Amazing Whole Wheat Cinnamon Buns With Maple Pecan Glaze!

Cinnamon buns are a family favorite around our house. We don’t have them on a regular basis, but when we need a warm, sweet treat I often whip up a batch. I used to make cinnamon buns with, at most, 50% whole wheat flour and 50% white flour. I couldn’t imagine a cinnamon bun tasting good with just whole wheat flour. Until now.  I have had the good fortune of being given a Wondermill Grain Mill. I have tasted the difference and I’ll never go back!

I finally have discovered the secrets to getting 100% whole wheat flour to rise as well as white flour, without any additives. I have been making my own 100% whole wheat sandwich bread for years now and have been employing secret number 1. It is quite simple, really: you soak half the flour in the liquid the recipe calls for, for half and hour (or more). This helps release the gluten from the whole wheat and enables it to rise beautifully. Secret number one is vital. Secret number two is the icing on the cake.

My children eat the bread dough raw from the bowl. I remember doing that when I was young, and loving it. Now, as an adult, I actually don’t enjoy the flavour of raw bread dough. There is a bitterness to it that I don’t remember being there when I was a kid. When I received my grain mill from Wondermill I expected a difference, for sure. How could there not be a difference between flour that was milled who knows how long ago, and flour that was milled minutes ago? What I didn’t expect was that the bitterness I was tasting in the raw dough would disappear completely. That bitterness, then, must have been a slight rancidity that is in previously milled whole wheat flour. The freshly milled flour contained none of that bitterness. This could only make the bread taste better! And so, secret number two is the freshly milled flour.

When I received the Wondermill I decided I would attempt 100% whole wheat flour cinnamon buns. I began playing around with my recipe, and quite frankly, I have created THE perfect whole wheat cinnamon recipe for you. It is sweet, moist, tender and full of whole grain flavour without any bitterness. They rise like white flour, they have the nutty flavour of whole grains, and they are soft and incomparable. I am in love! And you will be too.

100% Whole Wheat Cinnamon Buns
Makes 2 batches, or one can be made into a bread loaf.

Ingredients

  • 8 c. freshly milled whole wheat flour, divided into 3 cup and 5 cup portions.
  • 2 c. warm water
  • 1/3 c. plus 1 tbsp. honey, divided.
  • 1/3 c. butter
  • 1 tbsp. yeast
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 egg

Cinnamon bun filling (per pan of buns):

  • 2 tbsp. butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 c. demerarra sugar or other dark cane sugar

Glaze (per pan of buns):

  • 1/2 c. maple syrup
  • 1/2 c. butter, melted
  • 1 c. toasted pecans (optional)

Directions:

  1. To make sponge add yeast to 1/4 c. warm water with 1 tbsp. honey in a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Mix well and set aside.
  2. Add 3 cups flour to 2 cups water. Mix well and set aside.  This is your flour soaking, releasing the gluten.
  3. Melt butter and 1/3 c. honey together and set aside until room temperature.
  4. In half an hour, add yeast mixture to flour mixture and mix well.
  5. Add butter and honey mixture and mix well.
  6. Add salt, egg and remaining flour (one cup at a time) and mix well.
  7. Once dough is of the right consistency (neither wet nor dry but tacky) kneed dough for 10 minutes.
  8. Set dough aside in a large bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and allow to double in size. (1-2 hours).
  9. When dough is doubled, kneed it briefly, divide into two, then roll out onto floured counter top.

For cinnamon bun filling:

  1. Spread butter over the dough with your fingers or a pastry brush.
  2. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar evenly over the dough.  Roll dough up and pinch closed.  Slice into evenly sized buns
  3. Place buns in greased baking dish with a small bit of space around each bun. Cover with a damp tea towel.
  4. Allow to rise until doubled in size: 1 hour or so.
  5. Once buns have doubled in size, bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

For glaze:

  1. Melt butter and maple syrup together.
  2. Toast pecans in oven on broil for a few minutes, until lightly toasted. WATCH CAREFULLY! It is really easy to burn them on broil!
  3. Add toasted pecans to butter and syrup.
  4. Drizzle liberally over the cinnamon buns.
  5. Serve warm!

Lip Balm Recipes: Honey Vanilla, Chocolate Chip Mint and Sweet Almond.

Most commercial lip balms contain petroleum products, artificial colors and flavours, and are loaded with preservatives.  Applying these to your lips is as good as eating these ingredients.  Thankfully, lip balm is simple and cheap to make.  You can make it with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, or at the very least, that you can find fairly easily in natural foods stores.  With pure, all natural ingredients these lip balms are effective and safe, and they make fantastic little gifts!

Choosing your oils

You can use any cooking oil you like.  Some have better qualities than others.  Choose one with little or no fragrance unless you love the fragrance.  Good ones include olive oil, grape seed oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, sweet almond oil etc.  You can use any of these oils instead of the ones in the recipe.  They will all work well.  You can also use herb-infused oils such as chamomile or calendula to create a very soothing, calming product.

Choosing your butters

Butters are oils that are solid at room temperature.  (Except coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature but classified as an oil, not a butter).  Butters are loaded with enriching qualities.  Cocoa butter, shea butter and mango butter are great choices for lip balms and other body products.  Cocoa butter is probably the easiest to find.  You can substitute any of the butters with each other.

Beeswax

Beeswax is necessary to solidify the product.  If you are vegan you can try substituting carnauba wax for beeswax, but you will need some kind of wax in the balm.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is moisturizing and has antioxidant qualities.  It is also added as a natural preservative.  It helps prevent rancidity, and extends the shelf life of the product.  No natural preservatives are as effective as synthetic ones, so use up your products in a matter of months, not years.  Store any products you aren’t currently using in a freezer in a sealed container.  If you don’t want to use vitamin E you can substitute it for rosemary essential oil, which also has natural preservation properties.

Essential Oils

Essential oils can be substituted for others, or left out entirely.  They do have a bit of a natural preservative effect, but if you don’t want fragrance they can be left out.  Do not use citrus essential oils.  Most citrus (and a few others… worth checking out the link) are photo-toxic and should not be worn when you are exposed to the sun.  Peppermint essential oil contains menthol, a natural analgestic which soothes sore, chapped skin.

Extras, such as honey or chocolate chips.

Again, these can be left out entirely.  Honey is great in body products because it attracts moisture.  It is also naturally antibacterial and… it tastes good…  The chocolate chips are added for color and flavour.  I choose organic, all natural ones to maintain the purity of the product.  Do not add ingredients that are water based such as aloe, or rosewater etc.  Introducing water to your product will allow a bacteria-growing medium into your product which you don’t want, and is completely unnecessary for lip balms.

Choose your recipe below, and follow these directions. 

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients except essential oil in a small sauce pan or double boiler and melt, on low heat.   Stir just until melted.  Do not allow the ingredients to boil!
  2. Stir in essential oil.
  3. Pour immediately into lip balm container.
  4. Allow to cool before moving.  Cap and use!  Or gift!

Here are three “tasty” recipes to choose from.

Chocolate Chip Mint

Honey Vanilla

Sweet Almond

Mountain Rose Herbs has exceptional quality, certified organic herbs, spices, essential oils and more.  They maintain a strict emphasis on sustainable agriculture.  I highly recommend them for outstanding quality and service.

Notes:

  • Each recipe fills 2-3 tubes or tubs.
  • You can purchase the lip balm containers at Mountain Rose Herbs.  Search “lip balm containers”.
  • Use up in a few months to avoid the oil from going rancid.

This post has been linked to Homestead Abundance #1Waste Not Want Not #9 and Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #57.