Sourdough Surprises: Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls


Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls

I love cinnamon rolls, so it with pleasure that I read that this month’s Sourdough Surprises challenge was going to be cinnamon rolls.  Lately, my favorite cinnamon roll has been the Dark and Dangerous Cinnamon Buns from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Book.  I never would have thought that a 100% whole grain cinnamon roll would be good, but they’re great!  I think the whole wheat helps balance out the sweetness of a cinnamon roll.  Since I like this roll so much, I decided to try to convert it instead of using one of the provided inspiration recipes.

To convert my recipe to sourdough, I decided I would use a technique that I read about in a sourdough baking forum.  The idea is to take the liquid from the recipe and mix it with an equal weight of the flour from the recipe and 2 Tbsp. of sourdough starter.  This mixture is left for 12 hours or overnight over which time it should bubble and grow.  The rest of the recipe ingredients are then added to this mixture and the recipe proceeds as usual.

I was eager to start, but I had to wait a little while for the weather to cool down enough to turn on the oven.   All that hot weather was good for local blueberry production though, so I decided to try throwing some blueberries into my cinnamon rolls.  I really enjoyed the result.  I like the little bursts of fruit mixed with the cinnamon and blueberries aren’t too sweet so I didn’t need to adjust the filling in any other way.   Normally, I don’t bother frosting these rolls as they are very good on their own.  However, since these rolls were for “company”, I did fancy them up with the frosting.   The frosting does hide the blueberries though, so they turn out to be a juicy little surprise!

In terms of sourdough, these came out very well.  Other than it taking longer to rise, there was no difference in the dough with the sourdough than with my usual yeast.  The sourdough flavor was actually present in these rolls as well.  I think the overnight sponge may have helped with the flavor.

cinnamon_rolls_uniced cinnamon_roll_iced

Sourdough Surprises: Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
Irresistible whole wheat cinnamon rolls filled with gooey cinnamon and fresh blueberries.
  • Sponge:
  • 1¾ cup (7 oz) whole wheat flour
  • ¾ plus 2 Tbsp. (7oz) lukewarm water
  • 2 Tbsp. 100% hydration sourdough starter
  • Dough:
  • ¼ cup (2 oz) orange juice
  • 5 Tbsp (3.75 oz) honey
  • 1 large egg, separated (reserve the white)
  • 4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick, 2oz) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1¾ cup (7 oz) whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup (1¾ oz) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 Tbsp. (1¼ oz) potato flour
  • ¼ cup (1 oz) nonfat dry milk
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • Filling
  • 1 cup (7½ oz) coconut sugar (or light or dark brown sugar)
  • 1 large egg white (reserved from making the dough)
  • 2 Tbsp. (1/2 oz) ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 heaping cup of fresh blueberries
  • Icing (optional):
  • 2 cups (8 oz) confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp (1 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 or 3 Tbsp. (1 to 1½ oz) milk or cream, enough to make a spreadable icing.
  1. Combine all the sponge ingredients and stir well to combine. Cover loosely and let this mixture sit at room temperature overnight or for 12 hours. The mixture should be puffy and little bubbly.
  2. When the sponge is ready, combine all the dough ingredients and the sponge together. Mix and knead until you have a medium-soft, smooth dough. Cover and let the dough rise until it's puffy, though probably not doubled in bulk. This will take 2-3 hours, depending on the ability of your sourdough starter and the temperature of the room.
  3. Lightly grease a 9"x13" baking pan with butter and set aside.
  4. To make the filling, combine all the filling ingredients except the blueberries in a small bowl, stirring until smooth.
  5. To shape the rolls, gently deflate the dough and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Roll it into a 12"x16" rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 1 inch margin along one long edge. Sprinkle the blueberries evenly over the surface.
  6. Starting with the filling-covered long edge, gently roll the dough into a loose log, turning it so the seam is flat against the work surface. Gently cut the log into 16 pieces using a serrated knife or a strand of waxed dental floss.
  7. Place the rolls in the prepared pan, spacing them evenly. Cover them lightly with greased plastic wrap and allow them to rise for 2-3 hours. They won't double in size, but will become puffy and should barely touch each other.
  8. Near the end of the buns' rise, preheat the oven to 350F.
  9. Bake the buns until they are a deep golden brown on top, 25 to 28 minutes. Remove them from the oven and set the pan on a rack. Let them cool for 3 minutes, then invert them onto a rack. Place another rack on top of the buns, feet side up, and turn the rolls back over onto the 2nd rack.
  10. If using the icing, beat together the sugar, vanilla, butter, salt and 2 Tbsp. of milk or cream in a medium mixing bowl. Beat in additional milk or cream as needed to make the icing spreadable. Spread the icing on the lukewarm buns.
These buns are pretty sweet and I frequently omit the icing. If you want to be able to bake fresh buns first thing in the morning, you can let them rise in the refrigerator overnight instead of letting them rise on the counter for 3 hours. In the morning, take them out of the fridge while you preheat the oven and bake as directed.

Be sure to check out all the other delicious cinnamon rolls baked by the group!


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Sourdough Surprises: Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls — 12 Comments

  1. Oh my gosh, I love that idea for converting a recipe to sourdough – I will absolutely have to try it with something one of these days. And blueberries in your cinnamon rolls sounds outstanding. YUM!! Great job!!

  2. Awesome job! I love the “hidden” blueberries, they would be such a fun treat to find! And so delicious, too! The conversion you shared is an awesome tip, thanks! 🙂 Great job on your cinnamon rolls and thanks for baking with us this month!

  3. Neat idea with the blueberries! I like the conversion idea as I have some favorite dough recipes that I will try when the weather cools off. I agree with you on the icing but they do look nice for company with it on.

  4. That’s a handy conversion trick – much easier than trying to calculate the weight of the flour and water you’re replacing with starter. The rolls look fabulous and I love the addition of blueberries. And 100% whole grain, too! I recently discovered a 100% whole wheat waffle recipe that is wonderful – light and crisp – so I don’t doubt that these are fantastic!

  5. The blueberries look great! I usually make my cinnamon rolls at least half whole wheat, because then I feel less guilty about all the sugar. 🙂

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