Sunday, February 7, 2010

Wholewheat stone ground organic cinnamon buns with dried cranberry and walnuts

This post is an ongoing editorial of angst.  I drool enviously over the breads made by artisan bread makers, lusting after the dark chewy textures.  Recently I realized my bread making is stuck in a rut.  Sure these look good and taste good, made with the right ingredients but I want to trap my own yeast and culture a starter that isn't made with store bought yeast. 

The School of Artisan Food based in the heart of the Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, is set to take it's first students in September 2010 for the Foundation Degree in Artisan Food, a 2 year diploma program. The emphasis is on foods that ferment; bread, cheese, beer, diary and charcuterie. While that would be an marvelous experience I'll need to take another route.

I begin with the very talented Susan at yeastspotting who has mentored a league of her own, sharing her knowledge so kindly.  I started my quest with; water + flour = yeast, a very detailed set of instructions, thank you very much Susan.

It all went well for awhile but something went wrong so I had to resort back to my tried and true method, for now.  Here is my recipe for sweet dough. I use our local Anita's organic stone ground wholewheat and organic unbleached white flour.

1 c warm water
1T sugar
2T regular yeast

In a small bowl add the warm water, dissolve the sugar and stir in the yeast.  Let set until foamy, about 10 to 15 minutes.

3 c milk or water and milk combination, scald
1/3 c to 1/2 c butter or coconut oil
1/4 c to 1/2 c  pure cane sugar
2 large eggs, organic free run
1 1/2  t  sea salt
4 c wholewheat flour
4 c  unbleached white flour, approximately

In a large bowl whisk hot milk, butter, sugar, and salt together to melt butter and cool to warm before adding eggs.  Whisk in yeast mixture and add the wholewheat flour changing to a large wooden spoon.  Work in enough unbleached flour until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Turn out onto a floured surface.  Knead 8 to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.  Wash the bowl and butter or oil the bowl well and roll the dough to cover with oil or butter.  Cover with cloth and let stand in warm spot.  When it has doubled punch down to let air out and butter top.  Let rise again to double.


1/2 c butter
1 c packed organic dark brown sugar
2 - 3 T ground cinnamon
1/2 c dried cranberries, soaked and drained well
1/2 c raisins or currents
1/2 c chopped raw walnuts

glaze for pans
1/4 c butter
1 c dark organic brown sugar
12 raw walnut halves, optional

Preheat oven to 375 F
Butter 2 large heavy baking pans or 2 glass cake pans, this is a large batch.  Sprinkle brown sugar on bottom of pan and distribute the walnut halves if using.  

On a large floured surface roll out the dough making sure to keep the surface underneath well floured. Roll a large rectangle to 1/4 thick.  Spread soft butter, sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon, then cranberries, raisins and walnuts.  Roll the long side in tightly.  Cut into 1 inch slices and place cut side down 1/4 inch apart.  Cover with tea towel until double in size.  Bake in oven on middle rack for 20 to 25 minutes until browned and firm.

Have a large cooling rack ready and another baking pan to turn the buns out onto right away.  Flip out onto rack with sticky side up until cool.



go be delicious xx


lostpastremembered said...

Nice buns!! That was a cheap shot... email me with your address... you won the rose absolute!!!!

powderate said...

So pleased!

I will be sure to share the results of my "celebration of the wild rose tasting plate" in June when the wild rose blooms.

Thank you.

Lee Ann xx

Banu said...

Ooooo..cinnamon buns! How did you know I've been craving them? I may even brave the blizzard to go out and get the ingredients! Thanks!

powderate said...

I haven't posted the recipe, but did want to share the idea and show that big is beautiful. Especially when they are eaten by hungry mountaineers with appetites like bears.

My opinion on cinnamon buns ... is to use lots and lots of cinnamon! People are miserly about powdering the cinnamon on, you want to feel it on your tongue and have the scent permeate your senses. Isn't that why they call them cinnamon buns, they don't call them a-little-bit of-cinnamon buns?

The addition of dried cranberry was to update the recipe for those who just have to change things, for the sake of change. I think the nuts are better roughly chopped,which this time I left whole. The filling tends to fall out when it's too big.

We need you people in NY to send that storm out this way, our winter Olympics are turning green, alright, just not the kind of green we wanted.

Happy tons-of-cinnamon bun baking!

Banu said...

Well, I made a strange version, and I used old yeast, so the dough didn't rise like your beautiful dough (I am not a natural baker), and well, who knows if they'll taste good? But yes, they're nice and cinnnamony, with walnuts, and they're kinda cute, in their tinyness...may blog about it, so you'll see! Yes, we need to send you some SNOW. Yikes, it's totally white outside my window!

Kathleen said...

Beautiful. Who doesn't love cinnamon rolls!

powderate said...


Thank you. Your coconut white chocolate cookie is tantalizing in it's pristine white. Beautiful back at you!

LA xx

Sanura said...

love cinnamon rolls. I won't eat the commercial version, because they're too sweet. One day when I have time...I would love to make a batch.

powderate said...


I loved your blog ...with plenty of common sense and flair.

These buns have organic dark brown sugar, quite a bit is left behind in the pan which I retain for a hard sauce with Lagavulin. l wouldn't eat these too often even if they are whole wheat. I make them for the lean and mean eating machines, for which I'm not!

lostpastremembered said...

I knew I had met a kindred spirit... I just read that you make a hard sauce with Lagavulin. I use that too!!! I love the peat and smoke and make the best pot pie ever with it (it's good in chocolate too!!!).

Justin said...

wow, yum. i've never been brave enough to try making cinnamon buns at home.

Mel- said...

*paws at screen* :) I wish to wake up to that every morning.

powderate said...

Deana... Lagavulin makes for a decadent syrup all right. Your addition to pot pie is a dish one could beg for.

Thank you again for introducing me to rose absolute. I will be sure to use it sparingly and will revel my guests with the story.

powderate said...

With courage you played in pink stilling a woman's heart with that sweet show of pink, from the hand that holds the book you wrote love.

powderate said...

Melody... enjoy these grilled with maple syrup poached bacon.
Hope you had a great time with your family celebrating the Lunar New Year.
I'm a rooster and act like one much to often. Mornings where made for us.

Sarah said...

powderate - the stars are on the Foodista website. If you follow the instructions at the end of the competition post here

It explains how to do it.

Thanks for voting!

PS Those buns look AMAZING!

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Debinhawaii said...

These cinnamon rolls are positively delectable! Love that they are whole wheat too. ;-)