Is it just me or is time on fast forward these days? I blinked and all of a sudden it was August. 8th! Summer has been full speed ahead this year, and unfortunately we haven’t been very lucky with the weather. Something like 24 days of rain in July had every one around here feeling a little down. My summer wardrobe has pretty much stayed tucked away in the back of my closet, my hike to-do list is nowhere near completed and my summer ice cream cone quota is far below average. It’s been easy to complain about all the rain and clouds, but we’ve also had some of the most beautiful vegetables at the market this season and everything around us is really just so incredibly green! All these grey days have made us appreciate the clear ones and get outside and enjoy it all when the sun actually comes out.
I made these buns on a warm but cloudy day off. Just because. It seemed like the right thing to do. To sit outside, with something sweet, a good book and a cup of tea reminded me that summer is all about slowing down and taking time, no matter what the weather.
An afternoon in the sun, a cool August breeze. Tart, juicy local berries and homegrown chamomile in my tea. Summertime, you still win.
SPELT SUMMER BERRY BUNS WITH MAPLE, ORANGE + CARDAMOM
This bun recipe is a spin off of my mom’s christmas cinnamon buns that I make every year for holiday gift giving. The dough itself can be used for any flavor or filling, but a mix of local berries in August seemed obvious. If you don’t think your dough has actually doubled in size, just keep going through with the recipe, they puff up the most during the second rise and then especially in the oven. I filled the pan shown in the pictures above, plus a really tiny one with the end bits and a few scraps. Serve with tea on a sunny afternoon.
Vegan + Refined Sugar Free. 10-15 buns.
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup plant milk of choice, luke warm or at room temperature ( I used homemade unsweetened almond milk)
1 1/2 tablespoon ground flax
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 1/2 cups whole spelt flour, plus extra for dusting
3 cups mixed berries
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Zest of one orange
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
Place maple syrup in a small bowl and sprinkle yeast on top. (If you keep your maple syrup in the fridge or freezer, bring it to room temp first or warm it through on the stove top.) Set aside. Melt coconut oil in a small sauce pot and place over low heat. Swirl the pot as the oil melts to keep it from getting too hot. Once the oil is fully melted from heat and let cool. Add ground flax, salt and nut milk to a large bowl, whisk to combine. Whisk in cooled yet still liquid coconut oil and then maple yeast mixture. Whisk to combine ingredients. Sift in flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula in between. Stir in enough flour to make a firm but sticky dough. Then turn onto a floured surface and knead, adding more flour until the dough is smooth and elastic, you might need more or less flour, up to 3 cups. Form a ball with the dough and place in an oiled bowl and flip the dough to coat in oil. Cover with a dry tea towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1.5 to 2 hours, up to 3 hours.
When the dough is ready, combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix gently with your fingertips careful not to mush up the berries too much.
Punch down the dough on a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, then spread over the berries and their juices, leaving a bit of space around the edges. Roll up from the long side, tucking the berries in as you go, once you get close to the egde, pull the long side of the dough up ontp the roll to get everything inside, but you may loose a little juice out the ends. Cut into slices and place in an oiled pan leaving space between the pieces. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about another hour.
Preheat oven to 350 F / 175 C and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden on top and firm to the touch. Let cool. Mix maple syrup and orange juice in small bowl and brush over the top of the slightly cooled buns. Top with extra orange zest. Enjoy!
Buns can be kept wrapped in aluminium in the freezer, then defrosted overnight and warmed up in the oven the next morning. I like to wrap up individual buns in the freezer for when I am feeling like an extra special treat.
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