Healthy Cinnamon Roll Recipe
If there is such a thing as a “healthy cinnamon roll recipe”, using 100% whole wheat flour has to be the place to start.
Here in Colorado, the seasons are beginning to change. You can feel it in the air – especially in the morning. In a week or so, we’ll make it up to our cabin in the mountains outside Fairplay to see the aspens changing color. There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh-baked goods on a crisp fall day! Especially when the results are this good.
Everyone has a homemade cinnamon roll recipe. I’ve waded through dozens of church and school cookbooks, and there’s always at least one. The variations are endless – in the dough, in the filling, in the baking process. So finding one that works for you is important.
I modified a church recipe to make these 100% Whole Wheat Cinnamon rolls. I use all organic ingredients, but I’ve listed the recipe just as noted in the book – I’ll let you decide how organic you want to make it.
100% Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls
- 1/3 cup Warm Water 110F
- 2 pkg Dry Yeast
- 1 1/2 cups Sour Cream
- 1/4 cup Honey
- 4 tbsp Butter
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 2 tsp Salt
- 2 lg Eggs
- 6 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- 8 tbsp Butter, divided
- 2 cups Brown Sugar, packed
- 1 1/2 tbsp Cinnamon
- 8 tbsp Butter, softened
- 4 oz Cream Cheese
- 3 cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 tbsp Milk or cream
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract or Maple, or Orange
- Water for thinning
- Combine the warm water and yeast in a bowl
- In a saucepan, heat the sour cream until warm and smooth, but not bubbling.
- In a medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon until blended. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
- Combine the honey, butter, baking soda, salt, and eggs with a mixer in a large bowl. Add the sour cream and mix until it cools to lukewarm. Add the yeast water. Add half the flour and mix to form a medium batter. Important: At this stage, let the batter sit for 25 minutes to 2 hours to sponge. This will soften the whole wheat bran and germ, giving you lighter rolls.)
- Switch to a dough hook, if you have one. Otherwise, add two more cups of flour and mix with your hands or the hook. Continue to add remaining flour just until you form a dough that pulls clean.
- Knead the dough for about 6 minutes on the mixer, or 10-15 by hand until it's soft and elastic. Place the dough in a large, greased bowl and let rise until double in size - about an hour in a reasonably warm spot.
- Punch down the dough and split into two equal pieces. Roll one piece into a rectangle about 13" X 18" in size. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter and spread evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar filling over the dough, coming to 1/2" of the long edge but overflowing on the short edges. (We'll roll up the long edge and the filling will bubble out the top of the cut rolls.)
- From the long side, rull up the dough delicately, starting with just your fingertips - no pulling or stretching. Once you get it started it's much easier to roll it all the way to a long cylinder. Pinch the seam closed tightly.
- With kitchen shears or a dough scraper, cut the cylinder in half, then half again, and then cut the individual rolls at about 1". Place the rolls in a greased 9"X13" pan. Leave a little room to expand.
- Repeat with the second lump of dough. Let the rolls rise again for about 30 minutes.
- Bake at 350F for 25 minutes.
- Mix the butter and cream cheese until blended. Add the flavoring, then the sugar with the milk or cream. (I drape a very light tea towel over the mixer to keep the powdered sugar from coating my kitchen.)
- Finally, add water a tablespoon at a time just until the frosting will barely pour from a spoon - about 3 tablespoons.
- When the rolls are done baking, let them cool for about five minutes, then pour the icing generously over the rolls
For the best-quality cinnamon, with the freshest flavor, try Savory Spice.
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