As I stated last year, Preston Rolls are a tradition at my house. I love Preston Rolls. However, I became vegan this year, so the standing family recipe would not be suitable. I have been learning vegan baking, and made just a couple edits. Because Preston Rolls are so finicky anyway, I think these turned out just about the same as previously - at least within the variation that one can expect out of Preston Rolls.
1+ cake yeast
1⁄2 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
6 tablespoons water
2 1⁄2 cups (unsweetened) almond milk
1⁄2 cup vegetable shortening
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup sugar
8 1⁄4 cups flour
For rolling out:
1 stick vegan butter, melted
flour to coat counter and rolling pin
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon almond milk
- Soak yeast in lukewarm water. (I have a hard time with the “lukewarm.” Basically, lukewarm is room temperature, so I take my cup of water at a medium temperature out of the tap, and let sit for awhile on the counter. Then I add the yeast and stir just a tiny bit, lightly.) When dissolved, add 1⁄2 cup flour. Beat well and set aside to rise.
- Make your flax eggs by beating your ground flax seeds with the water. Set aside.
- Heat milk and shortening together, stirring to dissolve shortening. Cool to lukewarm.
- Add sugar, salt, and beaten flax eggs to milk mixture. (Do this in stand mixer using the low setting with beater attachment.)
- Gradually add yeast mixture and flour. After 1st two cups of flour, switch to dough hook. Knead well. (Let dough hook continue for 10-15 minutes.)
- Dough should not be stiff. Allow to rise (takes a few hours). Punch down, rise, punch down, rise, punch down.
- Set in rolls: Pat out, brush melted butter, sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts as desired. Roll up, cut up, and put in greased (with shortening, vegan butter, spray, or your favorite method) pans. (The rolls should be crafted within about 12 hours of first starting to raise the dough. Any later and they get a little iffy.)
- Allow to rise. (Can leave overnight if it's late.)
- Bake 350º for 30 minutes. Serve warm out of the oven with icing. You can serve straight out of the oven, or microwave individual rolls for about 20 seconds each.
- Just before serving make icing.
- In a small bowl, stir milk into the sugar until smooth. Should be fairly thick. Add more sugar to thicken, add more milk to hin. Spoon over individual rolls. Icing will harden after a short time. Store in fridge. Stir to continue uese once hardened. Add milk to thin if necessary.
- Makes 1 batch, ~ 4 dozen rolls. Double by adding another yeast cake.
- Where to find cake yeast: Fleishmann's makes cake yeast, which I found in Seattle in the dairy section (next to the Toll House Cookie dough tubs) at a local grocery store (that is actually a part of a national chain.) When I lived near my mother, she'd procure cake yeast from a local bakery and deliver some to me. Cake yeast is called cake yeast because it is active live yeast in the form of a cake, rather than active dry yeast in the form of granules. Do not substitute other forms of yeast - they will not be Preston Rolls.