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Brown Butter Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls (Whole Wheat)

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

Sourdough is my current obsession. Cinnamon rolls are my forever obsession. A marriage between the two is a match made in heaven: Brown Butter Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls.

Ingredients

  • 5-⅔ ounces, weight Whole Milk, Warmed To 90-100F
  • 1 whole Large Pasture-raised Egg, At Room Temperature
  • 3-¾ ounces, weight Active And Bubbly Sourdough Starter
  • 6-¼ ounces, weight All-purpose Flour
  • 4 ounces, weight Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Grass-fed Butter, Melted
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • FOR THE FILLING:
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Grass-fed Butter
  • ⅓ cups Brown Sugar
  • 6 whole Large Medjool Dates, Pitted And Chopped Finely
  • 3 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • FOR THE FROSTING:
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Grass-fed Butter, At Room Temperature
  • 6 ounces, weight Neufchâtel Or Cream Cheese At Room Temperature
  • ½ cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 pinch Salt

Preparation

Start by making the dough. In a large bowl (ideally of a stand mixer, otherwise you’ll have to knead by hand for a while), combine flours, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. In a small bowl, stir warm milk, butter, egg, and sourdough starter until smooth. Pour the wet into the dry and use the dough hook attachment to mix. Alternatively, you can use a sturdy rubber spatula to mix just until the dough comes together and then transfer it onto a clean and lightly floured surface to knead until smooth and still sticky – it must remain sticky! Shape the dough into a ball, transfer it to a large well-oiled bowl, cover tightly, and let it sit out at room temperature overnight, or for about 8–12 hours.

In the morning, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead again for 2–3 minutes. The dough should be very soft, tender, and pretty sticky. Shape it into a ball again, cover lightly with a clean towel, and let it rest while you brown the butter.

In a small nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and stir continuously as it begins to foam. It’ll turn to a dark yellow as the foam subsides and then an amber color. Turn the heat off at this point and let the butter finish browning for one more minute. Transfer the browned butter to a small bowl to cool completely. Meanwhile, remove the pits and finely chop the dates, and grease a 8-inch pie pan or cake pan with butter.

Roll the dough out into a 14×16 rectangle, or as close to that as possible. Brush the browned butter over the surface, reaching all the way to the edges. Sprinkle the cinnamon, brown sugar, sea salt, and dates over the top. Carefully pick up one of the long edges of the rectangle and roll it tightly over to the other side. Tuck back in any of the filling that slips out. Starting in the center and working your way out to each of the edges, use a sharp knife to lightly mark 8 even rolls.

For best results when cutting the rolls, I like to use a thin thread of twine or unflavored dental floss. Simply slide the string under the rolls, pull each end up and in, and squeeze to slice the 8 rolls where you’ve marked. Transfer these to the baking dish of your choice, cover, and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350ºF and bake for 22–24 minutes. The edges will be golden brown and the center will be slightly more pale. They should be just soft to the touch and give a little bit when poked. Cool them completely in the baking dish to finish baking.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat on high until smooth and fluffy. Remove the cinnamon rolls from the pan once they’ve cooled and spread a spoonful (or 3) of frosting over the ones you plan to serve and eat immediately. Leave leftovers unfrosted, and store the frosting and rolls in separate airtight containers in the fridge. The rolls will last for a week and are best when reheated in the microwave for 30–40 seconds. The frosting will last for a couple months! It’s good on everything.

Enjoy!

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