Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Rolls with Pecans and Orange Glaze

I promised my next blog would be something gooey and delicious, and cinnamon rolls are the pinnacle of warm oozy comfort. I am trying to incorporate whole-wheat flour into all my baked goods. The presence of whole wheat doesn’t really increase the health value of these cinnamon rolls because they is still about a pound of butter, but I adapted the recipe from a Paula Deen recipe, hers are more traditional with white flour, raison and a vanilla glaze, but the butter is still completely, 100% necessary. First you take a packet of yeast and put it in a bowl with ½ cup warm water. This activates the yeast and it will start to froth up. Let the yeast do its thing with the water for about ten minutes. In the mean time, put ½ cup milk on the stove over medium heat in a saucepan. Also, melt 1/3 cup of butter. You want the milk to be heated through but not boiling. Mix the milk, butter, ¼ cup sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 egg, in a large bowl. Then mix in about 2 cups of whole-wheat flour. And the yeast and water, and mix in 2 cups all-purpose flour, until everything in smooth and incorporated. Knead the dough on a floured surface for five minutes. Then let the dough rise in the bowl for about and hour and a half. While the dough is rising, melt a ½ cup of butter for the filling. Also mix together ¾ cup of sugar, and chop ¾ cup of pecans.

After the dough has risen poke a few holes in it. Roll it out on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin. I usually put a piece of wax paper down on the counter to roll on so I can clean up easily. Roll the dough out into a large oval that is approximately 25 by 9 inches. Spread the melted butter over the dough, its so much butter it might ooze over the edges a little, yum! Then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the butter, followed by the pecans. Roll it up and cut it into about 15 rounds. Place the rounds in a greased baking pan and let them rise for about 45 minutes. Use some of this time to make the glaze. Put two cups powdered sugar in a bowl; mix in 4 tablespoons of softened butter. Then add 3-4 tablespoons of water, one at a time. Add the juice of a small orange, and small of its zest.

After the rolls have risen, bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes. After they have cooled slightly, pour the glaze over them. Enjoy!

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