Prepare all your ingredients. Separate around 1 tbsp of the sugar and set aside for later, do the same with ½ a cup of the flour.
In a large bowl, whisk together the warm milk, remaining sugar, and melted vegan butter. The mixture should be just warm. If you stick your finger in it, it should approximately be the same as your body temperature.
Evenly sprinkle the yeast on the surface, mix well and let "bloom" for 10 minutes in a warm spot. That is to ensure that the yeast is in fact active.
Meanwhile add the fresh lemon zest and vanilla to the separated tablespoon of sugar and mix. If you have a mortar and pestle, grind together sugar and lemon zest to release the fragrant oils.
When the yeast mixture is showing some bubbles, give it a stir and mix in 2 cups of the flour (you'll need the last half cup of flour a bit later on) and lemon sugar. Stir well with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until you have a very wet dough without any dry flour pockets. Some lumps are ok!
Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest in a warm spot for 1 hour or until almost doubled in volume.
Combine the remaining flour, salt and baking powder and add to the risen dough.
Stir well, then turn out onto a clean surface. Leave a bit of flour nearby to use as needed, but try not to incorporate too much.
Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary, until the dough just loses its stickiness and does not stick to the surface or your hands. The dough should be very smooth and spring back when poked.
Form into neat balls by pinching all the sides together on the underside and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. I divided mine into 2 Osterpinzen, but you can do several smaller ones as well.
Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F.
Sprinkle with a tiny bit of flour and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Let rise for about 30 minutes.
Combine plant milk, aquafaba, and molasses. Brush on the dough balls. Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears make 3 cuts.
Place in the oven for 30 minutes (2 large Pinzen) or 15-20 minutes for smaller Pinzen. Check on them after half of the baking time. If they're browning too fast cover with aluminum foil for the remaining baking time.
To check if they're done tap them- if they sound hollow, they should be ready. Alternatively, insert a toothpick or chopstick in the middle- if it comes out clean, it's done.
Brush again with the milk, molasses, and aquafaba-mixture while they're still hot. That's what gives your Osterpinze the signature sheen!