Cinnamon Rolls and Coconut-Walnut Rolls

This was the first time I made a yeast dough using whole wheat pastry flour instead of bread flour or all purpose flour. I looked it up online first and everything I found said that because whole wheat flour has a lower gluten content than bread flour, it shouldn't be used in yeast doughs. Apparently if you do this, the devil comes to get you and your buns don't rise. Pfft. I really wanted to make them with whole wheat pastry flour, so I just added a little vital wheat gluten to the recipe to make up for the lower gluten content and it worked perfectly. The devil didn't come to get me, and my rolls rose just fine! They are a bit heavier than white-flour rolls, but they are delicious.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

For the dough:

4 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
2 tbsp of vital wheat gluten
1/2 tsp of salt
2 1/2 tsp of active dry yeast (1 package)
2 tbsp of sugar
2 cups to 2 1/2 cups of water, at 110 degrees F

1. In a small bowl, combine the water, sugar, and yeast and let it sit for a few minutes until the yeast becomes foamy.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat gluten, and salt. Stir in the yeast mixture and mix until a soft dough forms.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until smooth. Cover and let it rise for about 45 minutes. You can help the dough rise by letting it rise somewhere warm - but not hot or it will kill the yeast!

4. After the dough rises, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out into a one inch thick rectangle (about 10 x 14 inches, roughly). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Make the gooey cinnamon filling:
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 tbsp of softened Earth Balance (or another vegan buttery spread)
1 tbsp of cinnamon

5. Brush the softened Earth Balance on the surface of the dough. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the dough. Leave an inch of dough free of sugar all around the rectangle.

6. Carefully roll up the dough and use a sharp serrated knife to cut the roll into 1 inch thick slices.

7. Place the rolls on the prepared baking sheet leaving about one inch of space between each one. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F about halfway through the rising time.

8. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush some soy milk on the top of each roll to keep them nice and soft.

Optional: Melt one tablespoon of Earth Balance and stir in powder sugar and soy milk until you get a soft, creamy frosting. Drizzle over the hot rolls.

Coconut-Walnut Rolls

I wanted to make two different kinds of rolls with the same dough, so I split the dough in half just after the first rise. Then I made only half of the gooey cinnamon filling to spread on only one of the halves. On the other half, I brushed on a mixture of 2 tbsp of softened Earth Balance and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract, then sprinkled 1/4 cup of white sugar, 1/2 cup of shredded coconut, and a handful of chopped walnuts all over the butter. When they came out of the oven and after they had cooled down for a few minutes, I drizzled some melted chocolate on top. They were good, but I think next time I'll use brown sugar for the coconut ones too. It makes them more gooey!

(I challenge you to find a blog post that features the word "gooey" more times than this one)


  1. Cinnamon Rolls and Coconut-Walnut Buns???!?!?! Oh my, too much deliciousness in this one post!! :0)

  2. They look stunning! Perfect for breakfast. Hold on... I'm coming right over ;o)

  3. Both kind of buns look totally delicious! I must make the coconut-walnut buns.
    I do a lot of yeast baking with whole wheat flour, but in Germany we have only one type of whole wheat flour. It always comes out great.

  4. Wow, these look so professional! Sometimes breaking the rules and doing things your way certainly pays off.

  5. Stop posting, because me and Savanah cannot keep up with you, so just stop it.

    Funny story. We have a pit-bull-Shar Pei mix we got from the pound in 2005. But she is such a baby. Well, when she gets up in my daughters bed to nap she can curl up really tiny, and my son has nick-named her the Cinnamon Roll when she assumes that position.

    Not food related but cute all the same!

  6. Thanks for the awesomely kind comments, everyone!:)

    I'm thinking these don't necessarily have to be sweet rolls. Next time I think I'll try something like "pizza rolls" or something to that effect!

  7. OMG! Those look to die for! I must make cinnamon rolls asap! Love your blog :)

  8. I always use whole wheat pastry flour, even with yeast. And I've never had a problem with rising. I don't even use vital wheat gluten when I use yeast.

    In fact, whole wheat pastry flour even worked when I was using a weekly sourdough starter a while back.

    I think it's just the man trying to get us down and make us eat their evil white refined flour.

  9. I love cooking/baking, and those brownies me and my mom tired are so kick-A it's not funny. I love cinnamon buns, the second I saw that oh-so lovely picture, I knew I just had to make them. Thanks for all your recipes!

    oh and the corn dogs are better than then morning star's. I'll never go back to those again!

  10. Thank you lovely ladies! :)

    Savanah, you and your mom are such cool people! I told her that you guys remind me of the Gilmore Girls! I'm so glad you liked the brownies and the corn dogs! :)

  11. ahhhh!!!! lucky you!!! i am so jealous! those look so good!

  12. Do you think I could let these rise overnight? I could do everything else tonight but then I wonder if I could just put them in the pan, cover, and refrigerate...I'm guessing it would just slow down the rising time. I'm too impatient to wait that long in the morning!! =)

  13. drool..... I'm going to have to make these. pooh pooh to those whole wheat pastry flour naysayers!


Post a Comment