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Nothing beats the taste of fluffy, soft, and yummy 100% whole wheat cinnamon rolls right out of the oven. I've been making this recipe for over 15 years, and every time I serve them at parties or family gatherings I get asked for the recipe--without fail!
I was always a big fan of Cinnabon and traditional cinnamon rolls made at home until I tried this recipe. Once I did, I was convinced I would never again use white flour to make cinnamon rolls. It is that good! Don't get me wrong--I use white flour in many of my recipes, but the taste of these yummy 100% cinnamon rolls does not compare to its traditional counterpart. They are hearty, light, and with the right amount of sweetness. I love how the flavor of white whole wheat flour comes through without being too "wheaty" or overwhelming.
Are these 100% whole wheat cinnamon rolls difficult to make?
I wouldn't say they are hard to make, but it does take some practice to work with 100% whole wheat dough.
First of all, when making your 100% whole wheat cinnamon roll dough using your Bosch Universal Bread Mixer, it is important to add the right amount of flour. If you are a whole wheat bread baker, you know how it goes--you continue to add whole wheat flour until the dough starts to come off the sides and bottom of your bowl.
Well, with this roll recipe, it is a bit different. You'll add your freshly ground whole wheat flour one cup at a time until the sides start to pull from the sides. It'll be tempting to add more flour as the dough will still look pretty wet--but if you do, you will end up with 100% whole wheat cinnamon rolls that are heavy and not fluffy at all. They will still have a good taste, but the lightness and fluffiness of the dough are what make them so yummy!
Also, when working with 100% whole wheat dough, your hands and countertop need to be oiled. As I said before, 100% whole wheat flour is very sticky, and when rolling out this dough and working with it, you don't want it to stick to your hands or your working surface. Trust me, I've tried to cut corners before and have regretted it! So, get a dab of oil and rub it on your hands and countertop where you'll be flattening your dough. It is worth it!
Equipment and accessories needed:
Ready for the recipe? Here you go!
- About 12 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour (white hard wheat)
- 1/2 cup powdered milk or buttermilk powder
- 2/3 cup vital wheat gluten OR 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup potato flour
- 5 TBSP SAF Instant yeast
- 3 TBSP dough enhancer
- 6 cups warm water (about 115 degrees)
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup honey
- 4 large eggs
- 2 1/2 TBSP salt
- 2 cups brown sugar OR 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 TBSP cinnamon
- Split into two parts (for spreading on dough).
- Mix ingredients well with a hand-held mixer. Add milk little by little to thin out frosting if too thick.
- 1 pkg cream cheese (8 oz)
- 1 stick butter (8 TBSP)
- 2 lb powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 1/4 cup milk
- To the Bosch Universal mixer, add about seven cups of whole wheat flour and the next five ingredients. Mix thoroughly so the buttermilk does not form lumps.
- Add the water, oil, and honey. Mix for 2-3 minutes, cover, and allow to sponge until the dough doubles in size.
- Add the eggs and salt and mix well.
- On speed 1, continue to add whole wheat flour until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and never picks up the bottom. The dough will be sticky!
- Knead on speed 1 for 5-6 minutes or until the gluten develops.
- Split your dough into two parts. Take one part and roll it out into a large rectangle, spread it with 2-3 TBSP melted butter, and add half of the sugar/cinnamon mixture, spreading it with your hands all over your dough.
- Roll up jelly-roll style starting on the long side. Use dental floss to cut rolls about 2 inches thick.
- Now repeat the previous two steps with the leftover dough.
- Place them on parchment-lined cookie sheets about 1/2 inch apart, cover them, and let them rise until double (about an hour). Bake them at 350 F for 20 minutes (use the slightly lower rack in your oven as they may start to brown too quickly) or until slightly golden.
- Frost them while still warm.
Here are the amounts for half the recipe:
1/4 cup buttermilk powder, 1/4 cup potato flour, 1/3 cup vital wheat gluten, 3 TBSP SAF yeast, 3 TBSP dough enhancer, 3 cups warm water, 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup canola oil, 2 large eggs, 1 TBSP + 1/4 tsp salt. Make only half of the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Yield: 15-20 large cinnamon rolls or about 40 small ones (If making them small, split the dough in half and split your half cinnamon/sugar mixture into two parts. Baking time will be less if smaller--remove from the oven when they barely start to brown.