sourdough cinnamon rolls

Now that I have an active starter I've been converting some of my favourite bread recipes into sourdough recipes. I thought I'd start with these cinnamon rolls adapted from a Sarah Keiffer recipe. I wasn't sure how much sourdough starter I'd need to use with a sweet enriched dough so I searched the internet and found a suggested figure of 30% starter to flour. I also tweaked the quantity of filling and icing a little bit because I figured you can't have too much of a good thing.

These cinnamon roll always rested overnight in the fridge so they take the same amount of time to prepare as the yeasted version. The only additional step is making sure your starter is bubbly and active and ready to use. I normally feed my starter the night before I prepare the dough so it's ready to go in the morning.

As this was my first time making a sweet roll leavened with sourdough I was a bit concerned the finished rolls might have tasted a bit too sour. I did bake an off cut and without any icing and scant filling, there was a discernable tang but once filled and topped with cream cheese icing, they tasted delicious.

Here's the recipe for you which makes 8 or 9 rolls. For all my recipes I use a 250ml cup and a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60g eggs. My oven is a conventional gas oven so if your oven is fan forced you may need to reduce the oven temperature by 20°C.

Sourdough cinnamon rolls
2 large eggs, at room temperature
50 mls milk warmed to 29°C
30 mls honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
255g plain flour
90g sourdough starter, fed and active
½ tsp salt
75g room temperature unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

50g unsalted butter at room temperature
100g brown sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs almond meal
Pinch salt

30g unsalted butter 
at room temperature
60g cream cheese 
at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
90g icing sugar, sifted
Pinch salt

Place all the wet ingredients into a jug and stir to combine. Place the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer and using a wooden spoon or spatula mix in the wet ingredients. Cover the bowl and sit for 20 minutes.

Add the sourdough starter and salt to the bowl, then using the dough hook, mix for about 5-6 minutes until the dough starts to come together and all clumps have disappeared. The dough should start to pull from the sides of the bowl but it will not completely remove from the bottom. With the mixer on low, add the butter one piece at a time, waiting to add each until the previous is absorbed. When all the butter has been added, increase the speed to medium and beat the butter into the dough until all the little butter pieces are incorporated and the dough is very smooth and elastic - this could take around 8-10 minutes. The dough should feel tacky.

Scrape the dough into a greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Place your fingers or a spatula underneath the dough and gently pull the dough up and fold it back over itself. Turn the bowl and repeat this folding again. Continue 6 to 8 more times, until all the dough has been folded over on itself. Re-cover the bowl with plastic and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat this series of folding 3 more times, for a rise time of 2 hours and a total of 4 foldings. Put the covered bowl into the fridge to thoroughly chill. I normally refrigerate the dough overnight and fill the rolls the following day.

The following day 
mix the filling ingredients in a small bowl to form a smooth paste then set aside. Roll the cold dough out onto a lightly floured work surface to about an 8 x 12 inch rectangle. Using an offset spatula or a butter knife spread the filling over the dough, leaving about a 1-inch (2.5-cm) border along one short side. Starting on the short side covered in filling, tightly roll the dough up into a log until you reach the end that doesn't have any butter or filling. Pinch the clean end of dough to the log to seal closed. Using a serrated knife trim the edges and then cut the dough into 8 or 9 roughly equal pieces.

Grease and line the base of a 9 by 13-inch (23 by 33-cm) pan or a 26cm round pan with baking paper. Place the rolls in the pan and cover with plastic wrap to prove somewhere warm (around 25°C) for 2 to 3 hours until increased in size by at least 50%. The dough will relax and puff up during this time. They're ready to bake when the dough feels very soft and light—give the dough additional time to prove if necessary.

While the rolls are proving, preheat the oven to 180°C, conventional. Bake the rolls on the centre rack for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned on top and cooked through in the centre.

While the rolls are baking, make the cream cheese icing. Cream the butter, cream cheese and vanilla together either with a wooden spoon or with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and a pinch of salt and mix until completely combined. 

When the rolls are golden, transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Using an offset spatula or table knife, apply a thin layer of the cream cheese icing, using about one-third of the mixture. Let the rolls cool for another 15 to 20 minutes then top with the rest of the icing and serve.

These rolls didn't last very long. Thankfully I still have one stashed away in the deep freeze for a rainy day. 

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen. 

Bye for now, 


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