Years ago I used to work with a woman who made the best apple dumplings. They were unlike any other dumplings I have ever had. Most have an outer shell with a pie crust consistency but hers had a soft sweet bread like crust wrapped around a whole cored apple that was filled with brown sugar and raisins. There is something about this time of year that I always think of those dumplings so I’ve made kind of an inside out version of them with seasonal pears and chai spices.
For the buns
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1 1/2 cups water, divided
- 4 cups whole wheat white flour
- 1/2 cup white chia seeds (regular chia seeds work just as well but will alter the color of the bread)
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tbsp neutral flavor oil
- 2 tbsp organic soy milk powder
- 1 tbsp vinegar
For the fruit filling
- 2 ripe pears (Bosc or Anjou work well), cored and finely diced
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup maple sugar (you can use raw coconut crystals if you can’t find maple sugar)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- pinch ground cloves
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- Heat 1 cup of water to between 100-110 degrees. Pour into a large bowl and add the maple syrup. Sprinkle the yeast over the top. Set aside to “bloom” for at least 5 minutes.
- Grind the chia seeds in a blender or coffee grinder. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, potato starch, baking powder, and oil. Stir well.
- To the bowl of yeast add 3 cups of the flour, ground chia seeds, salt, milk powder, vinegar and starch mixture. Mix well.
- Knead 15 minutes or about 10 minutes in a stand mixture with a dough hook adding the remaining flour as needed. The dough will still be somewhat sticky.
- Remove to a large lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise until double.
- Divide the dough into 16 portions and roll into balls. Place on a lightly greased pan(s) allowing room for the rolls to expand as they rise. Cover and let rise until double in size.
- Prepare the filling by mixing together all of the filling ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Once the rolls have risen press down the center of each roll and flatten leaving about a 1/2 inch edge. Fill each roll evenly with the pear mixture.
- Bake 15-18 minutes. Serve hot.
Makes 16 fruit filled buns.
Serving size 1 bun.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 237, Cal. from Fat: , Total Fat: 6g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 38g, Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 13g, Protein: 7g, Sodium: 230mg, Chol: 0mg
Store leftovers in an airtight container for 1-2 days.