Saturday, February 13, 2010

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

whole wheat cinnamon rolls















“I love your color scheme! Happy Valentine’s Day!” This stranger may be as close as I get to a Valentine this year, a man who cupped his hands around his mouth to yell from across 5th Avenue in Brooklyn, and comment on my everyday brown coat, deep red leather gloves, and maroon patterned purse I was carrying while accomplishing Saturday’s errands. I was doing the usual grocery shopping, taking the requisite weekend trip to my neighborhood antique store, and to the Brooklyn Flea, on the perennial search for the elusive metal (or mirrored Deco) desk, and visiting the hardware store for paint swatches to confirm my suspicions that vivid teal behind my grass green couch is a perfectly acceptable choice, my apartment’s reds and oranges and myriad patterns notwithstanding. If my Valentine’s right, I’ve got a way with color.

Last week New York City was silenced by snow. Juilliard and Marymount canceled classes, so, on my snow day, I made cinnamon rolls. I have been craving the real deal cinnamon roll for a while now, and when I saw these dreamy pictures on a blog I read, out came the mixing bowls, the yeast and the flour. I am a problem baker. This time it was expired yeast, the culprit. Yeast expires? Well, yes, it does. And you used it still? Well, yes, I did. I have conducted an experiment, and now I know: science will not be fooled. If you use expired yeast, your cinnamon rolls will not rise. They will not rise, and the resulting dense, mini-buns may taste all right, but the texture’s nothing to do with the fluffy dreaminess in the pictures.

But I don’t care about those failed buns anymore; I’ve already moved on. There’s a pork shoulder roast in my refrigerator, waiting to be brined, that holds my heart’s affection. Tomorrow I am making indoor pulled pork barbeque, North Carolina style, and I know the day of brining, slow pork cooking, cabbage slaw making, and barbeque sauce marinating will put to rest the bad memories of those difficult cinnamon rolls. Who needs a Valentine when you’ve got a slow-cooked, spicy, pulled-pork sandwich to grip between your fingers and savor between your lips? Aw, yeah...

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Roll Recipe


Note from Banu: I am reluctant to provide my recipe here, since mine didn’t turn out so well, and since I improvised more than simply using old yeast (in the interest of a healthier roll, maple syrup for sugar, walnut oil for butter), it’s possible that there were many factors that led to the rock hard buns. So, that in mind, I am providing the links here and here that I used in my adapted recipe, and from those, perhaps you will be able to make a fluffy cinnamon roll, like the one from my dreams. And, if anyone has a fool-proof recipe (healthyish recipe preferred) for cinnamon rolls, I’d love to hear about it; I'm a staunch believer in giving second chances.

17 comments:

Bo said...

I know how you feel...I had a recent baking blunder myself...
The pulled pork BBQ sandwich sounds good...I hope you can share that recipe!

Banu said...

Bo: yes, of course I'll share the recipe, and hey, I'm curious about your baking blunder...all of your food looks fantastic!

Michelle J said...

It happens to all of us eventually, and to me, regularly. Yeast is a mighty fickle little fungus and sometimes just doesn't want to play fair. Grrr...

On the upside - compliments from a stranger - NICE! :)

Dylan said...

Baking is a tricky beast. They look great though, and I'm a huuuuge sucker for a cinnamon roll.

Chris Ogan said...

Methinks you are too hard on yourself, as usual. These don't look like they were bricks. but perhaps not as light and fluffy as you would have liked. I too know about yeast and its quirkiness. Sometimes I have added more yeast softened into a little water and worked it into the existing little-risen dough. That usually works.
Oh yes, and you do have a great since of color. Go for the teal.
And save me some of the barbecue for next weekend ^_^

Blogging To A Better Bonnie said...

They still look good to me - expired yeast or not ;-).
Stay warm and well.
Looking forward to your next post on the pulled pork.

Chris Ogan said...

Ok, that was "sense" of color. I knew better. . . .

Michelle Stiles said...

Bread can be tricky and really fickle until a tried and true recipe is nailed down.
Speaking of pulled pork... I was having company over to have pulled pork rolls.... on homemade rolls. Rule of thumb: never try to make rolls for the first time with guest coming over. They looked good in the first couple of steps but as I pulled them out of the oven it looked like one big dense blob. Oppps! The pork was great though!

powderate said...

Happy Valentine Banu,

Thank you for calling my buns "dreamy" ... for a newbie food blogger what a thrill.

The wholewheat flour used in mine may be a tad wholesome for some tastes but who can eat that much white flour?

Your cinnamon buns look every bit delicious!

I recently bought pork bellies to try and have been experimenting with my ever present huckleberry ketchup to make a sauerbraten pork broth dipping sauce for a pork burger with portobello mushrooms

Looking forward to your pork post.

Tau-Mu said...

Those pesky yeast. The cinnamon rolls look delish to me, and what ultimately matters is your intrepid curiosity!

Richard said...

Just like my recent blog post stated, I've been single on V-Day 30 straight times. Oh, and I'm 30. Lol. I may wait to try this when I have a woman to entertain in the morningtime, but that looks to be a whiles away! Aww poor me! :( lmao

Velva said...

Oh my, real whole wheat cinnamon buns-Deliciious. A coupleof your buns served up with a really good steaming cup of coffee would be perfect.

btw, the colors in your apartment sound divine. I love eye pop colors.

Stay warm.

Chef E said...

Oh Banu, you are just torturing us with this, and promises of pulled pork...geez I need to go to bed!

Banu said...

Thanks for the empathy, everyone. No, they weren't absolutely terrible, just could have been better.

Michelle: what a funny story - I didn't attempt my own rolls, so was safe.

Powderate: I'd love the recipe, please; they deserved the dreamy comment.

Richard: hang in there! Go make some delicious food! Have some wine! Sounds like you are doing just fine...

powderate said...

I have re-done the cinnamon bun post and added the recipe.

Richard said...

Doing fine is a relative term. ;)

... said...

I totally understand the desire and importance to eat as healthy as possible, but everyone deserves a little butter sometime, Banu! And from what I've read, butter can be a healthy food if it's in a pure form (you know, organic, ideally raw, etc.) I say make the recipe again and load it up with butter... you can eat one or two and pass the rest on to your friends. : )

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