Saturday, 20 July 2013

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls Surprise

Cinnamon rolls made with sourdough. That’s the Sourdough Surprises’ challenge for July. There were two different recipes we could use as an inspiration for making our sourdough cinnamon rolls. One version used self-rising flour, which I thought was kind of odd, and the other seemed like too much effort for cinnamon rolls. So I opted to use a different method altogether.



I had been itching to make the Sourdough Spelt Cinnamon Rolls from Classic Sourdoughs by Ed and Jean Wood for months so this was the perfect opportunity to try them.



Sadly, those cinnamon rolls didn’t turn out so well. I had to throw them away. I hate it when that happens, but I didn’t let that deter me from meeting this challenge head on.


I started over again a few days later and made the cinnamon rolls using regular all-purpose flour and my apple starter instead of all-purpose spelt flour and my spelt starter. I changed the formula to include more milk and flour and use less sourdough culture. I also omitted the raisins. The combination of raisins and sourdough just didn’t do it for me. I may try adding the raisins another time but for this version, I left them out.

I changed the bulk fermentation from 8 to 12 hours at room temperature to 8 to 12 hours in the refrigerator. It was hotter than 70 degrees in my kitchen so letting the dough proof that long at room temperature made the rolls too acidic, at least in my opinion.

The next day, I took the dough out of the refrigerator and let it warm up to room temperature for an hour or so before shaping the rolls. I reduced the final proof from 2 to 4 hours to about 1 hour, at room temperature. I also used a different baking pan and reduced the oven temperature.

I know this is a lot of changes to make all at once, but those were the things I didn’t like about the spelt version. The rolls were too sour, the raisins tasted nasty and the rolls didn’t rise well in the oven. Plus, they got burned on the bottom because the temperature was too high.

I was much more pleased with the second attempt. You can taste the sourdough but it’s not overwhelming. These cinnamon rolls are slightly tangy and are really good warm, especially with the powdered-sugar glaze drizzled over them.



Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Adapted from: Classic Sourdoughs by Ed and Jean Wood

Makes: 12 to 14 Rolls



  • 1 1/2 cups sourdough culture (using this process)
  • 1 cup almond milk (or whole milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour


  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, more if desired
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)


  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 teaspoons warm milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract



1) Pour the sourdough culture into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the milk, vanilla, salt, and the 2 tablespoons of sugar and mix well using a Danish dough whish or wooden spoon. Add the flour a cup at a time and mix until you have a shaggy dough.



2) Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in the remaining flour until the dough is smooth and satiny.  This is the dough before being kneaded.



3) Place the dough in a large, clean bowl and cover the bowl with plastic. Let it proof in the refrigerator overnight (8 to 12 hours).

4) The next day, let the dough warm up to room temperature (an hour or so) and then gently transfer it to a floured surface. Let the dough rest on the counter for 30 minutes.  If it flattens a lot during this time, add in additional flour before rolling the dough out.



5) Roll the dough into a rectangle, about 1/2 inch thick. Brush it with melted butter. Mix together the cinnamon and sugar and sprinkle the mixture over the top of the dough. If you want to add raisins, now is the time to do it.



6) Starting from the long end, roll the rectangle up into a log.



7) Cut the log into 1-inch thick rolls. I used a knife, but you could also use floss. Place the rolls close together on a baking sheet or in cake pans and proof for an hour or until doubled in size. It’s hot in my kitchen right now so it doesn’t take long to proof.  If your kitchen is cooler, you might need to let them proof longer.



8) Bake the cinnamon rolls in a preheated 350 degrees F. oven for 25 to 35 minutes. Watch the rolls to make sure they don’t burn on the bottom.

9) Remove the rolls from the oven, and while they are still hot, drizzle the powdered-sugar glaze over them.



10) Carefully remove the rolls from the pan and serve them warm.



Happy Baking!


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