I have a theory... Cinnamon rolls, like pizza, are enjoyable even when imperfect. These cinnamon rolls, however, are better than just enjoyable. They are soft, fragrant, and beautiful -- plus naturally fermented for additional nutrients and easier digestion.

Sourdough Einkorn Cinnamon Rolls

These cinnamon rolls are soft, fragrant, and beautiful -- plus naturally fermented for additional nutrients and easier digestion! Makes 16 cinnamon rolls.

Course Breads
Author Valeria


For the dough:

For the filling:


Souring stage...

  1. Whisk water and sourdough starter until frothy.
  2. Add 2/3 cup all-purpose einkorn flour.
  3. Mix with a spoon until combined.
  4. Leave covered at room temperature until bubbly and airy. This could take anywhere from 3 to 4 hours, to 6 to 7 hours. It depends on your kitchen temperature, starter activity, and type of starter (whole grain and rye ferment more quickly).
  5. Once fermented, add warm milk to the bowl of a standup mixer.
  6. Add starter dough.
  7. Whisk until combined.
  8. Add 3 1/2 cups all-purpose einkorn flour. I use a medium sieve to sift it straight into the bowl.
  9. Add sugar and salt.
  10. Fit mixer with dough hook, and knead gently until everything is just combined. The dough will look dry and might be crumbly.
  11. Let rest for 20 to 30 minutes. During this time (called autolyse by bakers), the dough hydrates, becoming softer and more workable.
  12. Turn mixer on low speed.
  13. Add softened butter one piece at a time.
  14. Knead for about 10 minutes.
  15. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.
  16. Transfer dough to refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours. This cold fermentation keeps the dough from getting sour. Einkorn's simpler structure and high mineral content causes it to ferment more quickly than most other grains.

Baking stage...

  1. Bring the dough to room temperature.
  2. Dust work surface generously with flour.
  3. Turn the dough onto surface, and knead it into a ball.
  4. Roll it out to make a rectangular shape. The size isn't that important -- you can stretch it later -- but I aim for about the size of 2 large cutting boards. The dough will want to spring back at first, but keep rolling and it will stretch nicely.
  5. To make the filling, combine all filling ingredients in a small bowl.
  6. Spread mixture on top of the dough.
  7. Fold dough in half.
  8. Cut dough longitudinally into 16 strips. I cut the dough in half, then each part in half again, and so on, until I get 16.
  9. Twist each strip and roll, tucking the ends underneath.
  10. Put rolls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  11. Let rest again for 1 to 2 hours.
  12. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
  13. Brush the rolls with beaten egg.
  14. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden.

Recipe Notes

*Feel free to use whole grain einkorn flour instead of all-purpose. Keep in mind that the dough will be slightly harder to work with. Also, don't ferment it as long since whole grain flour sours much more quickly.

*I call this recipe sourdough but perhaps it is better called naturally leavened. I don't let it get too sour. Milk and butter both prevent sourness, as well as the addition of salt early on. Refrigeration also controls the level of sourness.

*If you prefer, cut more strips to make smaller rolls.*Substitute ground cardamom for cinnamon and almonds for pecans in the filling -- and enjoy a lovely variation of Swedish cardamom rolls!