Cinnamon rolls. Even the word makes me hungry. Whoever first came up with the idea of rolling out dough on a floured counter and then dusting it with that delightful mixture of cinnamon and sugar deserves a monument. I enjoy every moment of the cinnamon-roll process. The mixing, the kneading, the rolling, the sprinkling. But I especially enjoy taking a clean serrated knife to the long log of dough and cutting my rolls.
I’ve been craving cinnamon rolls for months now. I’ll see one at a coffee shop and think, “I really want a cinnamon roll…but just not that one.” Because let’s be honest: the best cinnamon rolls are the straight-out-of-the-oven cinnamon rolls. The best cinnamon rolls are the ones your dad makes, or your friend makes, or the ones you make. Cinnamon rolls are just one of those baked good best made at home.
These cinnamon rolls are made with whole wheat flour and coconut sugar. They’re wholesome and indulgent. The best of both worlds. The coconut sugar adds another layer of complexity, and the whole wheat flour is hardly noticeable thanks to the addition of potato flakes. This dough is easy to work with, rises beautifully, and bakes to a lovely golden brown. I know we’ll be making these over and over again this fall.
Cinnamon Rolls (whole wheat and coconut sugar)
1 packet instant yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup lukewarm whole milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
3 tablespoons coconut sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons milk, to brush on dough
Vanilla Glaze (optional):
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 to 5 tablespoons heavy cream
Combine the yeast, the lukewarm water, the lukewarm milk, the flours, the butter, the sugar, the salt, and the potato flakes. Mix and knead everything together–by hand or mixer–till you have a smooth dough. This will take about seven minutes if you are kneading with your stnad mixer. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise till it has nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours.
While the dough is rising, grease two nine-inch cake pans. Make the filling by combining the coconut sugar and cinnamon.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface and pat it into a 16″ x 12″ rectangle. Brush the dough with the two teaspoons of milk and sprinkle the filling over the dough, covering the entire surface. Roll the dough into a log the long way. It will stretch to about 20″ as you roll.
Using a serrated knife, slice the log into 16 slices. Space eight rolls in each of the prepared pans. Flatten them slightly. Cover the pans and let them rise for an additional 1 1/2 to 2 hours. They should spread out and start to crowd each other. While the rolls are rising, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the rolls until they’re golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove the rolls from the oven, loosen their edges with a knife, and turn pan onto a rack. Spread with icing (simply combine powdered sugar with vanilla and cream) and serve.