Black garlic is without a doubt a favourite amongst the super foods, and with good reason too! After a long period of consistent heat and humidity, the sugars within a fresh garlic bulb naturally caramelize, resulting in those dark ebony cloves. It's taste? A pop of sweetness, something similar to molasses or balsamic, with a hint of garlic. Because of this transformation, black garlic bulbs are rich in antioxidants and can aid in building a strong immune system, as well as detoxifying the body of excess metals. The only problem is... how do you use it?!
Since starting this garlic journey of mine, the most often asked question is how to cook with our products. Most people are a little gun shy when I instruct them to eat our black garlics raw and on their own, but that flavour just can't be beat! Over the past year or so, I've been trialling recipes in my own kitchen, hoping to somehow help bridge that gap! Fast forward through the bad batches/trials and errors and here we are - BLACK GARLIC CINNAMON BUNS! You can find our Alberta grown, small batch made, black garlic from my online store here.
I'll admit I'm not much of a baker, I tend to prefer savoury over sweet, but I have had great success with this cinnamon bun recipe! Here are a few helpful tricks for those of you non-bakers like me...
1.I make a pot of mashed potatoes the night before, and save the water in a jar (will keep up to a week in the fridge!) to use to start the yeast.
2. My house never seems to be warm enough for dough to rise. Some people have suggested having the oven on low with your bowl near the back of your stove. I've had the best success by placing the bowl of dough on the counter over my dishwasher as it cycles!
3. Be careful of how much flour you add. Your dough shouldn't stick to your hands, but it definitely should not be tough. This is perhaps the most useful thing I've figured out, and it mostly comes from experience and learning as I go. Keep notes of how it worked/didn't work, and adjust for next time!
BLACK GARLIC CINNAMON BUNS
For the dough: For the filling:
1 1/2 cups milk 1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup + 1 tsp sugar 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp salt 1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup shortening 2 bulbs black garlic
1/2 cup lukewarm potato water 1 cup heavy cream
1 package dry active yeast
5 - 5 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Scald the milk. Pour into a large bowl and add 1/4 cup sugar, salt, and shortening. Stir until the shortening melts. Allow to cool to lukewarm.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, dissolve 1 tsp sugar in the lukewarm water and sprinkle yeast on top. Stir slightly to combine. Set in a warm place and let stand for 10 minutes.
Add softened yeast to milk mixture. Add 1 well beaten egg. Stir well.
Mix in 3 cups of flour. Then, add another 2 - 2 1/2 cups of flour. I add mine 1/2 cup at a time to avoid adding too much. The dough shouldn't stick to your hands, but still should not be stiff. Work in the last of the flour with a rotating motion of the hand.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Shape into a smooth ball.
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl; grease the top slightly. Cover with a beeswax wrap or light tea towel. Place in a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk - roughly 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto a flour surface. Divide into 2 smooth balls. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
Roll each ball into a 10"x12" rectangle. Brush with melted butter.
Combine the filling ingredients and sprinkle mixture over the dough rectangles.
Meanwhile, gently divide the black garlic bulb and peel cloves. Chop the cloves into small pieces and evenly sprinkle over the rectangles.
Starting from the longer side, roll each up like a jelly roll; seal.
Cut the rolls into 1" pieces and place in two greased 9"x3" pans.
Cover and let rise in a warm place once again until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Allow oven to preheat to 375F just before rolls are finished rising.
Pour cream evenly over the buns. The sugars and cream will combine for a sticky bottom.
Bake at 375 F for 25 minutes.
Looking to take it one step further from sweet to savoury? Try using our Smoked Black Garlic instead!