Friday, July 10, 2009

BBA Challenge #8: Cinnamon Rolls (Whole Wheat)

It's hard to believe I'm already on the 8th recipe in the BBA Challenge. While I've really been enjoying the baking and the eating of all these breads, I'm ready to stop using so much white flour! So, this week, instead of the Cinnamon Rolls recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice I decided to make the whole wheat recipe from a book by the same author, Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads. I've made the BBA recipe before, so I thought it would be fun to try to make them whole wheat.
I started with freshly ground white wheat berries for a softer, lighter taste and texture. The recipe calls for both a biga and a soaker started the night before. This not only improves the texture of the finished loaf but serves to neutralize the phytic acid present in the whole grains, making them more digestible and unlocking nutrients that our bodies need. Instead of milk or buttermilk in my biga and starter I used kefir, since I had a lot on hand. It was a particularly strong batch and contributed a slight sour flavor to the rolls. Next time I think I'll use something other than kefir. The next day I combined the biga and soaker with yeast, salt, less than half cup unbleached flour, an egg, honey, and coconut oil to form a soft and slightly tacky dough.

Here is the dough with cinnamon sugar. Next time I think I'll roll it out a bit thinner than the half inch called for in the book so that I get more swirl.


... and here they are drizzled with a cream cheese and honey glaze.

The verdict? Very good, especially considering they were almost entirely whole wheat. Peregrine said they were the best cinnamon rolls he's ever eaten, but I think it was because I don't normally glaze them. Erik and I enjoyed them as well. I will definitely go back to this recipe next time I make cinnamon rolls. (Which is usually once a year on Pascha (Easter)!) For a healthy version of a very decadent treat, these did not disappoint! I plan to try more of the Whole Grain Breads recipes as the BBA Challenge progresses.
Next up: Cinnamon Raisin Bread.


  1. OH SO NICE! That looks so tasty.
    Great job,

  2. Now this is my kind of bread! I am going to try this...

  3. Those look very yummy. I know what you mean about all the white flour though. One day I will have a grinder and then the whole wheat baking will commence!

    I got to bake bread in a wood-fired oven tonight! I made a sandwich loaf dough but shaped it in boules so there wouldn't be corners to burn. This was only the 2nd time the guy had done bread. The guy usually just uses the oven for pizza parties. The oven was a bit too hot for my loaves so they got a very "European" crust to them but came out a lot better than his first attempt.

    I can't wait to try again.

  4. Anonymous11:10 PM

    try using real Cinnamon in your recipe and reduce on the sugar

  5. So healthy of you. You are a role model for the rest of us BBA sloths!! The buns look so pretty.

  6. This whole bread-making thing is just so ambitious of you, Rebeca!

    Great job!

  7. Anonymous3:09 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. I'm reading through the PR's Whole Grain Breads, and hadn't encountered this one yet. They look amazing! I am going to have to try this one as soon as I find time inbetween all the BBA breads!

  9. Hey there....

    I love our own eggs too...well, technically they really belong to my folks, but soon we will be sharing the chickens when we move up there, but for now, my folks bring me lots of eggs!

    Those rolls look professional! I'm proud of you for sticking with the Bread Challenge.

    I was excited because I recently taught my mother in law to make the bread that I make. It was great, because she is the breadmaker extraordinnaire, so I was really pleased that she likes my bread!

    Well, take care!


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