Homemade cinnamon rolls and Easter morning go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Easter (the unofficial start of a REAL spring for many of us) is right around the corner, and that means it’s time for the heavier rustic breads to take a back seat and allow lighter fare to come to the forefront.
For many families, Easter morning means cinnamon rolls. Cinnamon rolls are usually made from a soft straight dough. But since I am trying to carry this Sourdough Saturday theme through the whole year, this time I experimented with sourdough rolls. The end result was a little bit heavier roll than usual, but one with that added sourdough tang that sings on the tongue. If fact, I am becoming so enamored with the extra flavor that sourdough imparts that I may never eat a straight bread again – and sliced bread from the grocery store is now like the poor cousin that barely resembles the rest of the family.
Originally this recipe was posted on my personal blog, Hestia’s Kitchen, where you will find additional preparation photos.
Find out how to make your own sourdough starter here.
- 2 cups of sourdough starter
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp plain yogurt
- In a large bowl or stand mixer bowl, combine the sourdough starter, milk, salt, sugar, and egg until well mixed. Add the flour and knead until dough has a satiny sheen; 8-10 minutes by hand, about 5 minutes when using a stand mixer.
- Roll the dough into a 12 x 8 inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter. Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the dough. Distribute the chopped pecans over the cinnamon mixture.
- Roll up the dough from the long side of the rectangle. Slice into one-inch thick rolls.
- Note - I find it's easiest to slice the log in half, and then slice each half in half again. Then slice 3 rolls from each quarter of the log. That way I end up with 12 equal or nearly equal rolls. If I just start slicing willy-nilly from one end, I end up with some huge rolls and some miniature rolls! Maybe you have a better eye. If so, I am jealous. If not, my method works pretty well.
- Place the rolls on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.(At this point they can be placed in the refrigerator overnight and baked the next day.) Remove cover and bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until well-browned.
- Remove rolls from baking pan and let cool on a rack. While the rolls are still hot, combine the powdered sugar, vanilla and yogurt and drizzle over the rolls. Tangy yogurt goes well with the sourdough flavor, but you can also use milk to make the icing if you prefer. Let sit at least 15 minutes before tasting.
As I mentioned above, these rolls had really good flavor. They weren’t cloyingly sweet like some cinnamon rolls, and they didn’t have that cotton-candy texture that store-bought cinnamon rolls seem to have. I’ll definitely make them again.
Just waiting for my rolls to rise. I made my dough in my mixer with the dough paddle & it came together beautifully. It was sticky but I floured my hands well & gave it a quick knead on floured countertop. This dough rolled out beautifully. I like that it is not loaded with sugar & I am crazy about sourdough. Can hardly wait for them to come out of the oven!
Janet, that’s great! I am sure they turned out great. To me, they taste more like old-fashioned cinnamon bread than today’s cinnamon rolls (which are too sweet!).
These were pretty good, but my family and I were disappointed in the texture, too dense and chewy for cinnamon rolls which should be soft and light. I think these might be better with some softened butter added to the dough as I have seen in some other recipes. I will keep looking for the perfect sourdough cinnamon roll recipe.
Pat, you are correct. Adding butter to the dough will help to make it lighter. However, sourdough will always be chewier than a soft straight dough. Personally I dislike the traditional soft dough used in most cinnamon roll recipes. But I also dislike my cinnamon rolls covered in frosting. Obviously most people disagree with me! If you try adding butter let me know how it turns out. Thanks for trying the recipe.
I followed the recipe and my dough was still incredibly sticky and loose. My husband came to fix it by adding a bunch more flour, so we’re waiting for it to proof now. I’m still new to baking bread based things from scratch. Is it just common knowledge to keep adding flour until dough is to the right consistency? If so, I guess I learned that lesson today.
Ahh, practice does make perfect. 🙂 So many things affect how sticky the dough is; how wet your sourdough starter is, the flour you use (every brand of all-purpose flour has a different “make-up”, how humid the environment is, etc. Yes, you do keep adding flour, but this dough should still be a soft dough, just barely workable. Bread making is an art, not just a science. Sounds like you are on the right track!