon, suddenly I didn’t want that spice anywhere near my sweet, rich, coconutty goodness. So I reached for the vanilla instead, and these lovely buns were born.
If this sounds like death by coconut to you, then rest assured: it's one of the sweetest ways to go.
1/4 cup warm water (~125F)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2.5 tsp instant yeast (1 package)
3/4 cup 18% cream
1/4 cup cold-pressed coconut oil + 2 tablespoons
3 1/4 cup all purpose flour, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg, beaten, room temperature
1/2 stick salted butter (4 tbsp)
3/4 cup Madhava coconut (palm) sugar (you can substitute brown)
1/2 tsp pure 100% vanilla extract
Icing sugar, approximately 1/2 – 3/4 cup
Coconut flakes for garnish, optional
Warm your cream and coconut oil, either briefly via the microwave or in a pot on low heat. You want to warm the two to a temperature safe for your yeast (125-130F max!), so mind the heat and use a thermometer.
In a large bowl, mix the warm water and the sugar. Add your yeast and stir it to hydrate it, activate it, and keep it from being lumpy in dough. Add the oil, cream, salt, and one cup of the flour.
Stir the flour in to mix the ingredients well, and add the egg. Add the remaining flour gradually until the dough becomes a ball. Turn out the ball and knead for a few minutes, adding more flour in sprinkles as necessary to keep from sticking. When the ball stops feeling so sticky, and when a pinch of dough stretches and can be made into a translucent “windowpane” instead of tearing, you’re done!
Cover the dough and allow to rest for 10 minutes. While the dough is resting, using a mixer, cream the palm sugar, butter, and vanilla together for a couple of minutes, or until fluffy.
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle approximately 12″ x 9″. Use your fingers to push the rounded edges dough back towards the center as you roll to aid you in making the rectangular shape.
Spread the butter/sugar mixture over the dough and roll the dough by the edge into a log, attempting to keep the edges as square as you can.
Pinch the seam closed, and cut the log into 8-12 evenly spaced pieces depending on the size of roll you want by cutting from the middle (each piece in half till you get 8 pieces, or half, then half, then by thirds to get 12).
Place the rolls into 1 or 2 (depending on quantity) greased pans, cover, and let rise for 30 minutes. Rolls should approximately double.
Bake for 20 minutes at 375F.
While the rolls are cooling, melt the two extra tablespoons of coconut oil. Using a spatula, add the icing sugar a couple of tablespoons at a time, mixing till smooth, until you get a sweet, slightly runny icing. Drizzle the icing with the spatula over the tops of the rolls, and garnish with extra shredded coconut if you prefer.