I have a theory…
Cinnamon rolls, like pizza, are enjoyable even when imperfect.
These sourdough einkorn cinnamon rolls, however, are better than just enjoyable. They are soft, fragrant, and beautiful — plus naturally fermented and made with the ancient wheat (einkorn) for additional nutrients and easier digestion.
What is Einkorn, Anyway?
Einkorn is a 5,000 year old variety of wheat that many find easier to digest than modern wheat (it has gentler gluten and less and gentler starch). Yet it's a bit tricky to figure out how to use because it behaves differently. You can skip the learning curve by using tried and true recipes like this one, and…
…be sure to grab Wardee's AMAZING no-knead einkorn bread recipe! It's FREE, easy, and healthy, and takes only 15 minutes of hands-on time!
And soon your family will be saying: “This is the best bread EVER!”
About This Recipe
With the addition of butter, this einkorn dough is less sticky and more manageable than usual. I even use this dough for baking other tasties — like pies and pirogi (Russian stuffed pastries).
This recipe is my tried-and-true favorite. I bake it regularly for my family or guests.
You will need a standup mixer with a dough hook attachment, a flat surface for rolling out the dough, a rolling pin, and a cookie sheet.
Makes 16 cinnamon rolls.
- ⅓ cup water (80ml)
- 2 tablespoons active sourdough starter
- ⅔ cup all-purpose einkorn flour (80g) + 3½ cups all-purpose einkorn flour (440g) + more for dusting
- 1 cup warm milk (245g)
- ½ cup evaporated cane juice (100g)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 tablespoons softened butter (55g)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Whisk water and sourdough starter until frothy.
- Add ⅔ cup all-purpose einkorn flour.
- Mix with a spoon until combined.
- Leave covered at room temperature until bubbly and airy. This could take anywhere from 3 to 4 hours, to 6 to 7 hours. It depends on your kitchen temperature, starter activity, and type of starter (whole grain and rye ferment more quickly).
- Once fermented, add warm milk to the bowl of a standup mixer.
- Add starter dough.
- Whisk until combined.
- Add 3½ cups all-purpose einkorn flour. I use a medium sieve to sift it straight into the bowl.
- Add sugar and salt.
- Fit mixer with dough hook, and knead gently until everything is just combined. The dough will look dry and might be crumbly.
- Let rest for 20 to 30 minutes. During this time (called autolyse by bakers), the dough hydrates, becoming softer and more workable.
- Turn mixer on low speed.
- Add softened butter one piece at a time.
- Knead for about 10 minutes.
- Let the dough rest at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
- Transfer dough to refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours. This cold fermentation keeps the dough from getting sour. Einkorn's simpler structure and high mineral content causes it to ferment more quickly than most other grains.
- Bring the dough to room temperature.
- Dust work surface generously with flour.
- Turn the dough onto surface, and knead it into a ball.
- Roll it out to make a rectangular shape. The size isn't that important -- you can stretch it later -- but I aim for about the size of 2 large cutting boards. The dough will want to spring back at first, but keep rolling and it will stretch nicely.
- To make the filling, combine all filling ingredients in a small bowl.
- Spread mixture on top of the dough.
- Fold dough in half.
- Cut dough longitudinally into 16 strips. I cut the dough in half, then each part in half again, and so on, until I get 16.
- Twist each strip and roll, tucking the ends underneath.
- Put rolls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Let rest again for 1 to 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
- Brush the rolls with beaten egg.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden.
*I call this recipe sourdough but perhaps it is better called naturally leavened. I don't let it get too sour. Milk and butter both prevent sourness, as well as the addition of salt early on. Refrigeration also controls the level of sourness.
*If you prefer, cut more strips to make smaller rolls.
*Substitute ground cardamom for cinnamon and almonds for pecans in the filling -- and enjoy a lovely variation of Swedish cardamom rolls!
Have you ever made sourdough einkorn cinnamon rolls? What is your favorite tried-and-true sourdough recipe?
This recipe was also featured in our Traditionally Prepared Einkorn Goodies round-up!
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