Call me crazy, but I’ve never been attracted to sticky cinnamon buns. I blame the fact that I didn’t grow up eating them, and that I enjoy cinnamon only in moderation.
The dreamy combination of matcha and black sesame has long been haunting me, and I’ve been searching for the right shape in which to marry them. After seeing yet another beautiful photo of glazed cinnamon rolls somewhere in the social media sea, I was inspired to join my two key ingredients in this green and black treat.
I went with a spelt dough and a very simple toasted black sesame filling. For the glaze, I utilized miso, following the logic that ingredients from the same part of the world go well together. Turns out that matcha, sesame and miso are the perfect trio from the East. The buns came out to be satisfying on so many levels – soft, moist dough with subtle notes of matcha, followed by a chewy, fragrant filling, and complete with the sweet and sour, slightly salty glaze – it’s a heavenly combination.
And just for fun, I’ve included a timelapse iPhone video of the whole process, I think that somehow these rolls seem less daunting after you see how they are made.
P.S. I finally made a Pinterest account (late bloomer, I know) – see it here.
Black Sesame Matcha Rolls with Miso-Lemon Glaze
Note: It’s important to refrigerate full-fat coconut milk the night before for the miso glaze. I found that organic Thai coconut milk is the most reliable type for separating fat from water after overnight refrigeration.
for the matcha dough (adapted from Laura and here)
1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup unsweetened plant based milk – almond, hemp, coconut, etc.
4 tablespoons coconut oil – divided, plus more for oiling the bowl
2 tablespoons cane sugar
2 cups light spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2-3 tablespoons matcha powder
to make the dough
1. Line 8-10 inch baking dish with parchment paper, extending it to the sides (a cast iron pan would work well here).
2. Warm up milk with coconut oil and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until coconut oil is melted and incorporated into the milk and sugar is dissolved. The mixture should be warm to the touch, about 105F. Let it cool if it feels hot. Add yeast and leave it to foam for about 5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, mix flour, salt and matcha in a medium mixing bowl. Add foamy milk to the flour and stir to incorporate. Knead on a floured surface for about 5 minutes. Leave to rise in warm place in an oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap. The dough should double in size in a about 40 minutes.
for the sesame filling (adapted from Cynthia)
1 1/2 cup black sesame seeds (I like these)
1/3 cup honey
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread sesame seeds on a baking sheet and toast for 7 minutes. Place them in a food processor and grind into a paste. Add honey and continue to mix until smooth.
to assemble and bake the rolls
1. Roll the dough on a floured surface into a rectangle roughly 11 by 14 inches in size. Brush the entire surface with remaining 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil. Evenly spread sesame filling over the dough.
2. Roll up the dough from the longer side of the rectangle. Seal the sides. Cut into 8-10 even pieces. Arrange them in the prepared parchment covered baking dish/pan. Cover with plastic wrap, let rise for 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 375F. Bake for 20 minutes or until slightly golden. Let cool before glazing.
for the miso-lemon glaze
4 tablespoons coconut fat (see below)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sweet or light miso paste
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon honey
zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons coconut water from the can – plus or minus (see below)
1. Place a can of full fat Thai coconut milk into the refrigerator the night before. The coconut fat should separate from the water and accumulate on top.
2. Make the glaze right before you’re ready to glaze the rolls, which should be at room temperature. Scoop 4 tablespoons of fat into a small mixing bowl, add miso paste and honey and mix until smooth.
3. Add lemon zest and juice, mix and add coconut water from the same can of coconut milk. The amount of coconut water will differ depending on the types of milk, honey and miso paste, so add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon at a time and watch for consistency. The glaze should be thick but pourable.
4. Pour the glaze over the rolls and enjoy!