This post got an update 1/27/22
I feature Grapewood Farm grain products in this recipe. They give me a discount in exchange for promoting their products, but I only promote companies I highly value.Jump to Recipe
Cinnamon Rolls on our Day of Rest
I have taken some time off from special recipes and creativity in the kitchen since we moved. We kept our old house as a rental property and moved to a new house that is still in Baltimore City. The past month has been full of packing, unpacking, painting, organizing, putting together furniture and traveling to Ikea and Ace Hardware. We have been surviving off of easy to put together recipes that I have in my head.
But finally things have slowed down to the point where we are unpacking just a box or two a day, and we only have two rooms left to paint.
A few weeks ago I listened to an excellent sermon on the reality that God values sabbath rest. After working so hard to move and unpack, this was balm to my soul. So we made a sabbath rest happen, and included special Sunday breakfast to go along with it.
The Blue Dishes
Let me tell you about the blue dishes featured in the top photo. Ever since I was a young girl, I remember seeing these dishes in my Aunt Nancy’s house in Pittsburgh. She kept them in a china closet that was built into the wall. The blue dishes were near the bottom with a glass door in front. I would crouch on the floor and admire them, thinking that someday I might get to use those blue dishes.
A few years ago Aunt Nancy moved from Pittsburgh to Virginia to retire with my parents. She asked me, “Do you want the blue dishes?” “Yes!” I responded. I later found out that she had said to my mom she guessed she would get rid of the blue dishes, and my mom immediately said to give them to me.
They lived in a box in my basement for a year and a half because I had no where to put them and was afraid of breaking them. Then we went to Spain for nine months.
Now we are moved in, and the dishes occupy the top shelf of my cabinet. Eventually we will renovate the kitchen and replace the cabinets with open shelving to display the dishes better. But for now, they come out on Sundays, for our special breakfasts and for our Sabbath dinners. (Update – I’ve since removed the cabinet doors to better display the blue dishes!)
Where I Buy My Flour: Grapewood Farm
I order my flour from Grapewood Farm in Montross, VA. They feature modern and ancient grains and rye flour. It is fairly local to me, and I love the family-owned farm’s mission:
“We believe in the importance of building a healthy, diverse, accessible local food system and we are proud to offer our ‘Virginia Grown, Virginia Ground’ specialty products. It starts with the cultivation of healthy, living soil where we practice certified organic, regenerative techniques to nurture and rebuild the life at the ground level. Then as the grains mature, are harvested, cleaned and packaged we are able to oversee and ensure that the quality is the very best at every step of the way. Finally as millers we are able to craft this unique artisanal flour in small batches every week, preserving its freshness and working with our customers to deliver the finest product tailored to their needs. Together as a family this is our labor of love.” – Grapewood Farm
This is the kind of company I can get behind. Caring for the soil, growing real food, and producing a genuinely good product. My favorite part of it all is that they grind the wheat into flour just before sending it. This means the nutrition is higher than what you might find sitting on grocery store shelves. My family and I go through 10 kg (22 lb) bag of flour in about two to three months. I keep the flour in our chest freezer to preserve the nutrition in the freshly ground wheat, and take out what I plan to use on a weekly basis.
How To Make Naturally Sweetened Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
Now for the recipe. You need an active sourdough starter to make these work. Feed your starter about four hours before you plan to make the dough.
I mixed up the dough the night before I baked these rolls using a combination of Grapewood Farm #90 sifted soft red wheat flour and #50 sifted hard red wheat flour. You can also use a combination of pastry flour and whole wheat flour. By allowing the dough to sit out overnight at room temperature, the dough has time to ferment.
In the morning, continue with the recipe about two hours before you plan to eat them. I added the remaining ingredients and let the dough rest for an hour. Then I rolled out the dough into a flat rectangle. I spread it with a cinnamon, sugar, and butter mixture. I rolled it into a tight log and pinched in the ends. The fun part was using thread (you can also use plain floss) to wrap around and cut off individual rolls. I placed the rolls in the skillet, let them rise for 30 minutes, and baked them.
The resulting cinnamon rolls were flavorful and sweet, without giving me a sugar headache that happens when I eat regular sugar. I very much enjoyed seeing the swirl on top of each roll – no icing was needed.
Other Complementary Brunch Recipes
- Perfect Scrambled Eggs: If you’re feeding a crowd, scrambled eggs pairs nicely with these cinnamon rolls. Add some fresh fruit on the side, and you are good to go.
- How to Make Perfect Pour Over Coffee: Accompany your delicious breakfast/brunch with some really good coffee. I love how bitter, black coffee pairs with sweet cinnamon rolls.
- Autumn Harvest Yogurt: Make these into cute little parfaits for a side dish to round out your brunch.
Thanks for reading, friends! See you next time,
Naturally Sweetened Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
- sourdough starter
- large cast iron skillet is best, but a regular 8" x 8" baking dish works too
- 1/2 cups fed sourdough starter
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups all purpose flour or cake flour I used Grapewood Farm* #90 sifted soft red wheat flour
- 2 cups whole wheat flour I used Grapewood Farm* #50 sifted hard red wheat flour
- 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- The night before you plan to make these, mix together the starter, water, flour, coconut oil, and maple syrup. You can do this up to 24 hours before. Let it rise in an oiled bowl, covered tightly.
- The next day, add the eggs, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Combine well. I used my hands to squeeze the eggs into the dough. It took me about five minutes to really mix it in well. (You can use a Kitchen Aid mixer if you like). Cover the dough (still in the bowl) with a towel and let it rest in a warm place for about an our.
- Mix together the softened butter, cinnamon, and coconut sugar in a separate bowl. Lightly dust the counter with flour. Roll out the dough to be about 1/4 inch thick, in a rough rectangle shape. If you don't have a rolling pin, you can press it down with your hands.
- Spread the cinnamon, sugar, and butter mixture evenly over the rectangle, leaving a slight border at the edges so the sugar doesn't spill out. Roll up the dough, starting at one of the long edges, tightly. Once it's rolled, press the opposite edge in and pinch the ends together, pushing in towards the center a bit.
- Use thread or a piece of plain floss to cut into rolls. Start in the middle of the log. Wind your thread around and pull the opposite ends to cut a roll. You should be able to get 12 rolls out of the log.
- Place rolls in a cast iron skillet or 8 x 8 baking dish. Pour heavy cream evenly over the rolls and let soak in for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake the rolls for 20 – 30 minutes until golden. Let them cool a bit, then try to see if you can only eat one! We couldn't.