Puréed white kidney beans boost fibre and protein in these soft and gooey cinnamon buns, without sacrificing their texture. To prep them ahead, roll, cut and place them in their baking pans, then cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, set them on the countertop while you preheat the oven, and bake.
1 tbsp (15 ml) active dry yeast
1 tbsp (15 ml) sugar
1 19 oz (540 ml) can white kidney or navy beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup (125 ml) milk, warmed
1/4 cup (60 ml) butter, softened
2 large eggs
4 1/2–5 cups (1.125–1.25 L) all-purpose flour
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
2 tbsp (30 ml) butter, melted
1 packed cup (250 ml) brown sugar
1 tbsp (15 ml) cinnamon
1/2 cup (125 ml) brown sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) butter, melted
1/4 cup (60 ml) honey, golden syrup or maple syrup
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
To make the dough, put 1 cup of warm water into a large bowl and add the yeast and a big pinch of sugar; let it sit for 5 minutes, until it gets foamy. (If it does nothing, the yeast is inactive; toss it out and buy some fresh yeast!)
Meanwhile, purée the beans with the milk, butter and eggs in a food processor, pulsing until well-blended and smooth. Add to the yeast mixture along with about 3 cups of flour and the salt; stir (or mix with the dough hook on your stand mixer) until well blended. Add the remaining flour half a cup at a time until you have a soft, sticky dough; turn out onto a floured surface and knead until it’s soft, smooth and elastic. Return it to the bowl, cover with a tea towel and let rest for about an hour, until doubled in size.
On a lightly floured countertop, divide the dough in half and roll each piece into a roughly 14-inch square. Brush each piece with butter and sprinkle each with 1/2 cup (125 ml) brown sugar and a shake of cinnamon (if you want the cinnamon very evenly distributed, stir it into the brown sugar first). Roll each piece of dough up jelly-roll style.
Using a sharp serrated knife or dental floss, cut it crosswise in half. Cut each half in half, and then each quarter in thirds. (Doing it this way is far easier than eyeballing 12 even slices, starting at one end.)
Spray two 9x13-inch pans or muffin tins with nonstick spray. Stir together the filling ingredients and divide between the bottoms of your prepared pans. (If you are using muffin tins, put a small spoonful into the bottom of each cup.)
Places slices of cinnamon bun in four rows of three in a 9x13-inch pan, or drop one into each muffin tin. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise for another half hour, while you preheat the oven to 350°F. If you want to make them ahead to be ready in the morning, pop them into the fridge, which will slow the rise.
Bake for 20–30 minutes, until golden. If you like, drizzle with icing sugar thinned with a little water or milk to make a drizzling consistency. Makes 2 dozen cinnamon buns.
Per bun: 257 calories, 7 g fat (4.4 g saturated fat, 2 g monounsaturated fat, 0.7 g polyunsaturated fat), 38 mg cholesterol, 41.7 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 2.2 g fibre.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, Nov/Dec 2016.