For the dough:
4 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
2 tbsp of vital wheat gluten
1/2 tsp of salt
2 1/2 tsp of active dry yeast (1 package)
2 tbsp of sugar
2 cups to 2 1/2 cups of water, at 110 degrees F
1. In a small bowl, combine the water, sugar, and yeast and let it sit for a few minutes until the yeast becomes foamy.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat gluten, and salt. Stir in the yeast mixture and mix until a soft dough forms.
3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until smooth. Cover and let it rise for about 45 minutes. You can help the dough rise by letting it rise somewhere warm - but not hot or it will kill the yeast!
4. After the dough rises, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out into a one inch thick rectangle (about 10 x 14 inches, roughly). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Make the gooey cinnamon filling:
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 tbsp of melted Earth Balance (or another vegan buttery spread)
1 tbsp of cinnamon
5. Brush the melted Earth Balance on the surface of the dough. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the dough. Leave an inch of dough free of sugar all around the rectangle.
6. Carefully roll up the dough and use a sharp serrated knife to cut the roll into 1 inch thick slices.
7. Place the buns on the prepared baking sheet leaving about one inch of space between each bun. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F about halfway through the rising time.
8. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush some soy milk on the top of each bun to keep them nice and soft.
Optional: Melt 1 tbsp of Earth Balance and stir in powder sugar and soy milk until a soft, creamy frosting forms. Drizzle over the hot buns.
I wanted to make two different kinds of buns with the same dough, so I split the dough in half just after the first rise, and made only half of the gooey cinnamon filling to spread on only one of the halves. On the other half, I brushed on a mixture of 2 tbsp of melted Earth Balance and 1/2 tsp of vanilla, then sprinkled 1/4 cup of white sugar, 1/2 cup of shredded coconut, and a handful of chopped walnuts. When they came out of the oven I couldn't resist the urge to drizzle some chocolate on top. They were good, but I think next time I'll use brown sugar for the coconut ones too. It makes them more gooey!
(I challenge you to find a blog post that features the word "gooey" more times than this one)