Saturday, November 08, 2008

Whole Wheat Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls for Elle

A few weeks ago I noticed one of my first blogging friends, Elle over at Feeding My Enthusiasms had started to bake bread with her brand new sourdough starter. I can't tell you how thrilled I am when I notice my blogging friends getting excited about baking with sourdough. There is nothing more satisfying, in my very humble opinion, than growing a starter and then making bread and other goodies with it.

One of the type of baking that doesn't seem to be obvious to most sourdough bakers is that tangy starter is just as much fun to bake sweet goodies with as it is to bake savory breads. That tang of the starter gives a nice contrast to the sweet in most bar cookies, quick breakfast breads, and sweet rolls.

When I got back into the kitchen last week, I was tasked with pulling out all my starters from my fridge and giving everyone a good feeding. Some of my starters, like Herman, hadn't been fed in three months and poor Gertrude, my sweet sourdough starter, hadn't seen any baking action in over six months!

After I checked on my family of starters to make sure everyone was bubbling away happy (they all were fine), I divided Gertrude into half with the intention of not only baking with her but baking whole wheat with her. This meant that I had to first take the starter to a whole wheat starter. I did this by changing the flour type from all purpose to wheat over three days of two times a day feedings. The first two feedings were half all purpose and half wheat flour and then the last two days were all whole wheat flour.

Then I was ready to bake with my new whole wheat sweet sourdough starter and what better recipe to start with than making my sourdough cinnamon roll recipe whole wheat? It was pretty easy actually, I substituted all but 1 1/2 cups of the bread flour with whole wheat flour.

I loved how these came out.

Sour Dough Cinnamon Roll: Whole Wheat for Blog

They had the same sweet and tang of the original but had a nice chewy texture and the combination of the whole wheat and cinnamon made a for a hearty goodness. I'm looking forward to making these again very soon. Maybe I'll do a nut roll this time!

Whole Wheat Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Breadchick's Whole Wheat Sourdough Sweet Rolls

Prep Time: 2 Days

This recipe results in 15 - 20 good sized rolls or 30 - 40 small rolls with a tangy sweet taste. You can top them with any type of frosting.

For Dough:
1 Cup whole wheat sourdough starter
3/4 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 Tsp. salt
1 1/2 Cup warm water (80 - 85 Degrees)
1 1/2 Cup bread flour
5 to 6 1/2 Cup whole wheat flour (depending on stiffness of batter, hold back 1/4 cup)

For Filling:

1 Cup Sugar
4 tbsp. Cinnamon (or to taste)
2 tsp Cardamom (0ptional)
1/4 Cup water (to brush on rolled out dough)

Making The Sponge: Combine the starter, the water and one half the flour (without 1/2 Cup held back in reserve) in a large glass or plastic bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for at least 3 hours or until almost tripled.

Making The Sweet Dough: Mix the sugar and salt together in small bowl. Stir down the sponge and add the oil and 1/2 the sugar/salt mixture to the sponge. Stir well until all the oil is almost absorbed by the dough. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix well until the dough is smooth. Add the rest of the sugar/salt mixture and all the bread flour and one cup of the whole wheat flour and mix well until combined fully. You may need to switch to hand mixing here if your dough is starting stiffen or if your standing mixer is starting to strain, switch to the dough attachment.

Add remaining flour (without 1/4 Cup held back in reserve). At this point you may find you have to use your hands to combine this flour. Dough should feel sticky but stiff. If the dough feels too loose or wet, add the 1/2 Cup of flour you held back held back slowly until dough feels right. (Depending on the dough, you may need to add more flour). Mix well by hand until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will still be slightly sticky. Resist the temptation to add more flour as this will result in tough rolls.

Place dough in a very large buttered glass or plastic bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 8 - 12 hours or until at least doubled or almost tripled.

Form The Rolls: Divide the dough into 2 halves and cover the half not being worked with plastic wrap and return to bowl. Turn the half of dough you are working with onto a floured surface for rolling and form into rough rectangle. Begin rolling dough out to form 15" x 6" rectangle that is about 1/2" thick. If dough springs back as your rolling use your hand to press into rectangle and roll out slowly. You will depress air pockets out of dough and the dough will be slightly resistant to rolling.

You may also have to let dough "rest" and relax between some rolls for a minute or two. Be patient, dough will relax. Also, be careful to not overwork the dough or add too much flour as you are rolling.

When you have dough rolled out, brush dough with water; not too much or the sweet roll will "fall apart" during last rise. Just enough for filling to cling to dough. Generously sprinkle the filling from one long edge to the other, leaving about 1/4" of one long edge free of filling. Roll the dough slowly to form a long "roll". Pay attention to keeping "ends" of the roll as even as possible, working the ends to be even is necessary until all that is left to roll is the 1/4" long edge border without filling. Brush water or an egg white wash on this 1/4" and seal the roll; gently pinching the roll to seal if necessary.

Using dental floss, cut the long roll into 1 1/2" - 2" sections and place in well buttered 13" x 9" glass baking dish.

Repeat method with remaining dough. (You may need to also use a second baking dish)

Cover baking dish with plastic wrap and let rise 8 - 12 hours or until rolls are almost doubled.

Baking: Bake Rolls at 350 Degrees for 45 minutes or until internal temperature of roll is 190 degrees. Let completely cool (1 to 2 hours) and frost.

Don't try and halve this recipe. If it makes too many rolls for you, just bake them and freeze them without frosting them. When you want a roll, take a few out of the freezer, let them come to room temperature, pop them in the microwave for a 20 seconds and then frost them.