Coming up with this recipe was a bit of an adventure.
I had JUST finished developing “More Than Poutine”. We had made our big "buy all of the source material" trip home to Winnipeg.
All of the recipes were developed, tested, edited, and ready to go.
... and then I got a last minute request for a recipe for Persian buns - a Thunder Bay thing.
The Frosting Mystery
I was told that this doughnut is HUGE there - in stores, at school cafeterias, as fundraisers, and with expats bringing cases of them after visiting home.
I’ll be honest, I almost said no. The finish line was RIGHT in sight, and really... I’d never had one, I’d never even heard of one. Doing a recipe for it was going to be an *undertaking*.
Well, the person requesting it told me that there was a TON of debate about whether it's strawberries or raspberries in the frosting, and that the flavour is largely seen as a mystery.
Well, that's all I needed to hear - challenge accepted!
Remember the whole Fairy Godmother Project? That started with one word - “Impossible”.
Anyway, I told my husband that I had to go back to Canada for the book... and we drove the 7ish hours each way - across the border - to buy a doughnut.
Life is fun! 🙂
What is a Persian Roll
Persians are basically a deep fried, slightly-flattened cinnamon roll, frosted with a signature frosting.
Other than that, I am staying true to the source material flavouring, which lists "apple raspberry jam" on the ingredients label. Feel free to play around with using fresh or frozen raspberries in place of the jam.
Frosting for Persians
No mystery to tackle, after all - it was a combo of raspberry and apple. Oops.
The mystery of the Persians Frosting Flavour may have been a letdown, but it wasn’t the only bit of culinary drama we had with coming up with this recipe. There’s also the matter of “Authentic vs Tasty”.
Authentic Persian Frosting
The authentic recipe for Persian roll frosting is based with shortening. There’s no butter at all in the real thing. If you want this to be authentic, you're going to need to use vegetable shortening.
I'm really not a fan of shortening-based frosting, though... so consider my recipe an upgrade!
Butter. Real butter. That’s it, that’s the key to seriously upgrading the original frosting.
Using butter instead of shortening in your frosting not only improves the flavour, it also improves the texture.
So, when we were asked to do this recipe for More Than Poutine, not a lot of info was provided.
When we went up to Thunder Bay, we thought we were just buying a doughnut... and therefore did not ask for further information on how to serve it.
I was shocked to hear that they’re not always eaten like you would think you’d eat something that looks like that!
Apparently you’re supposed to slice them in half and toast them, before then frosting them. I suppose that would explain why the little buckets of frosting were sold separately, huh?
Sandra says that you just use a normal toaster oven, “Lots of surface area that way!”. No butter, just frosting.
We’re definitely going to have to try that, next time I make a batch!
This recipe is one of many fantastic Canadian recipes in my cookbook, "More Than Poutine: Favourite Foods from my Home and Native Land”.
"More than Poutine" is a Canadian cookbook like no other - written by a Canadian living away, it includes both traditional home cooking recipes, as well as accurate homemade versions of many of the snacks, sauces, convenience foods, and other food items that are hard to come by outside of Canada!
More Canadian Comfort Food!
Whether you’re a Canadian in the US or not, we could all use some comfort food these days. Here are some Canadian Favourites!
Dill Pickle Dip
French Canadian Pea Soup
Halifax Meat Paste Egg Rolls
Homemade Deep N Delicious Cake
How to Make Peameal Bacon and Back Bacon
Maple Butter Tarts
Poutine, My Way!
Puffed Wheat Squares
Tiger Tail Ice Cream
Looking for even more Canadian recipes? Check out our full Canadian Recipes list!
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Well, the published nonsense, anyway!
Anyway, on to my Persians recipe!
Homemade Persian Rolls
- 1 ½ cups Warm - NOT hot! - water
- 4 tsp Active dry yeast
- 3 Tbsp Granulated sugar
- 3 ½ cups All-purpose flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- ¼ cup Butter melted & cooled
- ½ cup Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Ground cinnamon
- Oil for frying
- ¼ cup Butter softened
- ¼ cup Apple jelly
- ¼ cup Seedless raspberry jam
- 4 cups Confectioners / Icing / Powdered Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Milk
- Stir yeast and sugar into warm water, allow to stand for 10 minutes – it should get very bubbly.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Pour in yeast mixture, stir well to combine.
- Dump dough out onto a floured surface, knead until soft and elastic, 5-10 minutes. (OR: mix it in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 5 minutes or so!)
- Once dough is fully kneaded, place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for one hour, or until doubled in size.
- Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
- Once dough has doubled in size, roll dough out on a floured surface. Aim to make it a large rectangle, say 12 x 18" or so.
- Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter all over the dough – you might not use it all, that's ok. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon, sprinkle evenly over the melted butter.
- Starting with one of the longer edges, tightly roll the dough up.
- Use a sharp knife to trim the ends so that they are flat, then slice the roll into 12 even rounds. Slightly flatten each roll between your hands, stretching out to an oblong shape and ensuring end is sealed to rest of dough.
- NOTE: I flatten mine a fair amount more than is traditional, as I am terrible at deep frying anything thick.
- Carefully place each roll onto the baking sheets, spacing them evenly and leaving room for them to rise.
- Cover pans with plastic wrap, allow to rise one more time – about 45 minutes.
- While waiting for the Persians to rise, start heating your frying oil to 350 F (180 C)
- In small batches, deep fry doughnuts for a minute or two - until golden brown on the under side - before carefully flipping and frying for another 1-2 minutes on the second side.
- Use a slotted metal spoon to transfer doughnuts to paper towel lined baking sheets or plates.
- Allow oil to come back up to temperature between batches.
- Allow doughnuts to cool completely.
- Whip butter , jelly, and jam together until smooth.
- Slowly add powdered sugar a bit at a time, until incorporated completely.
- Beat on high for 1 minute – mixture will be very, very thick.
- Lower mixer speed to lowest setting, and slowly add milk. Once incorporated, check for consistency - you want it thick, but soft enough to spread.
- Add more milk or sugar to achieve the consistency you want, if needed.
- Spread cooled doughnuts with frosting.
More “Capital B” Baking Recipes
Does the smell of yeast proofing just cheer you up? Oh, I love the smell of it. Anyway, if you’re looking for more excuses to bake something that involves waiting for rise times, here are a few more recipes!
Apple Cinnamon Buns
Basil, Roasted Red Pepper, & Asiago Bread Braid
Beer Pretzels & Jalapeno Jack Dip
Buffalo Chicken Buns
Chai Cinnamon Rolls
How to Make Bagels
Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bagels
Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Pretzel Bites
Maple Walnut Spiced Pumpkin Buns
Paska - Ukrainian Easter Bread
Pumpernickel Everything Bagels
Sauerkraut Balls - Pyrizhky
Smoky Cheese Bagels
Spinach Hand Pies