This morning treat will scratch your itch for cinnamon rolls without any refined sugar. The dough itself is unsweetened, relying on a honey goo in the bottom of the pan to take it from yeasted bread to breakfast dessert. Do you tend to overindulge on sweets in December? This gives you a special treat to enjoy with your coffee that isn’t too much. (I may never make traditional cinnamon rolls again.)
I adapted this recipe from Baking With Less Sugar, a book that I’m really enjoying (and one that I featured in my recent gift guide.) I’ve tweaked the ingredients a bit and the timing – I always think it’s easier to do the prep the night before.
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 c. vegetable oil, olive oil, or coconut oil
1 c. warm water
8 tbls. unsalted butter
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. cream or 1/3 c. half and half
1/2 c. water
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups hazelnuts
6 tbls. soft unsalted butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. cardamom
a sprinkling of fresh nutmeg
1/4 tsp. almond extract
- Combine the dry dough ingredients with the wet. Knead by machine or hand until the dough feels supple.
- Leave to rise for an hour in a warm place.
- Make the goo by combining all ingredients in a small sauce pan over low and whisking until homogeneous. (Yes, it will look pretty thin, but don’t worry, it’ll work out.) Set aside to cool.
- The filling is best prepared by pulsing all of the ingredients in a food processor until the nuts are your desired size, but you can definitely chop the nuts and incorporate the butter by hand.
- When the dough has risen, roll it out into a long rectangle. Smear with filling, leaving about a 1/2 inch bare on one of the long sides. Roll up tightly and gently, sealing with the bare edge. Cut into 12 equal buns.
- Pour the goo into a 9×13 inch pan. Spread evenly and place the buns in the pan, keeping a space between each bun to allow for rising and baking.
- Seal with plastic wrap or lid and pop in the refrigerator.
- In the morning, uncover, and place in a cold oven. Set the temperature for 400F and allow the buns to come to temperature with the oven. Start your timer for 25 minutes when it hits 400F.
- Enjoy warm!
- To make and eat right away, increase the first rising time to 2 hours and, after forming the buns and placing them in the goo, let rise for another hour.
- For our small family of three, I prepare the recipe using two square pans and freeze the second pan for a future weekend.
- If you’re looking for a sweeter treat or more complete tips for making a roll, check out Cinnamon Rolls Your Way