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Vegan Black Sesame Rye Rolls - these light, fluffy rye rolls are easy to make and they contain much less sugar and butter than traditional rolls!
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Servings: 9 rolls
Author: Lisa Lin

Vegan Black Sesame Rye Rolls with Orange

These vegan black sesame rye rolls are great for gatherings. You can also make a cinnamon version of this by substituting the black sesame for 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon. I also recommend adding 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon to the glaze. 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins



  • 1 cup (240ml) almond milk (soy milk works also)
  • 3 tablespoons vegan buttery spread
  • 1 packet active dry yeast, about 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 3 tablespoons cane sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • zest of 1 orange, about 2 teaspoons
  • 1 1/2 cups (205g) unbleached white all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (120g) dark rye flour


  • 3 tablespoons vegan buttery spread, melted
  • 3 tablespoons roasted black sesame seeds*
  • 3 tablespoons cane sugar


  • 2 tablespoons powdered, or icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk, soy milk works also

Greasing Oil/Butter

  • 1 teaspoon canola or sunflower oil for greasing mixing bowl
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegan buttery spread for greasing baking pan


  • In a small bowl, heat the almond milk in the microwave, on high, for about 50 seconds to 1 minute. The milk should be warm but not scalding hot. In a separate bowl, melt the vegan buttery spread, on high, for 15-20 seconds. Mix the almond milk and vegan buttery spread in a large bowl. Check the temperature and make sure it is somewhere between 100 to 110 degrees F (38 to 43 degrees C).
  • Add the yeast to the bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes. The yeast should foam up at the end of 10 minutes. This means that the yeast is active.
  • Add 3 tablespoons sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt and the orange zest to the bowl.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the all-purpose and rye flours together. Add 1 cup of flour to the wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. Continue adding the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and stir. The dough will get sticky. Once you add the last 1/2 cup of flour, use your hands to mix and knead the remaining flour to the dough. Knead the dough until you get a ball that is not too sticky on the outside, about 1 minute. If the dough is still sticky, add more all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  • Wipe down the medium bowl. Grease it with 1 teaspoon of oil, and place the dough inside. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and set it in a warm area for an hour to rise.
  • While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. Add 3 tablespoons of black sesame seeds into a coffee or spice grinder and pulse until the sesame seeds are ground into a powder, about 15 pulses. Be careful not to overmix the seeds because the oils in the seeds will cause the powder to bind together and form a paste. Mix the black sesame seed powder with 3 tablespoons of sugar.
  • Once the dough has risen, lightly flour a work surface to roll out the dough. Roll out dough into a 10x14-inch rectangle.
  • Melt 3 tablespoons of vegan buttery spread in the microwave. Brush half of the melted spread on top of the rolled out dough. Sprinkle the black sesame and sugar on top.
  • Starting on one of the long (14-inch) ends, roll up the dough into a log. Set the seam side down. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 9 pieces, about 1 1/2-inch thick.
  •  Grease an 8x8-inch square pan with 1/2 tablespoon of the buttery spread. Transfer the rye rolls to the pan and arrange into 3x3 rows. Set them cut side down. The rolls will not fill the pan. Do not worry; they expand in the oven. Brush rolls with remaining melted buttery spread.
  • Set the rolls on top of the oven as you preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, until slightly golden brown. Mine were ready in 25 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, make the glaze. Mix 2 tablespoons of icing sugar with 1 tablespoon of almond milk. Brush glaze on top of the warm rolls. They're best eaten warm.


NUTRITION INFORMATION: Amount Per Roll: Calories: 297, Total Fat 11g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Sodium: 55mg, Cholesterol: 22mg, Total Carbohydrate: 40g, Dietary Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 11g, Protein 6g
*If you are using raw black sesame seeds, toast them on a pan for about 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat, until they turn fragrant. Stir frequently to keep them from burning. Let the seeds cool for 10 to 15 minutes before grinding.
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