There is nothing quite like a warm cinnamon roll and a hot mug of tea on a cool Saturday morning. We love them – especially my husband and my son who crave them with a passion – but we could do without the mounds of refined flour, hydrogenated fats and white sugar that plague breakfast plates; rather, these cinnamon rolls are mildly sweet and offer a decidedly rustic texture of sprouted grain flour. Dried cranberries with their tart flavor add interest and complement the inclusion of molasses and cinnamon. Like all cinnamon rolls, these are relatively labor intensive so save them for a special occasion: Christmas or Thanksgiving morning, perhaps.
I truly enjoy baking with sprouted grain flours – they have such a beautiful character and lovely, full flavor that we use them to the exclusion of other flours. Initially, I assumed that any sprouted grain baked good would have that sour flavor and dense, chewy texture that you find in commercially available sprouted grain breads like Ezekial.
I was wrong.
Now, don’t misunderstand me. I can appreciate those dense, chewy sour loaves as much as anyone else; however, the versatility of sprouted grain flours far exceeded my initial expectations. Sprouted grain flour is remarkably well-suited to a variety of baked goods – not just bread, but also in cakes, cookies and pastries like these molasses cranberry cinnamon rolls. Aside from its sweet, nutty flavor and charming rustic texture, sprouted grain flour is more nutrient-dense than other flours. Because grains are soaked as part of the sprouting process, sprouted grain flour is well suited to quick breads and other recipes where souring or fermenting dough would be unsuitable.
I chose to omit white sugar in this recipe largely because you simply cannot find it in our home, but also because natural sweeteners such as date sugar and molasses enjoy a richer and more well-rounded flavor than white sugar. Not only are nutrients removed during the processing of refined sugar, but also much of its natural flavors and those nuances of flavor, subtle as they are, can really add up – imparting a fuller flavor to the end dish.
Molasses Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls
- Mix flour, yeast and salt together.
- In a saucepan over low heat, gently combine ¼ cup butter, 1 cup whole milk and ¼ cup molasses until well-blended and heated to blood temperature.
- Combine flour mixture with liquid until well blended.
- Knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding more flour as necessary to prevent sticking.
- Allow the dough to rise until double in bulk. I use an Excalibur dehydrator set to approximately 110 ° F to encourage an even and easy rise.
- When the dough has risen, punch it down and roll it out to a thickness of approximately ½-inch or slightly less.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375 ° F and prepare the filling by melting the remaining ¼ cup butter with cinnamon and date sugar.*
- Once the butter has melted and the cinnamon and date sugar are well-combined, gently spread the filling onto the surface of the dough.
- Sprinkle on cranberries.
- Gently roll the dough into a tube-like shape.
- Cut the roll into 1-inch pieces. You may use a sharp knife for this, but I find that cutting the rolls with a string is more effective and results in a cleaner cut.
- To cut the rolls with string, simply slide a stretch of lightweight string beneath the roll to the approximate place that you wish to make the cut. Next pull up on the string, crossing the ends at the top and pulling. This will slice the roll straight through without mashing it.
- Bake until golden-orange
- Serve with a coconut-honey glaze