Friday, September 18, 2009

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls


Yeah... whole wheat, what can I say about it? It's good for you. It's hearty. It's got that... well, wheat flavor. It's unmistakable. To be honest with you I prefer regular pasta to whole wheat pasta... I do like some whole wheat/whole grain breads but there is just something about a chewy, soft piece of bread. Even if it's a crusty baguette, I'm going to prefer the "white". There I said it. I like the unhealthy stuff in this case. DH however loves whole wheat pasta, dense whole wheat breads, you name it. So, what's a girl to do? Take these cinnamon rolls. The last time I made them I made them with unbleached all purpose flour. YUM. Like better than cinnabon yum. Soft, chewy, but it had structure and a good bite to it. DH said they were too "soft". I love this recipe, the potatoes give the roll the soft texture I like. SO I thought I would experiment with it a bit and make it whole wheat, but maybe a whole wheat that I would like. The result? Still yummy, not soft potato roll soft though. They have a little more substance to them than the all purpose flour ones. Which is what DH likes about whole wheat. They are not dry and tough though, the potatoes help with that. All in all I think they are a great compromise, even if DH says he prefers no potato at all. *sigh* opposites attract right?



This recipe is adapted from a Bon Appetit magazine recipe.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 cups water
1/2 cup butter- 1 stick
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
** optional- 4 oz soft cream cheese to roll into the dough**

Filling-
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
(Optional chopped walnuts or pecans)

Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
7 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
2-3 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Dough-
Peel and cube the potatoes. Boil them with the 2 cups of water and salt. Boil until very tender/mushy.






Once the potatoes are tender, mash them and add the butter.







Add one cup of whole wheat flour and stir.







Stir in the eggs, one at a time. Incorporating well each time.

Set aside.





In the bowl of a stand mixer proof the yeast with 1/2 cup of warm water and sugar for ten minutes.







Add the flour/potato mixture to the yeast and beat well, 2 minutes.
Add the rest of the flours one cup at time and mix well. Transfer the flour onto a well floured work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed. I added almost 2 cups. (I also did this with the dough hook on my stand mixer. I have a professional 6 quart so I work the motor pretty hard).


Place the dough in a well buttered bowl and cover it to rise for an hour. (I left the dough in my mixer bowl, covered it and let it rise that way)





In the meantime mix the ingredients for the filling and set aside.







Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Once the dough has risen roll it out onto a floured work surface. I couldn't find my rolling pin :-). This is old school, my mom and I used to use glass bottles to roll dough out when I was little. **If you like cream cheese get 4 oz of soft cream cheese, spread it on the rolled dough then fold it into thirds by taking the two long sides and folding it into the middle. Then fold that into thirds from the long way. Perhaps I should get pictures of this, next time** Once the cream cheese is folded in, roll the dough out again.


Once the dough is about 24x16 inches you can spread the filling on it.






Roll the starting from one long side to enclose the filling.

Cut the log into rolls using a sharp knife dipped in flour. I usually cut the log in the middle and then the two halves in the middle and so on. I got 19 rolls this time, one extra cut.



Transfer the rolls onto a baking sheet 3/4 inches apart or baking dish- I nestle them in there. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes.






Once risen, bake for 18-20 minutes.







Let the rolls rest for 5 minutes before glazing them.








I put the extra rolls in disposable cake tins, covered them and put them in the freezer before the second rise. That way I can take them out, let them rise the second time and bake any time I want them.





To make the glaze whisk the ingredients and thin out with milk as needed. If you are concerned about lumps in the glaze you can sift the powdered sugar first.





Pour the glaze over the rolls, it will start to melt into them.







Here is a roll made with bleached all purpose flour.

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