Saturday, 7 November 2009

scavenged pumpkin buns

I really hate it when people waste food. This week at work, there were three perfectly good uncarved pumpkins that were going to get thrown out after being used as decoration for a Halloween party. This made me angry. What sort of people are we that we use food as disposable decorations? So I took one of the pumpkins home and made these buns, and also some pumpkin ravioli. Note that this is the kind of pumkin that you usually carve up for jack o lanterns, so it's not very sweet or tasty. I also used an apple from a big batch of them that I picked a few weeks ago that was well past it's prime, and wasn't very sweet. If you use a sugar pumpkin for these, cut down the sugar and spices. These are rather heavily spiced because the pumpkin mainly provides moisture and a bit of a pumpkiny taste, but there's no point trying to let an anemic pumpkin "shine through". You'd need a sweet winter squash or sugar pumpkin for that. If you don't use quick yeast, proof yours in some water and sugar beforehand and omit the hot water from the pumkin/apple mixture.

These aren't cinnamon buns in the cakey sense. I like to eat them for breakfast, where I don't want a sugar rush, or to feel weighed down afterwards. These are more of a bread, and would even go nicely with soup, especially one with north african spices. Mmmmmmm..... maybe I'll try that for dinner.

dry mix:
2 cups ww spelt flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp nutmeg
dash black pepper
pinch salt
1 tbs quick yeast

blend together:
1/2 rescued (medium size) pumpkin, cut into slices and roasted until it begins to caramelize
1 apple, picked from an abandoned tree
2 tbs of okara or soy yogurt or ground almonds or almond butter. Pick one.
You should end up with a scant 1.5 cups of puree altogether. Reduce the water if you have more, or if your puree is very wet. Mine was the consistancey of very thick apple sauce.

mix into pumkin/apple
1/2 cup very hot water.

Add wet ingredients to dry, mix with a spoon, and then liberally dust a counter with either a cup more spelt flour or a cup of some other random flour (I used rice flour). I also liberally dusted myself with flour, but that's optional. Knead until the dough comes together, adding more flour if you need to.

For the filling (basically a sweet lemony creamy thing):
1 batch okara or 1 cup ground almonds
agave nectar to taste
generous squeeze lemon juice
1 tbs sweet white miso

Roll out dough into a square. Spread with filling. Sprinkle with raisins. Roll up and cut into 6-8 buns and place them in a pan that is lined with paper that you have sprinkled with cornmeal. Let rise overnight in a cool place, or for an hour in a warm place. Preheat oven to damn hot (250C) with a pan of water in it. Bake at 250C for 10 mins, drop temp to about 200, and bake another 5 mins. Take out and brush with a mix of soy milk, agave and cinnamon. Bake for another 5 mins. Take out and brush again. Let cool for about 20 mins. Eat!

Warm and comforting music: Nighbook.


Mihl said...

Yay, you are a pumpkin saving hero! I agree with you.
These buns sound awesome, but I need to go now and rescue a pumpkin so I can make them soon. :D

Liz² said...

mmhmm! I have a friend who's constantly saving pumpkins and inventing new clovey or olivey ways to turn them into things, it's kind of her fall mission.

I've found if you roast a too-big pumpkin like regular, then blend it, drain it, and reduce the drained liquid until it's sweet and intense like cider, and then re-incorporate it into the pumpkin puree, *then* it's like magically new again! seriously, it saved my pie this year.