A “Lot” Bit Healthier Cinnamon Roll


Healthier Cinnamon Rolls Here is a great recipe for those on your way to transition to more natural eating.  My friend Carol made these for a baby shower, and they were absolutely scrumptious.  She called them “A Little Bit Healthier Cinnamon Roll”, but I am calling them “A Lot Bit Healthier Cinnamon Roll.”  I kept eating them, and then she let me take a plate home!!  She was so generous in sharing this recipe with me and typed this out for me!  It’s fun to observe her personality coming through as she writes.  I only slightly edited this.  Carol wrote so much good information, I asked her if I could post it as a nutritional information post, so be sure to check it out!  There are some great ideas to consider.    Go here to read the post.

A “Lot” Bit Healthier Cinnamon Roll Recipe

  • 10 cups of whole wheat flour (mine was fresh ground very fine and organic white wheat.  You can combine wheat and white for a lighter dough if you don’t grind your own grain)
  • 3 Tbs of SAF fast rising yeast (best price is Cash and Carry stick the rest in the freezer no matter what the books say this does not kill yeast)
  • 1/2 cup local raw honey (as local as you can find it as it carries the immune stimulating properties that support your personal environment)
  • 2/3 cup olive oil ( you can use vegetable oil but olive oil is better for you and sooooo much more flavorful)
  • 4 whole eggs (the fresher the better for baking)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 cups of warm water
  • 1/2 cup dry milk (optional)
  • enough butter or olive oil to cover the rolls
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon (way more than you think)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup of sucanat (or sugar of choice)
  • walnuts, crushed to pieces but not dust
  • optional chocolate nibs (if your in the Marysville area from the new chocolate shop, StRita: nibs are pure chocolate heart of the roasted bean after de-shelling).
  • zest of three large oranges
  • fresh squeezed orange juice from 2 oranges, if you have them, approximately 4 oz. of frozen if not
  • 1 stick of butter
  • some white sugar (either evaporated cane or [gulp] powered sugar or even better, raw honey)
  • 1 T vanilla (real if you can swing it)

The Instructions with Little Tricks:

  • Combine water & oil when I heat it in the microwave. If you can get 130 -135 degrees out of your tap use the tap over the microwave.
  • Mix this well.
  • Place 3 cups of flour and 3 TBS yeast in your mixer and mix these dry ingredients (don’t add the salt quite yet).
  • Now pour your liquid into the dry ingredients, cover your bowl and mix it vigorously. It will be sloppy, soupy, messy and ugly…
  • Keep it covered, and walk away for 20 minutes.  When you return it will be all grown up, much prettier and working (that process was sponging, and it makes the bread lighter).
  • Now add all those eggs and salt, and stir them in.
  • Add the flour one cup at a time while mixing until you are about 9-10 cups.  If your flour is fine & fresh, you will need more than if it is dense and out of a bag. Once it is all mixed.. knead it in your machine for 5-6 minutes.
  • Now here is where it gets tricky…the rule of thumb is to add flour until the dough pulls the sides of the bowl clean.  If you take that too literally, you will be able to make hockey pucks instead of cinnamon rolls.  It should start to pull away, but don’t let it get too dry.  In fact, it is pretty sticky, and you really want it that way.  Trust the oil that you are going to put on your hands to handle it.
  • Clean off your counter top with soap & water (not detergent, cleaner or bleach).  Dry it well, and flour it with a hand full of flour.  Smear it around the counter top.
  • Take your work bowl, and dump all the dough on the counter top.
  • Take off your rings, and pour oil on your hands.
  • Work your dough into a nice smooth mound of dough.
  • Quickly separate the dough into 3 equal sections.
  • Work each section into its own little loaf shape, and then start to stretch it pulling it into a flat rectangle. The longer and flatter the more rounds of filling you get in your cinnamon roll.
  • Once you have it in that rectangle you want, brush it with melted butter or olive oil or a mixture of both….
  • Sprinkle on the cinnamon (no sugar) all over.  Don’t be shy about the cinnamon.  I would probably use a 1/2 cup or more. Its good for you.  It regulate blood sugar and lowers the bad cholesterol.
  • Then take about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of sucanat and sprinkle over the entire surface.  This is your sweetener.  You can substitute any sugar but sucanat is particularly nice in baked goods.
  • Now sprinkle your nuts on…yum. Walnuts good for your heart and full of omega 3’s.
  • Then sprinkle the orange zest.
  • Finally… if you have chocolate nibs (and I hope you do), sprinkle those on.  100% chocolate fresh roasted and unprocessed is not bitter….the flavonoids in the dark chocolate serve as antioxidants which keep your body healthy and young and also act as a natural blood pressure relaxant.  I am not talking about chocolate that is under 70%.  Then I think the sugars & processing negative factor outweighs the positive chocolate effect.
  • Okay, so now roll up your rectangle.
  • For the best uniform roll, cut your dough roll with a thread.  Lay the thread under the roll and pull the threads up and across your hands, and the roll will slice right off, perfect, uncrushed and clean.  Or you can cut them like I do…with a knife.  Then they are definitely homemade looking.
  • Grease a 9×13 pan (or several pans).  Optional: at this point you can sprinkle more cinnamon and sugar on the bottom of the pan.
  • Place the cinnamon rolls on the greased pan.
  • Cover them with a rag, and let them rise a bit.
  • Bake them at 350 degrees for about 18-20 minutes.
  • Stick a fork in the center of the center roll & twist: if it is doughy toss them back in for a bit.
  • While the rolls are in the oven, make the glaze.  Combine orange juice, sugar, soft butter & vanilla.  It should look a little like a drippy frosting, and it might even separate a bit because the butter is not happy about the orange juice. Using honey for the sugar could be an interesting take on it. Nothing is better than honey butter, so honey butter with orange juice…hmmmmm…might be good.
  • When the rolls are directly out of the oven, brush the glaze on them.  Enjoy!!

The Verdict: This will be very different from the cinnamon rolls you buy that are covered with gooped on frosting. Its delicate and significantly less sugar & calories.

Sonja here now: yes, these take some time but not as much as all of the steps may seem.  This is such a great treat once in a while, and worth the work.  Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed reading this recipe; just dive in and try.  Or invite someone to help you, either a friend or someone already living in your home.  I made a 1/2 batch, and still had 2 pans.

On a side note, I LOVE including my kids in what I am doing, and they love to be a part of what we are creating to eat, especially my Abbie girl.  I love the pictures above when you see the little hands!  Those are the little hands God gave me to care for!  The more we can bring our kids along side of us, the more connected we are.

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  1. says

    Hi, I was checking out this recipe & I see that the sucanat for the filling is not included in the ingredient list. I was wondering how the filling could be sweet enough with only cinnamon & orange zest! Just letting you know. I stopped by from Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

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