Monday, June 30, 2008

Baklava Buns

When Dhivi and Siri announced the start of Open Sesame II, I was only more than happy to participate in this round as well. This time, I selected box 4 and received the following riddle:

I am a flower but adorn a bouquet, I do not
I have an inbuilt perfume in my being
So strong and so intense that my oil will make your insides 'hot'
My medical impact all over the world seen.

My 'Yorubas' infusion is the 'savior' of star wars
I have been used as a barter by the fellow 'sadiqi's' during trades
One does not have to fight tooth or 'nail' for me
I am usually pink but mostly available browned in shades

I may be dry , I may overpower your tongue
But add a little for that midas touch
Come now, start thinking of that spice
Whose bite make your 'teeth' say Ouch!

After an initial incorrect guess, I got it right with 1 hint. The answer is CLOVES! Yes, the fragrant spice that can add the right pizazz to a given dish.

I tend to use cloves in either non-veg dishes, pulao/biryani, or tea for the most part. So, I sat around for days waiting for inspiration to strike. Well, days turned into weeks and suddenly it came to me... I thought why not combine the flavors of baklava with the concept of a cinnamon roll and see what happens. The result was sheer bliss! :)

For this recipe, I took a basic cinnamon roll dough recipe that I've used in the past. The dough recipe is originally from and can be found here. I then took the flavors of baklava (nuts, cinnamon, cloves, sugar) and formed these into a filling. For the icing, I used honey and cream cheese.

Making this took a bit of time, but wasn't too hard if you're not too scared of yeast. Even if you are scared, it's still not going to be too hard! :) The great thing about this recipe is that the second rise of the dough is done in the fridge so that you can break it up into 2 steps. This way, you can have these for breakfast and not break much of a sweat! :)



4 egg yolks, room temperature
1 whole egg, room temperature
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Butter - 6 tbsp, melted
Buttermilk - 3/4 cup, room temperature
All purpose flour - 3 3/4- 4 cups (optional : use 1/2 wheat or white whole wheat)
Yeast - 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp)
Salt - 3/4 tsp


Dark brown sugar - 1/2 cup, packed
White sugar - 1/4 cup (or use light brown sugar)
Ground cinnamon - 2 tsp
Ground cloves - 1 tsp (use 1/2 tsp for a mild clove flavor)
Walnuts - 2/3 cup, toasted for 10 minutes in 350 F oven, chopped, and cooled
pinch salt
Softened butter - 1 1/2 tbsp


Cream cheese - 3 ounces, softened
Honey - 1/4 cup (adjust per taste)


1. Fit a stand mixer with whisk attachment and whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add 2 cups of flour, yeast, and salt and whisk until moistened. Now, switch to the dough hook attachment. At this point, add all but 1 1/4 cup of flour and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. Check the dough now and see if it's sticky. If so, add flour 1/4 cup at a time and allow to combine. Knead on low speed until the dough clears the sides of the bowl, about 5 more minutes. (Note: I needed 3 3/4 cup of flour to make the dough) Place dough in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to double in volume in a warm place. This step takes 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Note: The dough will rise well even though the liquids have not been warmed. Just make sure everything is at room temp!

Unrisen dough

2. Meanwhile, prepare the filling by combining the sugars, cinnamon, clove, salt and nuts in a bowl. Keep aside.

3. Once the dough has risen sufficiently:

Ooh... Poofy!

Turn out the risen dough onto a floured surface. Gently shape the dough into a rectangle. Now, roll this into a rectangle that measures 18 inches by 12 inches. (Note: I made half of the amount, so my rectangle looks half the size!) Brush the rectangle with the softened butter, leaving a 1/2 inch border on the top and bottom edges. Sprinkle with the sugar/nut mixture made in step 2.

4. Once you've done this, start rolling the dough into a cylinder. Start with the end closest to you (bottom edge of the pic) and roll towards the far end (top edge of the pic). Since I made half of the amount, my rectangle was 9 x 12. You'd have the 18 inch edge at the bottom of the pic and would be rolling the same way. Now, make sure you've press the edge of the roll to seal it and place the roll seam side down on your surface:

5. Using a serrated knife, cut the cylinder into rolls about 1 1/2 inch thick. This will yield 12 rolls. Butter a 9x13 pan and arrange rolls in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in the refrigerator overnight (up to 16 hours).

6. The next morning, remove the rolls from the refrigerator and place in a warm place for 30 minutes- 1 hour. You want the rolls to reach room temp and to become somewhat puffy. Sorry, I forgot to take a pic of this!

7. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Then, place the baking pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes or until slightly browned and an instant read thermometer reads 190 F when inserted into the bun.

8. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Whisk the honey and cream cheese together until smooth and creamy. Spread over the rolls and serve warm.
So, do you like yours iced or not? The rolls were so delightful! They really had a delicate crumb and delicious texture... The filling was so fragrant and the toasted nuts just took it over the top. It was not as gooey as a cinnamon roll that you might buy at the mall, but was actually a bit lighter and the crumb melts in your mouth. Honey with the cream cheese icing was just wonderful!! Overall, this was a refreshing change from the usual cinnamon roll and makes for a decadent treat!

My dear Dhivi and Siri, I hope you guys like this as well. It's on its way to Open Sesame II at Dining Hall. Impressed with this dish? Well, then, please remember that voting starts on July 1! Thanks and enjoy!


Laavanya said...

Fabulous idea there Kalai.. looks awesome and what a beautifully puffed up dough that turned out to be... :)

Cham said...

Delicious bun idea Kalai :) Love the spiral looks like cinnamom bun

Sujatha said...

Yummy! I love that icing and your step-by-step instructions.. It sure does help for novices like me in baking.. thanks for sharing :)

Asha said...

Those are yummy rolls Kalai, good job. My aunt adds cloves to all the Indian sweets too, they smell good and tastes great too.

Siri said...

Wowy! those are some yummy buns Kalai. Thanks for such a lovely entry dear.


DK said...

aaaah! the pics are bliss too! U have talent even in your little finger :)

As for your generous comment -"yeppo vareenga?" ;-)

indosungod said...

You are right, Cloves like cinnamon go with savory dishes for me too. This baklava buns seems a perfect inspiration and it looks great.

Mallugirl said...

kind of baklava rolls? nice one, kalai. thanks for ur wishes. hope u have a good summer too.

Nags said...

i had a colleague from pune and he used to bring these all the time!! great job in making this at home urself :)

bee said...

yum yum yum.

Uma said...

wow, those buns are real cuties, Kalai! Gorgeous. Good job dear.

BTW you have something in my blog. Check it out here:

Hope you like it!

Suma Rajesh said...

those r beautiful rolls....woo its has come perfect...

Bharathy said...

Kalai!..put in a single short sentence.."Truly Talented Cook!"

bhags said...

these buns are so amazing, nice idea of turning the fragile bakalava into buns, loved them

sra said...

Nice idea, Kalai! I'm drooling. Like the looks of the icing there.

Nupur said...

Baklava buns? The name itself is so alluring! And they look perfectly delicious.

JZ @ Tasty treats said...

wow, that look awesome!! i've never tasted baklava, and was thinking of making it some time...this sure sounds delicious!

there's something for u on my blog...check it out!

Latha Narasimhan said...

Rolls are looking yummy! :) So everyone is busy participating in events! :)

Sailaja said...

Hi Kalai,

First time here. The recipe looks awesome.
Thanks for visiting my blog.

Madhavi said...

Baklava rolls ??? WOW great idea, looks awesome!!!

kamala said...

Oh kalai this is too good..Love it

Archy said...

Lovely Baklava rolls Kalai.. Very well explained!!

Trupti said...

wow Kalai buns looks yummmy.

Sailaja said...

Something is waiting for u in my blog

Dee said...

Kalai, what is my mango bread in front of these beauties ??? They look awesome, I think i should try the baklava stuff in something soon!!!

n33ma said...

Lovely blog and what a nice idea rolls with Baklava filling wonderful