Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

Hooray for breakfast!

I have a newfound love of baking yeast breads. Since I am a novice, I have endeavored to master simple breakfast breads that I can stop and start around naptimes and playtimes.  The best thing about yeast is that if you have enough time, it will cooperate with your schedule.  These are things one does not trifle with in their 20’s.  No time. Uncool.  But alas, age brings patience and wisdom and the potential power to unlock the secrets of baking with yeast.  Also possibly enough stress to appreciate working out your anxiety kneading a piece of dough.  I prefer the patience and wisdom approach.

The kids are in love with these cinnamon rolls (unlike our Monkey Bread experiment, which everyone enjoyed making but then refused to eat).  They both give a resounding “YAY” when I tell them we’ll have cinnamon rolls in the morning.  Right now this works because either I am up early with the baby or my husband is up early for work.  If everyone sleeps late, they’ll have to wait a while so the rolls can come to room temp and/or rise before baking.  I dream about these rolls and so have no qualms in saying that in the future, I may very well set an alarm at 5 am so that I can have these delicious and healthy whole wheat cinnamon rolls.

whole wheat cinnamon rolls


MAKES 1 LOAF or 2 Dozen Cinnamon Rolls

If you like, the dough can be made one day, refrigerated overnight, then shaped, proofed, and baked the next day. This recipe also doubles easily.



Enriched Bread Dough

 cup milk

 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into 1/2 inch pieces

 package dry active yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)

cup warm water (110 degrees)

cup sugar

 large eggs

1 1/2
 teaspoons table salt

3 1/4 – 3 3/4
 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or 2 Cups whole wheat flour plus 1 ¾ + all-purpose flour)



cup sugar or brown sugar

1/4 raisins

¼ tsp cloves

½ tsp salt

2 tbsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp butter for brushing



1. For the dough: Heat milk and butter in small saucepan over medium heat until butter melts. Cool to lukewarm (about 110 degrees).

2. Meanwhile, sprinkle yeast over warm water in bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle. Beat in sugar and eggs and mix at low speed to blend. Add salt, lukewarm milk mixture, 2 cups of flour; mix at medium speed until thoroughly blended, about 1 minute. Switch to dough hook attachment. Add 1 1/4 cups flour, and knead at medium-low speed, adding additional flour sparingly if dough sticks to sides of bowl, until dough is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl, about 10 minutes.

3. Turn dough onto work surface. Squeeze dough with a clean dry hand. If dough is sticky, knead in up to 1/2 additional cup flour to form a smooth, soft, elastic dough. Transfer dough to a very lightly oiled large plastic container or bowl. Cover top of container with plastic wrap and let rise until double in size, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. (Ideal rising temperature is 75 degrees.) After rise, punch down center of dough once (can be refrigerated, covered, up to 18 hours). Making sure not to fold or misshape dough, turn it onto unfloured work surface; let dough rest, to relax, about 10 minutes.

4.  Roll out dough in a 10” x 13” rectangle.  Brush with butter.  Sprinkle cinnamon mixture over top leaving ¼” border along the bottom edge.  Tightly roll dough towards you using a bench scraper as needed to prevent sticking.  Pinch edge of cylinder together to seal.

5.  Using a serrated knife, cut rolls beginning in middle of cylinder to make sure they’re even.  Rolls should be 1 ½ inches thick.

6.  Place in greased 8×8 metal baking pan or 9” glass pie plate.  Refrigerate again or let rise until doubled in size (1 ½ hours).

7.  Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until edges are slightly golden.

8.  Drizzle with confectioner’s sugar glaze.


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