Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns
Cinnamon rolls were one of the first yeasted dough recipes I mastered after receiving my beloved KitchenAid stand mixer as a Christmas gift in high school. I made them so many times that I committed the recipe to memory! No joke. For this recipe, I made a few simple tweaks to that recipe to veganize it and make the buns a bit more festive for the season.
Traditional cinnamon bun doughs usually call for scalded milk, butter and eggs to lend richness. Fortunately, you can make some vegan-friendly substitutions and your loved ones will be none the wiser once they try these! Pumpkin puree adds flavor and acts as a binder in place of eggs. I've found the dough behaves best when using warm water as the liquid, but you may also feel free to use your favorite plant milk.
I'd highly recommend buying some bread flour for this recipe (and for most homemade bread recipes). It has higher gluten content than all-purpose flour, which will provide more structure to your dough and allow it to rise better. You can find it at most grocery stores. If you're using regular AP flour, you may need to add extra to get your dough to a workable consistency.
In college, I made massive trays of these all the time to share with my housemates warm out of the oven. Nowadays, I don't have 50 roomies and I can't be trusted with a full batch of these in my home, so usually I will freeze the uncooked buns before the second proofing. I separate them with parchment paper so that I can defrost and bake them one at a time when a craving strikes. Simply defrost in the fridge overnight, or for several hours on the counter at room temp, and bake as directed (adding a minute or so to the cook time if the dough is still cold).