on my table wild yeast

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

10 June 2020

Is there ever a wrong time for a cinnamon bun? I grew up having them almost every weekend when my dad would get a Saturday morning craving, drive to Safeway, and come home with two Pillsbury rolls for our family of seven to share. Nearly two decades since my first memories of Saturday morning cinnamon buns and I still think of that tradition every time I have one.

The more I bake the more I want to try making things that I always assumed I would buy. I think that’s the beauty of sourdough in general, it’s pushed me to rethink a lot of the baked things in my life. After working on this recipe for a couple of weeks I’m content with how it turned out. Tender cinnamon rolls that aren’t too difficult to make and that, despite requiring a little extra work when compared to store-bought, are worth every second spent in your kitchen (as if a moment there is ever wasted).

 

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Gather [materials]:

  • 1 mixing bowl (4 QT)
  • 1 mixing bowl (small)
  • 9×13″ baking sheet or pan
  • parchment paper

For the dough, gather:

  • 1 c sourdough starter (ripe, fed)
  • 3/4 c whole milk (lukewarm)
  • 1/4 c butter (softened)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c white, wheat flour
  • 1/4 c white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • optional: orange zest

For the filling, gather:

  • 1/2 c brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter (melted)

For the frosting, gather:

  • 4 oz cream cheese (softened, room temperature)
  • 2 c confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 c milk

 

 

Instructions:

Autolyse: Mix starter, milk, butter, egg, flours, sugar, (and optional orange zest) until flour is fully hydrated and dough has formed a cohesive mass. Sprinkle the salt on top on the dough and allow it to rest for 25 minutes. Knead dough, mixing in the salt, until dough becomes smooth, tacky, and slightly elastic (approximately 3 minutes).

 

 

Bulk Fermentation: Place dough into a clean bowl, cover, and leave in a warm place. Allow dough to rest for approximately one hour before stretching and folding it. To stretch and fold, using one hand reach down the side and under the dough. Gather it gentle and pull, stretching the dough up and over itself, ending in the center of the bowl. Rotate the bowl 45° and repeat, until you are back where you started. Recover and set aside. Repeat this process every hour, for a total of four hours, until the dough is elastic and has good gluten development.

To make the filling: Toss brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and butter with a fork to create a slightly dry mixture. Filling should not be wet as it will saturate the dough. If it seems too wet add 1/2 tbsp of flour to achieve a ‘wet sand’ consistency.

Assembly: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it into a 14×22″ rectangle, approximately 1/4″-thick and ensuring even thickness throughout. Leaving 1/4″ of the dough’s left border uncovered, spread the filling over the dough. Smooth the filling over the dough evenly and lightly press it into the dough. Starting with the right, filling-coated side roll the dough into a log. Trim the ends off the log, then cut the log in half. Cut each half log in half, creating four equal logs. Then cut each quarter log into thirds, resulting in 12 total rolls.

 

 

 

Proofing: Place the rolls, cut side up, onto a greased or parchment-lined 9×13″ pan, cover and place in a warm place. Allow the rolls to proof for approximately 1-2 hours, until they pass the poke test. For the poke test, gently press the pad of your finger into the side of the roll. The dough should spring back, but leave an indentation. If the dough springs back completely the dough is not proof enough. If the dough does not spring back the dough is over-proofed. Allow the dough to continue to proof as you preheat the oven to 400°.

 

 

Baking: Place the buns in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and cooked throughout. While the rolls bake, make the frosting.

To make the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and sugar until well incorporated. Stream in the milk until you have your desired consistency. I prefer a thicker frosting and typically use about half the milk or (if a double batch) increase the confectioners’ sugar by 1/2-3/4 cup.

 

 

Serving: After removing the buns from the oven allow them to cool for 10 minutes before icing.

 

 

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Prep Time 6 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 7 hours 15 minutes

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl (4 QT)
  • Mixing bowl (small)
  • 9x13" inch baking pan
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 c sourdough starter ripe, fed
  • 3/4 c whole milk lukewarm
  • 1/4 c butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c white, wheat flour
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • orange zest (optional)

Filling

  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter unsalted, melted

Icing

  • 4 oz cream cheese softened, room temperature
  • 2 c confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 c milk

Instructions

Autolyse

  • Mix starter, milk, butter, egg, flours, sugar, and orange zest until flour is fully hydrated and dough has formed a cohesive mass. Sprinkle the salt on top on the dough and allow it to rest for 25 minutes.
  • Knead dough, mixing in the salt, until dough becomes smooth, tacky, and slightly elastic (approximately 3 minutes).

Bulk Fermentation

  • Place dough into a clean bowl, cover, and leave in a warm place. Allow dough to rest for approximately one hour before stretching and folding it. To stretch and fold, using one hand reach down the side and under the dough. Gather it gentle and pull, stretching the dough up and over itself, ending in the center of the bowl. Rotate the bowl 45° and repeat, until you are back where you started. Recover and set aside.
  • Repeat this process every hour, for a total of four hours, until the dough is elastic and has good gluten development.

To make the filling

  • Toss brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and butter with a fork to create a slightly dry mixture. Filling should not be wet as it will saturate the dough. If it seems too wet add 1/2 tbsp of flour to achieve a ‘wet sand’ consistency.

Assembly

  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it into a 14x22″ rectangle, approximately 1/4″-thick and ensuring even thickness throughout.
  • Leaving 1/4″ of the dough’s left border uncovered, spread the filling over the dough. Smooth the filling over the dough evenly and lightly press it into the dough.
  • Starting with the right, filling-coated side roll the dough into a log. Trim the ends off the log, then cut the log in half. Cut each half log in half, creating four equal logs. Then cut each quarter log into thirds, resulting in 12 total rolls.

Proofing

  • Place the rolls, cut side up, onto a greased or parchment-lined 9x13″ pan, cover and place in a warm place. Allow the rolls to proof for approximately 1-2 hours, until they pass the poke test.
  • For the poke test, gently press the pad of your finger into the side of the roll. The dough should spring back, but leave an indentation. If the dough springs back completely the dough is not proof enough. If the dough does not spring back the dough is over-proofed.
  • Allow the dough to continue to proof as you preheat the oven to 400°.

Baking

  • Place the buns in the over for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and cooked throughout. Check that the center of the dough is fully cooked. While the rolls bake, make the frosting.

To make the frosting

  • Beat the cream cheese and sugar until well incorporated.
  • Stream in the milk until you have your desired consistency.
  • I prefer a thicker frosting and typically use about half the milk or (if a double batch) increase the confectioners' sugar by 1/2-3/4 cup.

Serving

  • After removing the buns from the oven allow them to cool for 10 minutes before icing.

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