Whole Grain Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

These whole grain Red Fife cinnamon rolls are soft, fluffy and showcase a rich depth of flavour thanks to a little help from your sourdough starter.


Sweet/stiff starter:
25g (2 Tbsp) active starter
25g (2 Tbsp) water
50g (1/3 cup) whole grain Red Fife flour
30g (2 Tbsp) sugar


225g (scant cup) milk
1 large egg +1 yolk 
130g sweet/stiff starter
175g (1 1/4 cups) whole grain Red Fife flour
250g (2 cups) GP flour
55g (1/4 cup) sugar
7g  (1 tsp) salt
56g (1/4 cup) room temperature butter, cut into cubes


1/4 cup melted salted butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1.5 T cinnamon


Cream cheese frosting:
113g (1/2 cup) butter (softened)
125g (half block) cream cheese (room temp)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2-4 Tbsp milk

    The day before - Step 1

    The day before you plan on baking: combine all ingredients for the stiff starter and knead until well mixed. Place in a clear container and let rise for 6-10 hours, or until bubbly and at least doubled in size.

    The night before - Step 2

    Add all dough ingredients to a bowl, except the butter, and mix by hand, or in a stand mixer until well incorporated.

    Leave to rest, covered for 20-30 minutes, then knead in butter, gradually incorporating small chunks at a time (if using stand mixer, use dough hook attachment and wait until each cube of butter is incorporated before adding the next). Dough will be quite sticky - use a bench scraper to clean off countertop if needed.
    Form dough into a ball, and let rest, covered for another 20-30 minutes. Then do one more round of gentle kneading, until a cohesive dough forms.
    Form dough into a ball once again and place into a buttered bowl, rolling dough in bowl so it is lightly greased.
    Cover bowl with plastic wrap or bowl cover (a shower cap works great!) and leave dough to rise at cool room temperature (17-19 degrees) overnight (8-10 hours, less if at a warmer temperature)


    The next morning - Step 3

    Melt the butter for the filling, and combine cinnamon and brown sugar in a small bowl.
    The dough should have visibly risen overnight, but may not have fully doubled in size. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface, lightly dust the dough with flour and roll into a large rectangle, approximately 12"x16", with the long edge facing you

    Step 4

    Carefully pour melted butter over the dough, and spread evenly with a pastry brush, leaving a half inch strip along the far side uncovered. Use any remaining butter to generously grease a glass baking dish.

    Sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over the butter, and then roll the dough, starting at the edge closest to you, until a tight log is formed.

    Step 5

    Ensure the log is seam side down, and approximately 18" in length. Then cut into 12 rounds of even thickness (cut in half, then in half again, then cut each piece into thirds).
    Place rounds into the buttered baking dish and cover. Place in a warm spot (your oven turned OFF, with the light on works great) and allow to rise for 3-4 hours, until nicely risen (nearly doubled in size).

    Step 6

    Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Allow to cool until just slightly warm before frosting.

    Step 7

    While cinnamon buns are cooling, prepare frosting by creaming butter in a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer until fluffy, then add room temperature cream cheese and beat until smooth. Add powdered sugar half a cup at a time, mixing between additions. Depending on your sweetness preference you may only need one cup of sugar. Add in vanilla and salt, then add milk, one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. 

    If serving cinnamon rolls all at once, spread frosting onto the entire tray and serve while warm. If saving some for later, wrap up un-frosted rolls, then re-warm and add frosting just before serving.