Challah Cinnamon Rolls with Date & Tahini Frosting

Challah source: The Nosher

Filling & frosting adapted from: Just Date Syrup

Yield: 9 cinnamon rolls

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 9 Tbsp (128g) lukewarm water (around 110°F)
  • ½ Tbsp dry yeast
  • ½ tsp plus 2 Tbsp (25g) granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp (25g) vegetable oil
  • 2 ¼ cups (270g) all-purpose flour

Filling:

  • 1 cup (149g) Medjool dates, chopped
  • ¼ cup (84g) Just Date Syrup
  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch kosher salt

Frosting:

  • ¼ cup (84g) Just Date Syrup
  • ¼ cup (64g) Tarazi Organic Tahini
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in lukewarm water with ½ teaspoon of sugar. Mix well and leave undisturbed for about 10 minutes until the mixture gets foamy.
  2. In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add remaining 2 tablespoons (25g) sugar, salt, and oil, then mix well. Add foamy yeast mixture and mix well.
  3. Add flour gradually in roughly ½-cup increments, mixing ingredients together with a wooden spoon. You’re wanting a soft dough that holds together. Once it becomes too difficult to mix with the spoon, work flour into dough with your hands.
  4. Once dough mostly comes together, place dough into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook. Knead on second speed for 6–10 minutes until dough is soft, smooth, and elastic. (It may still be a smidge sticky.)
    NOTES: If the dough is still rather sticky after kneading for a bit (such as on a very humid Atlanta summer day), you can add a little bit more flour—a few tablespoons at most. Be careful not to add too much flour nor overwork the dough in the mixer. If you’re unsure if the dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead a little by hand. The dough is ready when it bounces back after you press a slightly wet finger into it.
  5. Form dough into a ball and place into a large, well-oiled bowl. Roll dough around in bowl to coat all sides with oil. Cover bowl tightly with cling film. Place bowl in a warm, dry spot and leave undisturbed for 2–3 hours or until dough has doubled in bulk.
  6. While dough is proofing, let’s make the filling! For the filling, soak the chopped dates in hot water for 20 minutes.
  7. Drain dates and place into bowl of food processor, along with date syrup, ground cinnamon, and kosher salt. Blitz until you have a relatively smooth mixture. Cover and set aside.
  8. Grease a 9" cake pan. Also set aside.
  9. Once dough has doubled in bulk, punch down the dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough out to make a 12" by 16" rectangle.
  10. Using an offset spatula or the backside of a spoon, spread filling onto dough.
  11. Start rolling dough up from the short side, making sure to keep roll tight and even. Pinch seam to seal.
  12. Gently stretch the dough to make a log that’s roughly 18" long. Using unflavoured dental floss (or a serrated knife), cut log into 9 equal 2" pieces.
  13. Place rolls into prepared pan and cover tightly with cling film. Place pan in a warm, dry spot and leave undisturbed for 30 minutes until rolls have puffed up.
  14. During this second rise, heat oven to 350°F.
  15. After rolls have proofed, bake for 25–30 minutes or until lightly browned.
    NOTE: After baking, the rolls’ interior temperature at the centre should be about 188°F.
  16. While rolls are baking, make the frosting by whisking together date syrup, tahini, and cinnamon. Spread frosting on warm rolls and enjoy!
    NOTE: If you want to make these rolls the night before, once the rolls have baked, let them cool to room temperature then cover pan with cling film. In the morning, reheat rolls in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes, then spread frosting on warm rolls.

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