My grandma created a family tradition that is always requested for Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings. When part of the family moved to Florida, I took on the job of following Gramma’s recipe to make her butter rolls.
The biggest challenge for me came when I was approaching my first holiday season on a plant-based diet. I could not imagine a feast without these melt-in-your-mouth goodies. I also wanted to make sure that the rest of the family could not tell that I converted them. Finding the correct ingredients was key and I have listed the brands that are my personal favorites in the tips below. The result was a delicious roll that tasted identical to its dairy-filled counterpart — family tested and approved.
Prepare dough at least 8 hours prior to baking. Start by heating milk to 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix in 1 Tbsp. sugar. Add the yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.
In a small bowl, mix egg replacement and cold water. Set aside.
In a large glass or ceramic bowl, sift together sugar, salt, and flour. Create a well in the center of the flour mix. Pour ½ cup vegan butter, egg replacement, and activated yeast mixture into the well. Use a wooden spoon to gently fold the ingredients together. Use your hands to finish incorporating all of the flour. Mix well, but do not knead the dough. It will be sticky.
Form a dough ball, cover, and place in the refrigerator overnight or for at least eight hours.
Once the dough has chilled, remove from the refrigerator and divide into three equal parts. Place third of the dough onto a lightly floured surface and keep the remaining dough covered and cold as you work.
Roll out third of the dough into a 12-inch circle. Lightly dust with flour, as needed, to keep dough from sticking. Brush top side of rolled dough with additional melted vegan butter. Cut 12 equal pie-shaped pieces.
Beginning with the large end of the pie piece, loosely roll dough until it reaches the point, then form a crescent shape by gently pressing your thumb in the center and folding the ends slightly towards you. Repeat with remaining 11 triangles.
Place rolls on a parchment covered baking sheet. Keep space between each roll to allow for expansion.
Repeat steps 6-8 two times for remaining 2/3 of the dough.
Cover rolls with a clean towel and place in a warm area. Allow to rise for 1 ½ hours or until rolls double in size.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake rolls 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Watch them carefully as they can brown quickly and burn.
Remove from pan and place on cooling rack. Serve warm or cold.
Butter is a key ingredient in this recipe, and it is important to choose a plant-based butter that mimics dairy-based butter as closely as possible. My personal favorite is European Style Cultured Vegan Butter, unsalted, by Miyoko’s.
There are many ways to make egg replacement. For this recipe, I use a store-bought replacement instead of making my own. VeganEgg by Follow Your Heart is a soy-based replacement, which is non-GMO and gluten-free. To make an “egg” with this brand combine 2 level tablespoons of powder and ½ cup of cold water. The butter rolls require three vegan eggs, which is 6 level tablespoons of powder and 1 ½ cups of cold water. This produces too much liquid. Reducing the water to 1 ¼ cups will create the right amount of egg replacement for this recipe.
Soymilk will work fine as a replacement, but I prefer to make my own cashew milk as it has a more subtle flavor and bakes as well as soymilk. I would not recommend oat milk for this recipe, but if you cannot have nuts or soy, try coconut milk. These substitutions may change the taste and the final outcome of the rolls.
To make cashew milk: in a high-speed blender, blend 1 cup raw whole cashews (soaked for at least 4 hours, drained and rinsed), 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt.