Friends, these are the real deal. Light, tender cinnamon rolls made with 100% sprouted whole wheat flour. If you’re skeptical, I understand. The idea of making a decadent treat like cinnamon rolls with whole wheat flour sounds like a good idea, but is it just another healthified cinnamon-swirled brick with icing? Not hardly. That would never fly around here.
Cinnamon rolls speak to the happy place in my husband’s heart so if I am going to mess with his bliss, it has to hit every mark. This wasn’t my first attempt to make a healthier version, but it was the first time 100% whole wheat delivered the taste and texture he was expecting. It was smiles all around and just in time for Christmas baking. 🙂
The soft texture and mild wheat flavor of white whole wheat flour is the key. Well, it’s one key. Another is patience. A couple months ago, I dove into Peter Reinhart’s Bread Revolution cookbook and I’ve been studying … and baking. I’ve also been busy teaching bread making classes using the same technique I’m sharing with you in this recipe so you can coax all the potential out of the sprouted flour.
Three Keys to Making the BEST Sprouted Wheat Cinnamon Rolls:
- Sprouted White Whole Wheat Flour. You absolutely can make this recipe with any sprouted whole wheat flour. However, I highly recommend the white wheat variety, which is what I used. White and red wheat have the same levels of nutrition, but white has a sweeter, mild flavor (less wheat-y) and produces a lighter texture in softer baked goods like rolls and pastries.
- Patience. The trick is to be patient during the folding process and allow the flour to absorb the liquid in the recipe—and you may need to let it rise a little longer.
- Resist the urge to to add more flour. The dough is sticky, so you’ll be tempted to overcome the sticky-ness with more flour, but if you do that the finished product will be heavier and dry. Pay close attention to whether it is “holding its shape” as described in the recipe. Once the dough slump is minimal, it’s time to switch from flour to oil. Watch the video here:
As it goes with any bread making, it may take a couple of tries to get the hang of it but it’s worth it to have delicious better-for-you bread at your fingertips. Need help finding sprouted flour? Look for sources just below the recipe.
- 3½ cups sprouted white wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 packet instant dry yeast -- 2¼ teaspoons
- 1 cup whole milk -- heated to 115°F
- ⅓ cup honey
- ¼ cup butter -- plus more for pan
- 1 large egg
- Oil for managing dough
- ½ cup coconut palm sugar -- or brown sugar
- 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup butter -- melted
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter -- soft, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend 2 cups of the flour, salt, and yeast until well mixed. In a small saucepan, heat the milk to 115°F. Add the milk, honey, butter, and egg to the flour mixture and beat on low speed until 1 minute and then on medium speed for another minute until smooth. Scrape down beater and sides of bowl, as needed. Cover the bowl with a towel and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Stir in enough remaining flour on low speed adding ½ cup at a time until the dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl and hold its shape -- it may slump slightly, but is no longer sliding off the beater. The dough will still be sticky and very soft at this point. Continue to mix with a dough hook for 3 minutes.
- Using your hand, spread 2 tablespoons of oil on a clean counter or work surface in a 12 to 15 inch circle. Scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl onto the oiled counter. Once on the counter, the dough should hold its shape, but still relax a little.
- Using oiled hands, fold the dough over onto itself 4 or 5 times. (A pastry knife can help lift and fold when the dough is sticky.) Cover with a large bowl and allow to rest 5 minutes.
- Repeat the folding process 3 more times with a 5 minute rest, covered with the bowl, in between each session. You will need to oil your hands each time you handle the dough and you should notice the dough becoming more stable as it hydrates with each folding session.
- Remove the dough from the counter and temporarily place in the bowl you used to cover it. Clean the counter with a dough scraper if needed. Spread 2 more tablespoons of oil on the counter in an approximate 12x15-inch rectangle. With oiled hands, press the dough out over the oil then use a rolling pin to roll the dough to an even ½-inch thickness, approximately 12x15-inches.
- In a small bowl, mix the coconut palm sugar and cinnamon. Brush the ¼ cup melted butter evenly over the rolled out dough. Sprinkle evenly with the cinnamon-sugar up to the edge. From the 15-inch side, roll the dough into a tight log; pinch the seam closed. Butter a 9x13-inch pan. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 15 (1-inch slices) slices, placing the slices in the pan about ¼-inch apart. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 to 1½ hours, until doubled in size.
- Place the oven rack to the middle position in the oven and heat oven to 350°F. Remove plastic wrap and bake rolls 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown or an instant read thermometer reads 190°F in the center of the rolls. Immediately remove rolls from pan by placing a cooling rack on top of the pan and flipping the rolls over on the rack. Use another rack to flip the rolls again, right side up. Cool 5 minutes on the rack.
- In a small bowl, stir glaze ingredients until smooth, adding the milk one tablespoon at a time until icing is thin enough to easily spread. Place the icing in a quart size zip-type bag and press toward a bottom corner. Snip the corner with a pair of scissors and squeeze the icing out of the bag to pipe onto the warm rolls. Serve warm.
More notes: Rolls can be frozen once completely cooled and iced. Defrost, then cover with foil and gently warm in the oven at 350°F for 15 minutes. Otherwise, leave uncovered and warm individual rolls a microwave for 20 seconds.
Why Sprouted Wheat?
- Sprouting naturally manufactures vitamin C, increases vitamin B, carotene levels, and minerals.
- Sprouting initiates the digestion process, breaking down the complex sugars, which make digestion easier and the vitamins and minerals more bio-available.
- Sprouting neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and reduces phytic acid (an anti-nutrient) that inhibits absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc.
- Sprouted wheat is NOT gluten free. However, because of its lower starch content, some people who have been on a gluten-free diet due to gluten sensitivity have been able to eat sprouted flour.
Where do you get Sprouted Wheat Flour?
I have used a wide variety of sprouted wheat flour and encourage you to keep in mind they are all different. Some absorb moisture more quickly, some are more finely ground, and as I mentioned, there is a difference in flavor between the red and white varieties. They also vary in price primarily due to shipping. As this time, prices start around $2.47 per pound and go up from there, but there’s more to the story than the price. It is the shipping costs that can bite so look for shipping discounts or free shipping for the best deal. This is not an exhaustive list of sources, just the suppliers and brands I have experience using and can personally recommend—they are all organic and Non-GMO. Feel free to post any questions in the comments.
Thrive Market (online only) — Their sprouted white wheat flour brand has become my new favorite. It has the silkiest, most finely ground texture of any I’ve tried, which makes beautiful cinnamon rolls like these. It is only available through Thrive Market, a membership community for purchasing health food and natural products at wholesale prices. They offer a free 30-day membership trial and you can cancel any time. Annual membership is $59.95 and they guarantee your annual membership will pay for itself in savings. FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $49 and their sprouted wheat flour is among the lowest priced.
To Your Health Flour Company (online & in-store) — I have used a variety of sprouted flours from this company and love the fact I can choose from so many. To Your Health offers sprouted white wheat flour on their site as well as on Amazon—the price (and shipping) is consistent on both. Their flour is also finely ground and I have had great results every time I’ve used it. If there is anything that makes me pause it’s the shipping costs, however, they have been on the shelves at Whole Foods Market from time to time, so I always check when I’m there. You can check out a brief tour of their plant on The Kitchn.
One Degree Organic Foods (online & in-store) has a great small farm story and I’ve had great results with their flours too. They also offer a nice variety of sprouted grain flours, including ancient grains like khorasan (Kamut). White wheat flour is not part of their product line at this time, but their red wheat flour is superb. You can find their sprouted whole wheat flour on the shelves at Whole Foods Market or online at Amazon, which usually has shipping deals making online ordering the better way to go.
One more thought on price—the investment in your health when buying sprouted flour will always cost more than refined all-purpose flour, but that’s a good thing. Why is that good? Because it is a helpful reminder that even healthier carbs should still be a small part of your overall diet, especially when butter icing is involved. 😉
More recipes made with sprouted wheat:
Apple Walnut Bread
Parmesan Sprouted Wheat Bagels
Pioneer Woman’s Sloppy Joes & Caramelized Onion Sprouted Wheat Buns Recipe
Sprouted Wheat Burger Buns
Sprouted Wheat French Bread
“Sprouted” Wheat Banana Spice Bread [Soaked Method]
Sprouted Light Rye Sandwich Buns
Soaked-Wheat Dinner Rolls
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