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So some of my friends on Facebook give me grief because I talk about what I’m cooking/baking/making on any given day.  It makes them hungry, they protest.  I don’t mean to make them suffer, but a good portion of what I do during the day is prepare things for my family to eat.  Let’s face it – I either do this and juggle my other responsibilities, or we end up eating out.  And I don’t have budgetary discretion to do that.  So I make tasty and healthy things in my own kitchen & reflect upon them online.

Whatever.

Recently, I was poking around for a whole wheat cinnamon roll recipe, and I came across one on The Fresh Loaf, an online site dedicated to amateur and artisan bread makers.  I’m not terribly familiar with TFL, but I learned something by trial-and-error:  if there are no comments under a recipe, don’t try it.  I learned the hard way – I found a whole wheat cinnamon roll recipe that had no comments, but only after making it did I realize why there were no comments:  no one had made it and/or it was a problematic recipe.  Live & learn.  I wanted to share an ooey-gooey cinnamon roll recipe, because these were *really* good, but I couldn’t share the dough recipe I used, because it was a pain.  There were precious little directions for anyone who used cracked wheat flour or who wanted to use a Kitchen Aid or automatic bread maker (ABM).  And the dough was not as pliable as it needed to be.

So I decided to share my regular bread recipe, which I use for bread, rolls, and cinnamon rolls and include the cream cheese frosting recipe, which is part of what made these rolls so good.  The recipe isn’t hard – even if you’re afraid of making bread, you CAN make this and have it turn out well.

Sue’s Whole Wheat Bread Recipe (for loaves, rolls, or cinnamon rolls)

1 c. hot tap water
1 T. coconut, palm, or olive oil (liquified, if appropriate)
3½ T. honey or agave nectar
3½ T. yogurt, kefir, or sour cream
1½ t. kosher salt
3 T. vital wheat gluten
1½ T. white vinegar
¼ c. potato flakes (or substitute water in which you’ve cooked potatoes for the 1 c. of water at the top of the recipe)

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Place the ingredients above in the mixing bowl of a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, mixing with a dough-hook on speed 2 until well-incorporated (about 3 minutes).

In a separate bowl, mix:
13½ – 18 oz. (dry weight) whole wheat flour
1½ T. SAF yeast
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With the mixer on speed 2 (only – you will burn out your motor if you use a higher speed), add the dry ingredients to the wet by the spoonful. The flour amount varies, based on the humidity of the day; during the summer, I average the whole 18 ounces and during the winter I typically use about 15½ ounces.

Once the dough-lump has formed, allow the mixer to knead on speed 2 for 12 minutes. You’ll know it’s the right time to let it knead when you hear a “swish-swish” of the dough-lump and the flour in the mixing bowl. When the dough is done kneading, you’ll have a very smooth, uniform lump with no discernible wheat “texture” to it. Roll the dough in oil to lubricate it, put it in a warm area to double in bulk, which takes about 1 hour.

Once the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down and begin the process of rolling it out.  The idea is to get the dough roughly in a rectangle-shape, about a quarter-inch thick.  You’re rolling out the dough, for sure, but also squeezing out the air bubbles that formed during the first rise.  Once you’ve done that, you’ll want the ingredients below at the ready:

½ c. butter, softened
1 c. brown sugar
2 T. cinnamon
a pinch of sea salt
2/3 c. raisins or currants
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Spread the butter on the dough rectangle (add more if you need it, the half-cup is a general guideline).  Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together, along with the sea salt.  Spread this generously all over the buttered dough.  Sprinkle the raisins (and nuts, if desired) on top of that and press them in gently to the mixture on the dough.  The raisins will likely move a bit when you roll the dough up, but that’s okay.  One thing I did this time was use “baking raisins” from SunMaid (I think I paid $.09 for each package at Kroger) – they are moister than normal raisins and really bake up well.  If you want moister raisins without a specialty product, you can boil your raisins in a small saucepan for 5 minutes and achieve similar results. 😉

Now you’re ready to roll your dough up.  Keep your roll as tight and even as possible, moving consistently until it’s all rolled up.  Pinch the seam to the body of the rolled dough and use a serrated knife to cut ½ to ¾ inch slices.  Place the slices in a baking dish and allow the rolls to rise in a warm area for at least 30 minutes.  While your rolls are rising, preheat your oven to 350°F.  When the rolls have risen, place the pan in the middle of the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

While the rolls are baking, whip up a batch of my Fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting.  Allow the rolls to cool for 10 minutes before slathering them in cream-cheese frosting.  Enjoy!  :)

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  • http://www.outofdebtagain.com Mrs. Accountability

    Although I’m currently not eating gluten or grains, these look and sound delicious. I am bookmarking to try one day in the future. I think it’s great that you share your recipes, and while I can understand the temptation, at least you are making good food for your family that isn’t full of processed ingredients and chemicals.
    .-= Mrs. Accountability´s last blog ..Write Your Checks Correctly =-.