Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

One of the many reasons I love coming home is my momma and her cooking. It’s really just out-of-this-world. And, in celebration of her birthday this week, the Smith clan is getting together for a little Sunday hoo-ha I like to call BRUNCH- a fantastic phenomenon that allows one to combine two meals into one gigantic food coma. And no brunch-induced food coma is complete without cinnamon rolls, yes?

I absolutely adore cinnamon rolls. Especially when they’re warm and oozing that brown sugary goodness (I’m a sucker for sweet, gooey things). Some of my fondest memories take place at the kitchen table, biting into the very middle- that hub of sweet heavenly cinnamon nectar- and realizing that life probably doesn’t get any better than your mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls. 
Quite easy too. I had a star of a time kneading, rolling, spreading, and baking all this bread. I bet my grip strength increased by at least 47% 5 billion after I was done.
And for all those who gave up sweet and indulgent things for lent, don’t you fret. It’d be a lenten crime not to try these!
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls
Yield- 14 rolls          Prep Time: 30 minutes         Bake Time: 20 minutes
For the dough:
1 cup homemade buttermilk (1 cup of any milk + 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
1 packet instant yeast
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (plus more for kneading)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons pumpkin puree (any other “thick” puree will work just fine)
For the filling: 
2.5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1. Mix together buttermilk and set aside. 
2. In a large bowl,  combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cinnamon.
3. Warm milk for about 40 seconds in the microwave. Stir in yeast. 
5. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add milk, pumpkin, and mix. Dough will be fairly sticky.
6. Transfer dough to a floured surface. Knead dough for about 8 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding flour as necessary. 
7. Form dough into a ball. Cover and set in a warm place to rise for 20 minutes. 
8. Meanwhile, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Melt butter and place in a separate bowl. 
9. Remove dough and roll in a rectangle, about 1/4-1/2 an inch thick. 
10. Spread the butter liberally across the top of the dough, leaving a 1/2 an inch wide margin across the top. Sprinkle with buttered area with cinnamon and sugar. Lightly wet the empty margin with water (this will help hold the roll together) 
11. Starting from the end nearest to you, roll the dough “hot dog” style tightly towards the other end. 
12. Slice the roll into 1 inch thick strips. 
13. Grease a 9×9 baking dish and line rolls in pan, face up. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for one hour (or overnight if desired). 
14. When you’re ready to bake your cinnamon rolls, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake cinnamon buns for about 20 minutes. Top with powdered sugar glaze if desired!
Powdered Sugar Glaze
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
dash of vanilla
Mix ingredients together. Spread on tops of rolls after baking. 

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