Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

I know what you’re thinking! The first reaction to sourdough cinnamon rolls is “Ugh! I don’t think that goes well together!”. I thought the exact same thing, but the more I thought about it, the more I came around. I mean, I’ve used my sourdough starter in cakes before. Why couldn’t it work for cinnamon rolls?

This recipe was also very easy. I started these rolls at about 4pm on a Saturday. I followed all instructions, and let the second rise happen overnight. When I woke up Sunday morning, the dough had risen beautifully and was ready and waiting to be rolled out and filled with gooey cinnamon filling.

Like I said, this recipe was very easy. I also found the recipe off of Pinterest, and they have wonderful options, so I was excited! The original recipe is found here. It wasn’t that time consuming, and the results were beautiful! I’d say that’s a win-win situation!

Holy man these were good! The sourdough becomes very subtle, but definitely adds something to the dough. The slight tang of the sourdough with the sweetness of the cinnamon and the the sugar? Oh yes. These are AWESOME!

Considering I’m always on the lookout for new ways to use my sourdough starter, I’d say this is a solid choice. I’ve been making tons of sourdough crackers lately (link here), and I wanted to change it up a bit. I mean, I love to snack on those freakin’ addictive crackers, but I wanted to satisfy my sweet tooth, and did I ever!

Ingredients

Yield: 16-24 cinnamon rolls, depending on how big you cut them

For the dough:

1 c. sourdough starter
1 tsp. salt
½ c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
¼ c. warm milk
1 tsp. yeast
3-4 c. flour

For the filling:

5 tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
½ c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon

For the frosting:

1 c. icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. milk

To make the dough, add the sourdough starter, salt, butter, sugar and eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Combine.

Add yeast to the warm milk, mix in and allow to sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy. Once foamy, add the milk and yeast mixture to the starter mix. Combine again.

With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour, 1 cup at a time (when you get to 3 cups, add a small amount at a time. Mine only took about 3 1/3 cups of flour). Dough should be in a soft ball, that is not sticky.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Place dough in an oiled bowl and allow to rise until doubled (2-3 hours).

Punch down, and allow to rise again (I let the second rise happen overnight).

Punch down again, turn out onto your work surface and with a rolling pin roll out into a large rectangle.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a small bowl, mix the filling ingredients until smooth and cohesive. Spread over the dough evenly.

Roll the long side of the rectangle tightly, and keep rolling until the dough is a log. Using plain, unflavoured dental floss, cut the dough into 1-inch sections. Place in pie plates, and bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until slightly golden brown.

In a small bowl, whisk together the frosting ingredients until smooth. Drizzle the frosting over the cinnamon rolls. Serve warm.

Buttery Sourdough Buns


We all know how much I love bread and all things bread related. It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything sourdough, and I had a hankering to experiment with a recipe I’ve never tried before using sourdough.

I mean, my fall-back recipe using my sourdough starter are my Sourdough Soft Pretzels, except recently, I’ve been turning them into dinner by wrapping the dough around hot dogs and then proceeding with the recipe – BAM! Sourdough Pretzel Dogs.If you think that sounds good – seriously try it! It’s FANTASTIC! It’s also my new favourite way to eat hot dogs… and I was never a hot dog fan.

But, back to all things bread and buns. The great thing about bread and bun recipes are that they take so long. However, this is also the downfall. I can’t make a loaf of bread if I’ve got school, or if I’ll be out of the house all day. However, I got up this morning, Thanksgiving Monday, and thought “I need to use my sourdough starter”. I always love looking for recipes that use the unfed “discard” part of the starter – waste not, want not. This bun recipe was great, because it uses pantry staples (if your pantry, like mine, includes a sourdough starter) and didn’t take long to whip together. I was going to spend the day lounging around the house and getting some marking done anyways, so it was the perfect thing to make… also considering it just snowed overnight! Boo. 😦


Either way – I love bread, I love buns. I’m really and truly a carb fan. This recipe is simple, and the longest part is waiting for the buns to rise. Still, one more way to use my sourdough starter, and I’m fine with that!

Ingredients

Yield: 16 buns

½ c. sourdough starter (fed or unfed)
3 c. flour
2½ tsp. instant yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1¼ tsp. salt
1 egg
5 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
2/3 c. lukewarm water

4 tbsp. butter, melted, for topping

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, or by hand, combine all ingredients and knead until you get a soft, smooth dough.

Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 1½ – 2 hours.

Gently deflate dough and transfer to a lightly greased work surface. Roll and pat the dough into a rough rectangle about 12″ x 16″. Brush some of the melted butter over the surface of the dough.

Starting with the long side, roll the dough into a log. Cut 16 buns out of the dough log with a sharp knife or use dental floss. Lightly grease two 8 or 9 inch cake pans, and arrange 8 buns in each pan.

Cover the pans with a tea towel, and let rise for about 1 hour, until they are noticeably puffy. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350° F.

Uncover the buns, brush with remaining melted butter, and bake for 22-25 minutes. They may only darken on the top very slightly. Remove from the oven, and turn out onto a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or hot with more butter as desired. You can also save some of the melted butter to brush over the buns when they come out of the oven.

Flaky Baking Powder Biscuits

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Time is flying right now! I have not been as good as I should in keeping up with trying to give you all a new post approximately every week or so. That’s how busy I’ve been. What with subbing so much, working at the restaurant, and planning this wedding, I feel like it’s an accomplishment to make myself dinner half the time! I do have a couple recipes “on deck” if you will – that I’ve made in the last little bit and haven’t posted yet… so because I didn’t get a sub call today (which is extremely strange to me!) I will probably spend the next little while in front of my computer and type out those posts/recipes, so that I can just click “Publish” and send you all more goodies!

I pinned these biscuits a few days ago, because I just hadn’t had biscuits in the longest time. I love a fluffy, tall, flaky biscuit, and that’s what was advertised in the original recipe, so I decided to give these a go (and make myself something delicious to snack on as well!).

I love buttered biscuits. I know, some people prefer jam, some peanut butter, and the U.S.A. prefers biscuits topped with a white sausage gravy, but I am a sucker for a plain, beautiful biscuit slathered in butter while warm. The butter gets all melty and delicious, and the biscuit layers… I’ll stop. I’m too excited.

The recipe is extremely easy – you don’t even need to drag out your mixer! They took me about 10-15 minutes to whip up, and they bake for as long, so you can have warm, fresh, fluffy biscuits in the next half hour. You’re welcome.
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Ingredients

Yield: 9-10 biscuits, approx. 4 inches each

3 c. flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
¾ c. buttermilk
1  egg, beaten
¼ c. shortening
2 tbsp. cold water
½ c. butter, cold, and cut into cubes

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Toss with a fork to combine. Make a well in the dry ingredients, and add the buttermilk, beaten egg, shortening, and water.

Mix with a wooden spoon  to start to combine, but do not overmix.

Add in cubed butter, and with your hands, knead the butter into the dough about 7 or 8 times. The butter should be slightly incorporated, but also in visible chunks in the dough. This will make the biscuits extra fluffy. Again, do not overmix, or the biscuits will become tough.

Turn out the dough on a non-stick surface or wooden cutting board and pat dough into a circle, about 1½ inches high. Using a glass rimmed in flour or a circular cookie cutter,  cut out biscuits, getting as many from the first cut as you can. Do not twist the cutter or the glass, instead going as smoothly up and down as you can. Twisting the cutter’s edge seals off the edge of the biscuit and does not let it rise as high.

Place biscuits on lined baking sheet, with the edges touching. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until biscuits are light golden brown around tops and bottoms. Serve warm with butter, jam, gravy, whatever your heart desires!

Classic Cinnamon Rolls

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I love cinnamon rolls, and I do not make them nearly enough. Every time I make them, I am usually dissatisfied with the end result. I can never get them just right. I made this recipe once before, and they were good, but not perfect. Well, the fact that I am sharing this recipe with you is a testament to the adage “Practice makes perfect”.

Be patient with this recipe. It takes time, and a lot of it, to make this recipe, but the results are worth it. Trust in the recipe. I was a little weary at first, because it seemed like the dough did not want to rise at all. I thought the yeast had not been activated properly, and I was getting discouraged. There had been a bit of a rise, but nowhere near the doubling in size the recipe is supposed to do. Since this is Annie’s recipe, she has some great troubleshooting tips as well if you take a gander over to her blog!

Then, I decided to leave it alone, not monitor the dough constantly, and Paul and I went for a quick walk. I came back, and magic happened! The dough rose, to the doubled size, and everything turned out.

Like I said, trust the recipe. If you are patient, this recipe will turn out. As a side note, here is a tip for helping dough to rise. I find that no matter where I live, my house is always a bit on the cold side. Not freeze-your-butt-off-cold, but slightly chillier than comfortable. (Before you say so, we always have the furnace turned on when it’s cold. The only time we don’t have the furnace on is in the summer. Apparently, Paul and I have bad luck with choosing houses that don’t always hold as much heat as they should. Side note over, sorry!)
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It helps when you have a bit of a drafty house, to turn on your oven to about 200°F, let it preheat, then turn the oven off. Leave for about 5 minutes with the door closed, then place the yeasted dough into the warmed oven. The residual heat from the oven will help your dough to rise, which is especially helpful in a place like Southern Alberta, where the winters and falls can last for longer than you think, and get quite cold.

Cinnamon rolls are so great, because they are extremely versatile. Paul is a fan of raisins in his, I am a sucker for the classic, cinnamon sugar filled, glazed roll. You can frost them instead of glaze them, throw some fruit, chocolate, caramel, or nuts in there, the possibilities are endless!

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Ingredients

Yield: 8-16 rolls, depending on cut size (I cut mine quite large, and got 9 rolls)

For the dough:

6½ tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
5½ tbsp. butter
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. lemon extract or lemon zest
3½ c. flour
2 tsp. instant (rapid rise) yeast
1 1/8 c. to 1¼ c. milk or buttermilk, at room temperature

For the filling:

6½ tbsp. sugar
1½ tsp. cinnamon

For the glaze:

4 c. icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
½ – 1 tsp. lemon or orange extract
6 tbsp. to ½ c. warm milk

For the dough, cream together the butter, sugar, and salt together in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Whip in the egg and lemon extract or zest until smooth. Add in the flour, yeast, and milk, and mix on low speed until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook, and increase the mixer speed to medium, mixing until the dough is silky and supple, tacky, but not sticky. You may need to add small amounts of flour or water to get the dough to the proper consistency.

Lightly oil a large bowl, and transfer the dough to the bowl, turning once to coat. Cover with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours, sometimes longer.

After dough doubles in size, whisk together sugar and cinnamon for filling and set aside. Lightly spray your countertop or a large wooden cutting board with cooking spray. Transfer dough from the bowl to the oiled surface, and sprinkle the top lightly with flour. Roll out the dough gently, being very careful not to roll the dough too thin or too hard, or the dough will become tough. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a large rectangle. The larger the rectangle, the thinner the rolls, and you will get more rolls.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling over the rectangle, and roll into a log, from the long side of the dough rectangle. Keep the dough roll as tight as you can while rolling. With the seam side down, cut into equal sized pieces, thicker for larger and less rolls, thinner for smaller and more rolls.

Place the buns about half an inch apart on the baking sheet, so they are close, but not touching. Leave to proof at room temperature about 75-90 minutes, until they have nearly doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the rolls for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool the rolls on the pan for 10 minutes. While rolls are baking and cooling, prepare the glaze. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, then add the warm milk to the sugar a few tablespoons at a time, whisking briskly. Add in the vanilla and the orange or lemon extract. Add more milk as needed, as when finished, the glaze should be a smooth, thick paste. Drizzle the glaze over the slightly cooled rolls, and allow to cool for about 15-20 minutes longer before serving.