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Overnight Black Sesame Rolls with Goat Milk Glaze

yield: 6 HUGE rolls
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Special Equipment

  • A food processor
  • a pastry brush
  • a 9-inch deep dish pie plate (I have this one from Emile Henry)

Ingredients

For the Black Sesame Sugar:

  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, tightly packed

For the Buttermilk Dough:

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, warmed to lukewarm
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

For the Black Sesame Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 heaping cup black sesame sugar (from recipe above)
  • 1 teaspoon ground vanilla powder

For the Goat Milk Glaze:

  • 3 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons goat milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground vanilla powder
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

Instructions

For the Black Sesame Sugar:

  • Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400ºF.
  • Spread 1/4 cup black sesame seeds evenly across a baking tray, before placing inside the oven. Use a heatproof rubber spatula to stir and toss the seeds every 3 to 4 minutes to ensure that they're being evenly heated, baking for a total of 15 to 17 minutes. Towards the end, the seeds should turn a light brown color and start to steam and smoke. To check that the seeds are ready, rub a seed between your fingers. The seed should shatter and crush easily into smaller grains, emitting a nutty and fragrant smell. When the seeds pass this test, immediately transfer to a cooler plate on a wire rack to prevent any burning.
  • Once the seeds cool off completely, transfer to a small bowl and whisk in 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup dark brown sugar. Divide into two batches and pulse half the mixture in a food processor until finely ground; the mixture should resemble super-fine cornmeal. It took my food processor around 20 seconds of pulsing to achieve the desired texture (which you can see in the jar in the pictures above). Repeat with the second batch. DO NOT PULSE IN ONE BIG BATCH — otherwise, you risk the seeds turning into a butter instead of sugar. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Black Sesame Rolls and Goat Milk Glaze:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside.
  • In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together 1 cup buttermilk (warmed to lukewarm — remember that yeast is a living thing, so it's important not to kill it by warming the liquid too much; you want the temperature to be similar to that of a warm bath and no more), 1 large egg, and 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Set aside.
  • Use a tall cup or a large measuring cup to make a well in center of the dry ingredients (from the 1st step) and add liquid ingredients (from the 2nd step), using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to stir until combined. As the dough starts to form, transfer to a lightly floured counter and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. If the dough is sticking, you can add up to 1/2 cup of extra flour as you knead, but don't over do it.
  • Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight, until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, transfer to a lightly floured counter and use a rolling pin to roll into a rectangle about 8 x 20 inches. Pro tip — the longer your rectangle, the more attractive your rolls will be! Try and make that 20 inches work.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon honey Use a pastry brush to brush the rolled dough with the butter and honey mixture. Sprinkle heavily with 1/3 cup black sesame sugar and 1 teaspoon ground vanilla powder. For more attractive rolls, make sure you sprinkle the sugar and spices evenly and completely over the rolled out dough, including the edges.
  • Working widthwise, roll the dough into a log, pinching its edges to seal. Cut the roll into 6 pieces, each about 2 inches wide. Place cut sides down on a 9-inch, deep dish pan in a flower shape. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the edges of the roll are rounded and touching, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Once the rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 350 (F). Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for around 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges of each bun are golden in color. Baked in a pie dish, i's a little hard to tell when the buns are fully baked on the inside. The best way to do so is to stick a skewer inserted in the center bun and see if it comes out clean, without any dough. If the tops of the rolls start to brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil and continue baking until a skewer comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.
  • While the rolls are cooling, make the goat milk glaze. Combine 3 ounces softened goat cheese, 2 tablespoons goat milk, and 1 teaspoon ground vanilla powder in the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on a low speed until combined. Add 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar all at once and beat until fluffy and of drizzling consistency. Use immediately to drizzle on top of each cinnamon roll while the rolls are still warm, using a rubber spatula or butter knife to spread out the glaze.