Film: Vidya Seasonal Kitchen | Winter

I can hardly believe a full year has gone by already and the Vidya Seasonal Kitchen project is coming to a conclusion with this winter installment. I created this video series as a way to explore the deeper connection between the food we eat and the way we align with the seasons.  What it revealed to me was that each season has its own energy, from the softness of spring to the sweet romance of summer, to the celebration of fall and the turning inward of winter.  As the snow fell outside, I cozied up in my kitchen with a big mug of cider in hand and made what I consider to be the ultimate cold weather comfort food – cinnamon rolls.  I’d never actually proofed yeast before or took the time to wait for something to rise. This part of baking is a whole new world to me! And a magical one at that. The patient waiting seems to be most fitting for that slow inward winter energy.

Eight {delicious} rounds of testing later, these earl grey, orange & persimmon cinnamon buns emerged in perfection. As we move out persimmon season, the filling can be modified to fit what’s available, but the dough is fool proof and delicious with anything your heart desires to fill it inside. I recommend pecans and extra dark chocolate as listed in the recipe below.  I hope you enjoy this recipe and can snuggle in for a lovely winter of cozy hibernation, reflection and deep rest.


ChoateHouse_23ChoateHouse_12ChoateHouse_08ChoateHouse_26ChoateHouse_16Winter Video StillsChoateHouse_24ChoateHouse_15ChoateHouse_01ChoateHouse_04ChoateHouse_20ChoateHouse_25ChoateHouse_02ChoateHouse_11ChoateHouse_10ChoateHouse_28EARL GREY, ORANGE & CHOCOLATE CINNAMON BUNS

½ cup almond milk
½ cup earl grey tea
1 packet yeast
1 tsp coconut sugar

Boil hot water, steep 2 bags earl gray tea in ½ cup water. After 15 minutes remove the tea bags. In a medium saucepan, heat the earl gray and almond milk together on a low heat. Remove and pour into a small bowl. Test temperature before adding yeast, you want it around 90-100 degrees F. Stir in the yeast and a sugar, then allow to activate for 15-20 minutes. The yeast is active when it starts to create bubbles on the surface of the bowl.

3 cups spelt flour
½ cup coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
½ orange, juiced & zested
¼ cup cold ghee, cubed (or coconut oil)

In a mixing bowl, combine the spelt flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Mix lightly. Next, add the yeast mixture, orange juice, zest and cubed ghee, slowly mixing until well incorporated and the mixture begins to form in a slightly wet and sticky ball of dough. On a dry surface, sprinkle spelt flour and knead the ball of dough 130 times (about 3-5 minutes). Place back in the mixing bowl, cover with a damp cloth and allow dough to rise for 1-2 hours. Once ready, roll the dough out. Brush a little melted ghee or coconut oil on top and sprinkle a layer of cinnamon on top, then spoon the filling mixture evenly across the dough followed by a sprinkling of the crushed chocolate chunks. Gently roll the dough into a log. Use a sharp knife to score the cinnamon rolls, then gently cut and place into a greased baking pan. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. The cinnamon buns should be slightly hardened on the outside while still soft and gooey on the inside. Remove from oven and serve hot with {many!} heaping helpings of frosting.

½ orange, juiced & zested
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp ghee (or coconut oil)
4 tbsp maple syrup
½ cup pecans, chopped
1 bar extra dark chocolate, crushed
Optional: 1 fuyu persimmon, diced (when in season)

In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients and heat on medium low. Stir frequently to avoid clumping. The mixture will become thick and sticky. Remove from heat and spread evenly on the rolled out dough. On top sprinkle the crushed chocolate bar evenly across the dough.

Orange Vanilla Frosting
1 ½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup melted coconut oil
2 oranges, juiced & zested
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla bean
pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender, puree until creamy. Transfer to a bowl and store in your fridge to thicken before spreading on the cinnamon rolls.

Makes 8 cinnamon rolls



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14 responses to “Film: Vidya Seasonal Kitchen | Winter”

  1. I love everything in this video! The recipe, your props, your dress and the orange slices as decoration for the Christmas tree. Wonderful.

    • vidyacleanse says:

      Oh thank you so much! It’s been a blast creating these videos this year, hard to believe a full cycle of seasons has come and gone already! Wishing you the most wonderful Christmas and blessed year ahead 🙂

  2. Pauli says:

    Hey Claire! Love this recipe! Just wanted to let you know, there’s no info about adding the yeast into the dough 😉 Or am I blind? lol Lots of Love and Happiness! Happy 2015! xx

    • vidyacleanse says:

      Pauli, you are so right! Thanks for catching that typo, I’ve updated the recipe to reflect adding in the yeast in the dough section. Blessings to your new year!

  3. Lauren says:

    This is so beautiful!!! I want to cozy right up next to you, sharing in the wonderful cup of tea and cinnamon buns. Keep making videos!!

    • vidyacleanse says:

      Thanks, Lauren! It’s been a fun journey with the videos this year, looking forward to seeing what 2015 brings 🙂

  4. […] A seasonal kitchen. […]

  5. […] Get the winter recipe and see my cozy Christmas home here. […]

  6. Natasha says:

    I love you recipes and was wondering if this could be made with gluten free flour as I am a celiac…

    • Hi Natasha! Yes, these can be made with a gluten-free flour, like Bob’s Red Mill 1-1 gluten-free flour mix. I have made them with oat flour as well and they turned out great.

      • Natasha says:

        Thanks! I just made them with millet and rice flour and they were delicious. A bit difficult to roll so I just spooned them out onto a baking sheet and rolled with the baking paper- this is one of the drawbacks with gluten free flour. It remains very sticky. But in the end they turned out amazing. thanks so much for the great recipe!

        • Ah yes, the challenge of rolling these guys up. Even with the spelt flour here, I was holding my breath rolling these in the video. We cut the scenes where my face was scrunched into a anxious frown as the dough was being totally unruly in during the filming and we were chasing the last of the winter daylight!

          I’ve also found rice flour flakier and difficult to use for pastry type baking, so extra props to you for getting creative with this step.

  7. Corbin Chase says:

    Love this recipe! Going to give it a try. What does 1 packet of yeast mean? How much is that and do you have a recommended yeast brand?

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