Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Times with Polly and Some Nuts

I apologise in advance if this makes you want to eat breakfast again or run out to Cinnabon. DO try this at's great fun to play with dough.

When last we left Polly, our intrepid whole wheat sourdough starter, she was just getting used to being fed with only whole wheat flour. A few days later she was ready to play, so I made some sweet rolls, using the recipe from Breadchick at The Sour Dough. She gave me the idea of making Polly in the first place, so it was fun to try the whole wheat sourdough starter out with her sweet roll recipe. I did use the nut filling from her regular sweet roll recipe because I just love nuts with sweet rolls.

Since the only Daring Baker challenge I've missed was the one where sweet rolls were made, some of this was new territory for me. This was my first time using dental floss the divide the log of filled dough into the rolls. Sorry, no photo of fingers were way too sticky!

The few times that I've made sweet rolls I've had less filling or something because this time it was a real challenge to roll the dough around the filling. Maybe I didn't roll the dough out enough...not sure, but it really didn't matter. The rolls were lovely and Sweetie quite enjoyed them, especially the second pan I baked where I baked them for a shorter time. I think next time I would add some cardamom to offset the natural sweetness of the dough, and maybe a touch of cloves, too.

For the icing I mixed together some hot milk and confectioners sugar for the first batch. For the second batch I added to that some cinnamon and a splash of rum. Both were great, but I liked the rum/cinnamon version best.

Breadchick's Whole Wheat Sourdough Sweet Rolls
Prep Time: 2 Days

This recipe results in 15 - 20 good sized rolls or 30 - 40 small rolls with a tangy sweet taste. You can top them with any type of frosting.

For Dough:
1 Cup whole wheat sourdough starter
3/4 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 Tsp. salt
1 1/2 Cup warm water (80 - 85 Degrees)
1 1/2 Cup bread flour
5 to 6 1/2 Cup whole wheat flour (depending on stiffness of batter, hold back 1/4 cup)

For Filling:
1 Cup Sugar
4 tbsp. Cinnamon (or to taste)
2 tsp Cardamom (0ptional)
1/4 Cup water (to brush on rolled out dough)

Caramel Pecan Rolls Filling:

1 - 1 1/2 C Pecans (lightly toasted and chopped coarsely)
1/2 C. Light Brown Sugar (packed)
1/2 C. Sugar
4 tbsp Cinnamon (or to taste)
1/4 tsp Salt (optional or to taste)
1/4 C. Melted Butter(to brush on rolled out dough)

Making The Sponge: Combine the starter, the water and one half the flour (without 1/2 Cup held back in reserve) in a large glass or plastic bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for at least 3 hours or until almost tripled.

Making The Sweet Dough: Mix the sugar and salt together in small bowl. Stir down the sponge and add the oil and 1/2 the sugar/salt mixture to the sponge. Stir well until all the oil is almost absorbed by the dough. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix well until the dough is smooth. Add the rest of the sugar/salt mixture and all the bread flour and one cup of the whole wheat flour and mix well until combined fully. You may need to switch to hand mixing here if your dough is starting stiffen or if your standing mixer is starting to strain, switch to the dough attachment.

Add remaining flour (without 1/4 Cup held back in reserve). At this point you may find you have to use your hands to combine this flour. Dough should feel sticky but stiff. If the dough feels too loose or wet, add the 1/2 Cup of flour you held back held back slowly until dough feels right. (Depending on the dough, you may need to add more flour). Mix well by hand until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will still be slightly sticky. Resist the temptation to add more flour as this will result in tough rolls.

Place dough in a very large buttered glass or plastic bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 8 - 12 hours or until at least doubled or almost tripled.

Form The Rolls: Divide the dough into 2 halves and cover the half not being worked with plastic wrap and return to bowl. Turn the half of dough you are working with onto a floured surface for rolling and form into rough rectangle. Begin rolling dough out to form 15" x 6" rectangle that is about 1/2" thick. If dough springs back as your rolling use your hand to press into rectangle and roll out slowly. You will depress air pockets out of dough and the dough will be slightly resistant to rolling.

You may also have to let dough "rest" and relax between some rolls for a minute or two. Be patient, dough will relax. Also, be careful to not overwork the dough or add too much flour as you are rolling.

When you have dough rolled out, brush dough with water; not too much or the sweet roll will "fall apart" during last rise. Just enough for filling to cling to dough. Generously sprinkle the filling from one long edge to the other, leaving about 1/4" of one long edge free of filling. Roll the dough slowly to form a long "roll". Pay attention to keeping "ends" of the roll as even as possible, working the ends to be even is necessary until all that is left to roll is the 1/4" long edge border without filling. Brush water or an egg white wash on this 1/4" and seal the roll; gently pinching the roll to seal if necessary.

Using dental floss, cut the long roll into 1 1/2" - 2" sections and place in well buttered 13" x 9" glass baking dish.

Repeat method with remaining dough. (You may need to also use a second baking dish)

Cover baking dish with plastic wrap and let rise 8 - 12 hours or until rolls are almost doubled.

Baking: Bake Rolls at 350 Degrees for 45 minutes or until internal temperature of roll is 190 degrees. Let completely cool (1 to 2 hours) and frost.

Don't try and halve this recipe. If it makes too many rolls for you, just bake them and freeze them without frosting them. When you want a roll, take a few out of the freezer, let them come to room temperature, pop them in the microwave for a 20 seconds and then frost them.


  1. Drool! They look scrummy and totally indulgant. I want to reach in and eat one with my fingers.

  2. no this makes me want to come over for a cup of coffee and one of these delicious rolls. these were great - think i should do them al over again!!

  3. Anonymous5:43 AM

    WOW! Look at those delicious rolls. Yup, makes me crave a cinnamon roll or a nut roll. Polly sure did a wonderful job and your dental floss cutting skills are more than quite good. Glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  4. Nothing like something sweet from the oven. You are really into the yeasties! Once you find yourself there, it's pretty good.

  5. I am STILL hoping to make these for the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We'll rename them Advent rolls or something and indulge. YUM.

  6. And because they are whole wheat they are good for you and you can eat twice as many.

  7. Yep - these make me want breakfast again!!