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!

The Best Butter Tarts Recipe From Sratch.

My all time favorite treat as a child was butter tarts.  My mom made them at Christmas and I soon learned how to make them for my own family.  There is something about the sweet, chewy raisin centres that are to die for.

 

Crust

(Makes enough for 3 pies so you can freeze what you don’t use, or half the recipe)

  • 4.5 c. white flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
  • 1 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1 lb. butter or lard

Directions for crust:

  1. Mix first 3 ingredients well.
  2. Combine egg, vinegar and 1 c. cold water in a glass measuring cup.  Mix well.
  3. Cut butter or lard into dry mixture with pastry cutter until pieces are pea-sized.
  4. Add water mixture, a bit at a time, while tossing with a fork, until dough will form a ball.
  5. Kneed a few times to make a ball.  Roll out half of the dough to about 1/4 inch thick or thinner, as preferred.  Cut into circles with large round cookie cutter or wide mouth mason lid.
  6. Press dough carefully and evenly into un-greased muffin tin.
  7. Freeze extra dough for another day.

Tart Filling:

  • 1 c. raisins
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 c. melted butter

Directions for filling the tart shells:

  1. Combine and mix tart filling ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Spoon the filling into the tart shells, about 3/4 full.
  3. Bake at 375F for 15-17 min.
  4. Allow to cool in muffin tin for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from tins carefully and cool fully.

This post has been linked to Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest #14.

Homemade whole wheat Pita Bread from scratch. Preservative-free!

Commercial pita bread, along with other bread, wraps and pizza shells, are easy to find in the grocery store.  But they are all loaded with preservatives to keep them fresh and soft.  Pita bread is actually simple to make, and if you want to store it longer than a few days, simply freeze it fresh.  With basic ingredients and a bit of time to allow for this yeast bread to rise, healthy pita bread can be made at home from scratch.

Pita bread is also perfect for quick homemade mini pizzas.  Simply top with your favorite pizza toppings, pop in the oven for a few minutes, and serve!  You can also make pita chips out of pita bread.  Try your hand at cinnamon pita chips by coating with butter, cinnamon and sugar, and then popping in the oven for a few minutes to crisp up.  You can also coat with oil and salt to make a crunchy, savoury chip.  Whatever you choose, homemade is healthier!  Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

2 1/2 tsp. yeast
1.5 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. sugar

2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. salt

1/2 c. cornmeal for dusting the baking sheets.

Directions:

  1. Combine yeast and sugar with warm water in a 2 cup pyrex measuring cup (or a bowl).  Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flours and salt.  Whisk together..
  3. Once yeast mixture is active (bubbly and ‘growing’),  make a “well” in the middle of the flour mixture and add the yeast mixture all at once.  Stir gently with a spatula until it forms a rough ball.  Dump contents on floured counter top and kneed for 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic-feeling.
  4. Place in large, greased bowl.  Flip once so both sides are coated lightly with oil. Cover bowl with damp tea towel and allow to rise until about double, 1 hour or more.
  5. Remove dough from bowl and place on floured counter top.  Kneed for a few minutes.  Divide into 8 equal-sized pieces and shape or roll each into a circle, about 1/8th of an inch thick.  (Like small pizzas).  Let rise on floured counter top for about 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 450F.
  7. Heat pans for ONLY 2 minutes in hot oven and then remove.  Prepare baking sheets by sprinkling cornmeal on top to prevent dough from sticking.
  8. Carefully remove pitas from counter top and place on hot baking sheets that are covered in cornmeal.
  9. Bake at 450F for 6 minutes.  They will bubble up.  Remove from oven and allow to cool enough that you can pick them up and cut open the pocket.
  10. Slide a sharp bread knife inside each pocket to open them up, careful to not rip the pocket.
  11. Cool bread completely under a damp rag to help keep the pockets soft.  Store in airtight container or bread bag.

Notes:

  • Use organic cornmeal (as well as other ingredients) to guarantee they are not genetically-modified.
  • Any pitas that you accidentally rip can be used as pizzas.
  • I have yet to try this with 100% whole wheat flour but that will be my next experiment.  I’ll post it here when I try it.

This post has been shared on Frugally Sustainable’s Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #48.

 

Homemade, Whole Wheat Tortilla Shells. Soft, tasty and preservative-free.

Tacos, fajitas, tortillas, wraps… whatever you call them, they make an easy, quick meal that almost everyone likes, even the pickiest children.  You can stuff them with vegetables, peanut butter and bananas, salmon, beef, chicken, fruit, pretty much anything goes.  You can make them as healthy as you like.  Or can you?  Have you ever read the ingredients of typical soft taco wraps?  Here is an ingredient list for Dempster’s original flour tortillas.

Enriched wheat flour, water, vegetable oil (canola or soybean), salt, sodium acid pyrophosphate, potassium sorbate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium propionate, monoglycerides, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate, fumaric acid, cellulose gum, carrageenan, maltodextrin. May contain sulphites. [K804]

Impressive!  Just want you want to eat, right?  Aside from the soybean oil, I can’t even pronounce the other unacceptable ingredients.    They are pretty much all preservatives.  No wonder they last so long.

I flatly refuse to buy these anymore.  It takes me half an hour or less to make them from scratch.  They taste delicious.  They freeze nicely and store in the fridge as long as bread does.  The ingredients are simple, and now you can really, truly have healthy, safe tortillas.  You can even buy or make tortilla presses which would significantly decrease the amount of time it takes to make them.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. white flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. warm water (may add more to achieve appropriate texture)

Directions

  1. Mix flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
  2. Slowly add water, mixing to combine.  Add extra water by the tbsp. if needed.  Dough will form a ball.  Do not make too wet!
  3. Kneed dough for briefly.
  4. Divide into 8 equal pieces.
  5. With flour on counter and on rolling pin, roll out each piece into a flat, thin circle. Add flour to rolling pin and counter as necessary to prevent dough sticking to counter.
  6. Cook in ungreased frying pan over medium-low heat until one side is just starting to bubble.  Flip and repeat.  Caution: this stage is easy to burn.  Keep heat low and watch carefully!
  7. Serve warm or cold.  Enjoy!

Notes

  • The longer you cook your tortilla the harder (crisper) it will get.  Don’t let it brown or it will be hard to fold!
  • Store in airtight container for the length of time you would store homemade bread.
  • These freeze beautifully!
  • Makes 8 tortillas.
  • Doubles easily.

This recipe has been adapted from Whole Wheat Wraps Recipe.

This post has been shared on Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #32.

 

 

100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread Recipe that rises like white!

I have searched for and tried MANY 100% whole wheat bread recipes.  I have ruined countless loaves, and wasted a lot of flour and money trying to make 100% whole wheat bread.  I have tried adding gluten, lemon juice, citric acid, soy lecithin and more to get nice-rising 100% whole wheat flour.  My family has eaten many a failed loaf.  Eventually, I gave up.  I accepted the “fact” that you cannot make 100% whole wheat flour that rises nicely without using strange ingredients and additives.  I settled for a recipe that was about 70% whole wheat and the rest white flour to make it rise.  The recipe never completely satisfied me though.  It was somewhat crumbly and just didn’t really cut it for a sandwich bread.

My mother-in-law came across a great recipe that made 2 loaves of bread, was made from 100% whole wheat flour, and it rose nicely.   I was very envious, but I didn’t want a 2 loaf recipe, I wanted an 8 loaf recipe.  And I didn’t think you could just straight out double (or quadruple) a bread recipe without using too much yeast/salt.  Since I couldn’t figure out how to double it, I started searching again for a good recipe.  I came across a recipe from Heavenly Homemakers that made 2 loaves, and called for soaking the flour first.  I was intrigued by all the good feedback she received and so I tried it.  I had to add significantly more water to the recipe but I was able to make it rise nicely.  My first success!

I contacted Heavenly Homemakers and she informed me that she had doubled it straight across with good success.  So I tried it and it worked beautifully.  I added some other good stuff like flax, hemp hearts and chia seed, and ended up with a recipe that works perfectly, every time.  I am still excited about it!  (Simple pleasures, you know!)  It makes 4 loaves, and I haven’t tried re-doubling it yet to make 8 but that is my next step.  I don’t want to be baking bread more than once a week.  ** I have now successfully TRIPLED the recipe!  15 loaves in one go!

Today my friend, who swears she has never been able to successfully make a yeast bread, white or otherwise, is visiting.  I had her make the recipe following my instructions.  The bread looks fabulous!

Here is the recipe:

100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
Makes 4 loaves
Ingredients:
  • 12 cups whole wheat flour, divided in 2
  • 1 1/2 cups seeds (optional) (ie. hemp, chia, flax, sunflower, sesame etc)
  • 4 1/2 tsp. yeast
  • 1/2 c. liquid honey plus 1 tbsp.
  • 6 tbsp. butter, melted, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • water (see below for amounts)
Directions:

1.   Soak for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours:

  •       6 cups flour in 5 cups warm water (If you are using freshly ground flour cut back to 4 1/2 cups.)
  •       Up to 1 1/2 cups seeds (optional)
  •       Cover with damp tea towel

Flour/water mixture shouldn’t be watery.  Water should just mix into flour without any excess.
Make sure there is no dry flour.  Add by the tbsp. if needed.

2.   Start sponge (half hour before starting):

  •       in 1/2 c. warm water, gently mix 4 1/2 tsp. yeast and 1 tbsp. honey until just mixed. Set aside.  Do not over-mix.

Sponge should be visibly active: bubbles forming etc. before adding to recipe.

3.   Melt 6 tbsp. butter.  Cool to room temperature.

4.   After flour is soaked and sponge is bubbly add to soaked flour/seed mixture:

  •       melted butter at room temperature
  •       sponge (should be bubbly with yeast obviously active)
  •       If you are adding extra seeds or grains you may need to add up to 1 cup luke warm (not hot!) water ONLY as needed.
  •       1/2 cup liquid honey (not hot!)
  •       2 tsp. salt (sprinkled in)

5.   Mix/ knead in 5-6 cups flour to right consistency.  (Stir in until it is too hard to stir, then dump on lightly floured countertop and knead in.)  Dough should feel pliable and not dry. Sprinkle counter top with small amount of flour as needed to prevent from sticking to the counter.  Knead for 15 minutes.

6.   Place dough in large, greased bowl.  Cover with a damp tea towel.  Place in warm (not hot!) corner on counter top.  Allow to rise until double: up to 2 hours.

 

7.   Remove from bowl, punch down and kneed for 2 minutes.  Divide into 4 even sizes.

8.   Kneed each individual loaf.  Roll with a rolling pin and then roll up dough.  Pinch to make a loaf shape.  Place in greased loaf pan.  Repeat for all 4 loaves.  Cover loaves with damp tea towel.

9.   Allow to rise until double: up to 2 hours.

10. Bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until loaves are lightly browned and smell amazing :).

11.  Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes on wire rack.  Remove from loaf pans and cool completely on wire rack.  Brush tops with butter if desired.  It makes the loaf tops nice and soft.

Notes:

  • Any ingredients added to a bread recipe should not be hotter than luke warm (drop some water on your wrist.  It should feel the same temperature as your wrist) or you may kill the active yeast culture.
  • Bread rising time depends on room temperature, air pressure, altitude etc.  I am located at sea level.
  • Yeast amounts in a bread recipe can vary based on altitude. Click here for an altitude adjustment chart.
  • You can add 3 whole eggs to the ingredients to make the loaf more moist/chewy.
  • Make sure your yeast expiry date hasn’t passed.  Yeast can be too old to work properly.
  • If you aren’t adding extra nuts or seeds then don’t add the extra 1 cup of water unless it feels too dry.
  • I now have TRIPLED this recipe with great success!  I can make 15 loaves at one go :D
  • Click here for a video tutorial on how to knead bread.

Please let me know how this recipe works for you!  Feel free to share the recipe, giving credit where it’s due :).  Enjoy!

This recipe has been linked to Frugally Sustainable’s Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #22, Our Simple Lives: Simple Living Wednesday Link Up, Turning The Clock Back: What’s Cooking WednesdayThe Morris Tribe’s Homesteader Blog Carnival #3, Whole Foods Wednesday #56, Fresh Bread Fridays and The Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesday.

Lemon flax pancakes in coconut oil.

My standard pancake recipe took a twist, a dash and a splash tonight… a twist of lemon, a dash of flax, and a splash of coconut oil.  With fantastic results. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c. white flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp. ground flax
  • 4 tbsp. demerara sugar
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • grated lemon zest from 3/4 of a lemon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • lemon juice from above lemon
  • 4 heaping tbsp. milk powder plus
  • 2 1/8 c. water
  • OR replace milk powder and water with 2 1/8th cup milk, almond milk etc. 
  • 2 tbsp. coconut or olive oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil for frying. 

Directions

  • In a medium bowl combine first 7 ingredients and whisk well. 
  • In second medium bowl mix beaten eggs and lemon juice. 
  • In glass pitcher mix water and milk powder well.  Add to eggs and lemon juice and mix well.
  • Add melted coconut oil or olive oil to wet ingredients and mix well. 
  • Make a well in centre of dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients into dry. 
  • Fold ingredients together just until mixed.  Do not over-mix. 
  • Melt half the second amount of coconut oil in frying pan on medium heat and spread to coat pan.
  • Add pancake batter in 1/4 cup amounts.  Flip pancakes when bubbles break. 
  • Add remaining coconut oil as needed to keep pancakes from sticking to pan.
  • Serve with homemade, canned peaches, homemade peach syrup and homemade yogurt for a fantastic, light meal!  (or anything else you like!)

Makes about 15 pancakes.

This article has been shared on Fat Tuesday: March 20th, and Homestead Barn Hop #54.

Pumpkin flax pancakes from scratch.

Canadian thanksgiving has come and gone.  The turkey is eaten, the pies are done, but the remaining pureed pumpkin sat in the fridge waiting for me to make something with it.  I made pumpkin loaves last week, and so this week I pulled out the pumpkin and made pumpkin flax pancakes.  Easy, quick, fall-flavoured pancakes make everyone happy!  For once, all of my kids ate their lunch.  All of it.  I served it with homemade blueberry syrup, homemade apple sauce and locally-grown apple-pork sausage.  The left over pancakes are great frozen and popped in a toaster for a quick, healthy breakfast, or eaten as snacks with peanut butter and jam on top. 

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c. organic whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. organic white flour
  • 4 tbsp. ground flax
  • 4 tbsp. cane sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice mix (ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice or cloves)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 beaten free range eggs
  • 2 cups goat milk
  • 1 1/2 c. pureed pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. organic canola oil

Directions

  • In a large bowl combine flour, flax, baking powder, baking soda spices and salt.  Whisk well. Set bowl aside.
  • In a separate bowl, combine eggs, milk, pumpkin, vanilla and oil.  Whisk well. 
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and fold to combine.  Do not over-mix.  
  • Ladle onto greased griddle or frying pan.  Cook on medium heat until bubbles have popped. 
  • Flip carefully and cook for another minute or until lightly browned. 
  • Remove from pan and serve hot!
 Notes
  • Add a few tbsp of water to the batter if you like thinner pancakes. 
  • Obviously, substitute any organic ingredients with non organic, and goat milk with regular or almond/rice/soy milk.
  • This makes a large batch.  Recipe can easily be halved. 
Simple, healthy, delicious food NOT from a package!!  Taste the difference, feel good about the ingredients, and celebrate whole food!

This post has been linked up to Fat Tuesday: Real Food Forager.  Check out the links for great, REAL food!