Monday, May 17, 2010

Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

Lately my kids have complained that I am too grumpy & busy and don't do anything remotely fun with them. 

I don't know about you - but I just can't take it when they pull at my heart-strings like that! The weather has been completely uncooperative lately. It has been either too wet or too warm to do anything outdoors. So I did what I always do: got both the kids in the kitchen, presented them with lumps of cinnamon-roll dough and told them to take a go at it. 

Now there's no way to make a cinnamon roll healthy. I've tried & failed. The best I could do was to try and find a recipe using whole-wheat flour so I could feel all virtuous & dupe myself into believing that I came up with a 'healthy' version of this sinful treat. 

I stumbled across a great blog that had a recipe for Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Rolls. It was just what I wanted, except I tweaked the frosting a little bit because I just could not resist. Can you blame me? These are Cinnamon Rolls we are talking about: what's the point of being cautious or counting carbs and calories when you've gone as far enough as making them?

This recipe makes many, many cinnamon rolls. I didn't count but I can safely say I made at least 3-dozen and had to send 3/4th of those to my husbands workplace the next day because there was no way I was going to let them sit around and be tempted to scarf down a few every couple of hours.

Because they were that good. 

For the purpose of taking these photos, I thickened the frosting a little by adding more confectioners sugar but, otherwise, I made it thinner and when I drizzled it over the warm rolls it melted into them and made the rolls gooey and sticky & deliciously soft (but not pretty!). 

Here's the recipe: 

Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Rolls
adapted from Heavenly Homemakers

For the rolls:
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons yeast
2 teaspoons honey
2.5 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
4 teaspoons fleur de sel
8 cups whole wheat flour

For the filling:
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup granulated white sugar +1.5 tbsp ground cinnamon
For the frosting

approx. 3-4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
1/8 tsp salt

To make the dough:

Mix 1 cup warm water and 2tbsp yeast & 2 tsp honey in a large bowl. Stir and let sit for 5 mins. 

Melt a stick of butter in a large saucepan and add the 1/2 cup of honey, fleur de seul and 2.5 cups of milk. Bring to about 120F and then remove from heat and pour over the yeast mixture and stir. 

Stir in the flour, 2 cups at a time. Turn everything out on a floured surface and knead well for 10 minutes. I divided the dough in two & let the kids punch the heck out of their respective balls of dough before covering them and leaving them to rise for 1.5 hours. 

After 1.5 hours, take 1 ball of dough and roll it out into a rectangle on a floured surface. I got a pretty large rectangle and I may have also rolled it out very thin. 

Use a pastry brush to spread half of the melted butter all over the rectangle. My 2 yr old used her pudgy hands to do this & my son sprinkled on  half of the cinnamon and sugar mixture. It was great fun & I only wish I could have taken photos - dark, dungeon kitchen or not. 

Roll up the rectangle - I read somewhere once that the thinner you roll out the dough and the tighter you roll it, the more swirls you get - and so you get  lots more of the cinnamon filling - which is what we were trying to get. Once it is rolled up, pinch sides and cut into 1/2" thick slices. 

Place all the rolls in a lightly greased 9 x 13" pan. Cover with clingfilm and allow to rise for about 1/2 hour while you repeat the process with the remaining dough. 

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. 

Let the rolls cool for 5 mins while you beat together the ingredients for the frosting & then drizzle the frosting all over the warm rolls.

I am also submitting this post to Yeastspotting, a weekly bread showcase at  the Wildyeast blog.


Peanutts said...

yumm looks delish, good idea for getting kids occupied

Sage Trifle said...

I bet they loved that--working in the kitchen with Mom, then eating delicious cinnamon rolls, warm from the oven. Doesn't get much better!

tina_bakes said...

I love cinnamon rolls!! These are one of the things I told myself I'd make since I started baking pretty regularly. A year and a half later still no cinnamon rolls from my oven!!

yours looks utterly soft and goey...are they simple enough to make??

Grapefruit said...

Thanks for all your comments guys. Yes - it was lots of fun for the kids & I'm currently trying to come up with more stuff I can do with them because it helps pass the long afternoons away. .

Tina - these were really easy to make. And very soft too. However I did notice that my 2nd batch (which I baked much later & drizzled with much less icing because my husband insisted on it) was slightly on the drier side. It could have been because there was less gooey icing covering it & seeping in.

Susi said...

You are killing me with those yummy rolls!!! They look amazing and I bet the kids had a blast :o) Oh and I think lots and lots of gooey icing is a requirement for cinnamon rolls, I can't believe your husband didn't know that ;o)

Grapefruit said...

Lol - He said everyone at work is on a diet and no one would touch them if I loaded them with icing.

My Little Space said...

Love cinnamon rolls! This looks fantastic & healthy. Enjoy & have a great time.
Cheers, Kristy

Mollie said...

Mmmm those look good! Cinnamon rolls are one of those extremely sinful things that I try to resist but absolutely LOVE!

Thanks for checking out my blog!

Sweet and Savory said...

Your blog is dangerous. Those are fantastic looking cinnamon rolls. I can only imagine how great they taste. Can you tell they used whole wheat for the flour, in the taste?

All I can say is, "yummy".

Grapefruit said...

Thanks for all your comments, sorry I'm late replying.

Chaya - I couldn't really tell they used whole-wheat, but that's because I sub whole-wheat for plain flour a lot of the time & so any distinction in flavor would go unnoticed by me.


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