We still can’t get enough of the medical-marvel spice turmeric and what better time to infuse your immunity with a health boost than during winter?

Curcumin, the active enzyme in turmeric, continues to generate plenty buzz in the health and food industries as a food ingredient with remarkable medicinal properties. In India there is little question as to its abilities to boost immunity, stave off allergies and even ward off depression, forming an instrumental part of 1000-year old Ayurvedic healing and nourishing traditions. While Western science continues to deeply immerse itself in the cancer curative properties of turmeric, there is definitely enough evidence to add more and more of this wonderful golden spice to our home cooked meals, and in winter, we feel like baking!

We decided to infuse some turmeric into a classic cold weather comfort food, the cinnamon bun based on the Cinnabon, and turn something decadent into something deliciously health-filled. As far as possible we’ve used the healthiest alternatives while maintaining the recipe’s integrity. Feel free to supplement and experiment, adapting this recipe to your own health preferences. But while you bake away in an oven-warmed kitchen, shuffling around in your fluffy socks, take comfort in the fact that turmeric is no longer only for curries, golden lattes and bright orange pumpkin spice smoothies. Turmeric is now an every recipe companion.

INGREDIENTS: 

Makes 8-10 buns | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Rising Time: 1 hour 30 minutes | Cooking Time: 55 minutes

FOR THE YEAST

FOR THE DOUGH

FOR THE CINNAMON COCOA SUGAR FILLING 

OPTIONAL

  • Extra pecan nuts toasted in maple syrup as a topping

METHOD:

To prepare the yeast

1. In a small bowl, place the tepid water. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
2. Add in the yeast and stir until dissolved. Set aside until the yeast has activated – this will take around 5–10 minutes. The mixture will look foamy.

To make the dough:

3. Place two cups of flour into a large mixing bowl.
4. Stir the milk into the melted butter. Add the ⅓ cup sugar, turmeric, vanilla and salt. Make sure the liquid is no warmer than lukewarm. Add the yeast mixture and stir until just combined.
5. Pour this mixture over the flour and combine with the k-beater of an electric mixer (or with a wooden spoon by hand). Stop mixing once all of the flour is incorporated.
6. When the dough is loose and sticky, switch to the dough hook attachment (or use your hands) to knead the dough for about 3 to 4 minutes until it’s no longer sticky to the touch; it should be smooth and elastic. Add a small amount of flour if required.
7. Shape the dough into a ball and place into a lightly oiled mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with beeswax wrap (less wasteful than cling wrap) and place in a warm, draft free area to rise for 60 minutes.

To make the filling:

8. Meanwhile, make the cinnamon sugar filling in a small bowl by mixing ½ cup Muscovado sugar, cinnamon, chopped cocoa powder and pecan nuts. Set aside.
9. After the dough has doubled in size, knock it back and roll into a large rectangle of about 40cm x 20cm.
10. With a pastry brush, spread the remaining melted butter onto the dough, covering the entire surface.
11. Sprinkle on all of the cinnamon sugar filling, leaving a 2cm clean edge.
12. Fold the dough in half and then slice into 5cm strips parallel to the width of the rectangle.
13. Pick up a strip, hold in both hands and twist. Roll into a bun shape and place on a greased baking tray 10cm apart.
Leave to rise for 20 minutes.
14. Sprinkle with more Muscovado or coconut sugar. Bake at 180’C for 20-25 minutes until risen, golden and crispy.

As an optional, decadent extra, you could toast some pecan nuts and crumble them over your turmeric buns with a dollop of maple drizzle. If you’re going to eat something on the indulgent end of the spectrum, you may as well do it right.

Home-baked winter comfort food fit for a rainy days’ craving has never looked this good. We can almost hear the fire crackling and smell the soothing aroma of your lavender tea.
Inspired to bake? Shop the ingredients for this baked turmeric bun recipe here.

Recipe and styling thanks to Tanya Heathcote