okay, I could cry. I have tried so many cinnamon roll recipes since I began milling my own flour and have been so disappointed. They have been too dense, not fluffy enough, tough and not super soft. It has been so sad. Mostly because cinnamon rolls are my Sunday breakfast tradition during harvest season. I make a bunch and freeze them, and pull them out every Saturday night, let them thaw overnight, and warm them in the morning with some bacon or sausage. So its been disappointing. I have used the pioneer woman's cinnamon roll recipe since college and it just didn't translate well with fresh milled whole wheat flour. BUT I CRACKED THE CODE! You wouldn't believe the ingredient that saved this tradition...potatoes and potato water. The extra starch makes them so soft, so fluffy, and so delicious. This idea came to me from a friend whose grandmother makes her cinnamon rolls with potatoes and potato water. She had a lot of great things to say about them and it made me think this may be exactly what the dough needs to stay soft and fluffy. AND IT WORKED! Here is the recipe! You must plan ahead though, this recipe takes like 2.5-3 hours, but only like 30 minutes of active time.
But also if you like a cream cheese frosting, you can make your favorite one. I'm very partial to the pioneer woman's icing recipe and its basically the same recipe BUT I use heavy cream instead of milk because I find that the cream adds more creaminess and softness to the rolls.
Perfect Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls
18 cinnamon rolls
3/4 cup warm potato water (the water from boiling potatoes, but not hot it will kill your yeast)
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/3 cup sugar
4 1/2 cups of fresh milled wheat berries (2 cups hard white, 1 cup hard red)
1 cup puréed mashed potatoes ( about 4 Yukon gold or 1 russet, no seasonings)
1 1/2 tsp salt
6 tbs unsalted melted butter
6 tbs unsalted melted butter
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 tbs cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp maple extract
2 tbs strong coffee
2 tbs melted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt
Peel and dice potato, and bring to a boil. Cook until tender. Take the potatoes and blend them to a puree. They have to be very smooth. Reserve the water and measure out 3/4 cup. Let it cool to room temperature, I pop it in my fridge a few minutes. While it's cooling, mill the wheat berries on the finest grind you can.
I think a mixer dose the best job to knead the dough, so use a dough hook. Add the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, salt, mashed potatoes, eggs, and melted butter to the mixing bowl.
Once your potato water is cooled, no hotter than 115 degrees, add 1 tsp sugar, and sprinkle the yeast on top give it a stir and wait a few minutes to activate the yeast. It will get foamy and bubble up.
Start the mixer and let it begin to mix the ingredients together and slowly pour in the yeast mixtures. Let the dough knead for 5-8 minutes. Leave it in the bowl, and cover for 1 hour to let it rise. It will double in size.
Flour your work surface. Dump out the dough, flour the top of it to keep from sticking. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about a 1/4 inch thick. Melt the butter for your filling and brush the dough. Sprinkle the coconut sugar and cinnamon all over it. Roll it up. Slice them about 1 inch thick. I put them in 2 - 9 inch square pans, 9 cinnamon rolls in each. Cover and let rise another hour. If you have a drawer warmer, put it on the lowest heat, and cover them for about 30 minutes for a second rise.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20-25 minutes in the middle baking rack.
Make the icing by just mixing the ingredients together, and pour it over the cinnamon rolls when they are hot!
Eat one pan and you can totally freeze the other! Or if you have a big family, just enjoy them all at once.
I made these the night before, and we had them for breakfast the next morning. They were just as soft and tender and perfect as they were the night before.
Hope you enjoy!
P.s. here’s a video of the process!