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Seeded Tahini Date Marmalade Knots

We are often inspired by the beautiful food that award-winning food blogger and cookbook author Tara O'Brady produces out of her kitchen. We certainly have her to thank for our favourite Chocolate Chip Cookies. Just in time for New Year celebrations, try her recipe for Seeded Tahini Date Marmalade Knots. It's a mouthful to say but there are lots of complementary flavours, crunchy bits and bobs, all enveloped in a buttery, soft dough.

Flourist Sifted Red Spring Wheat Flour is milled from organically grown Red Spring wheat grown from Etzikom, Alberta. This flour is a perfect replacement for white all purpose flour from the grocery store—more flavourful, more nutritious and freshly milled.

Seeded Tahini Date Marmalade Knots

2/3 cup milk, warmed slightly
3 tbsp (60g) honey
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 1/2 cups (483g) Flourist Sifted Red Spring Wheat Flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 packet (7g) instant yeast
1/2 cup (114g) butter, softened and cubed

1/4 cup (56g) tahini, well-stirred
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup (57g) butter, softened
1/2 cup (163g) marmalade
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup (160g) pitted dates, chopped 
1/4 cup (44g) cocoa nibs, toasted
1/4 cup (34g) mixed seeds (poppy, white and black sesame seeds)

Syrup and Frosting
1 clementine or mandarin orange
1/2 cup water
2/3 (144g) cup sugar
1/2 cup (69g) icing sugar
2 tbsp cream or milk
Pinch of salt

Plan to make the dough the day before you'd like to bake the buns. In a separate bowl, mix together the warm milk and honey. Scatter the yeast on top and let sit for a few minutes until the yeast has bloomed. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, pour in the milk mixture and lightly beaten eggs. Scatter flour on top and sprinkle the salt in. Stir on low to start mixing and gradually turn up to medium to get all the ingredients well incorporated until it forms a dough. If the dough is too loose, spoon a little bit of flour in at a time. 

Once the dough gathers around the hook and is smooth, add the butter a few cubes at a time. Continue kneading until the dough is elastic and dense, about 3-5 minutes. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle a bit of flour in at a time. The dough is ready when it cleanly comes away from the sides of the bowl. Place the dough on a clean work surface and knead by hand to form a ball and place smooth side down in a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature for 1 hour and then place in the fridge to continue rising overnight. 

The next day when you are ready to bake, grease a 12-cup muffin tin. To make the filling, cream together the tahini, butter, and sugar until well mixed. Add the marmalade and salt, stir together and set aside. 

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and deflate it by punching down gently. Place onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 15 x 22-inch rectangle, with the long side in front of you. Spread the tahini mixture all across, leaving a 1/2 inch width border. Evenly sprinkle the dates, cocoa nibs and mixed seeds all across. From the long end closest to you (the bottom), fold one-quarter of the dough up and pat down lightly. Fold the rectangle up two more times and let rest for 5 minutes. Use a rolling pin to gently flatten the roll away from you. Cut the dough into 12 strips. Pick up one strip and while holding an end in each hand, twist, turn and stretch the strip to expose the filling. Bring the two ends together into a coil and tuck into the prepared muffin tin with the ends at the bottom. Repeat with the rest. Lightly cover the muffin tin and allow to rise at room temperature for 1-1.5 hours, until doubled in size. 

Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake the buns until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Place on a cooling rack. 

While the buns are baking you can make the syrup and frosting. To make the syrup, zest the clementine into a small sauce pot. Squeeze the juice and add the water and sugar. Bring to a boil on medium heat, swirling the pot regularly. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat.

For the frosting, stir together the sugar, 1 tbsp cream and salt in a small bowl. Add more cream as needed until you reach your desired consistency.

Once the buns are done, liberally brush half of the syrup over the buns. Wait a few minutes and brush the remaining syrup over top. Remove the buns from the tins when they're barely warm and place on a rack to cool. Frost the buns once the syrup has completely dried.

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