Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls: Whole Wheat Version!

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November 14, 2010 by buttermilkbaker


Is there anything better than a piping hot cinnamon roll on a Sunday morning?

Better question: is there anything better than a piping hot Pioneer Woman cinnamon roll on a Sunday morning? (or any morning, afternoon, or night, for that matter?)

If you haven’t heard of the Pioneer Woman by now, I’m not really sure what to tell you. Except click on that link. Now. Well, finish reading this post first. But then, you must go.

The Pioneer Woman, also known as Ree Drummond (does anyone actually call her that?), is an inspiration to foodies and food bloggers and pretty much women everywhere. She’s a fabulous cook, photographer, writer, mother…the list goes on. One of her premier recipes is for her tried-and-true Cinnamon Rolls, which have swept the flogosphere (food + blogosphere) and changed the lives of millions. Okay maybe not millions. But they sure have changed mine.

I edited the recipe a little bit, swapping in white whole wheat flour (King Arthur) and brown sugar instead of all-purpose and white granulated, and using 1% milk instead of whole. The sugar was mainly because I was out of the regular stuff, and while it was delicious all the same, I don’t think I’d do it again. I think it made for a denser roll, denser than I’d like. The flour, on the other hand, didn’t make much of a difference (I don’t think the white whole wheat ever does) and I always feel better when I can say something is whole wheat.

Whole wheat = healthy, right?

I also halved the recipe, because the original makes about a bazillion rolls, and only baked half (the other half of the dough is happily sitting in my freezer right now).

So here it is, folks, the famous Pioneer Woman cinnamon roll recipe, at long last:

Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: about 36 rolls, Prep time: 2-2 1/2 hours, Cook time: 15-18 mins

For the rolls:

  • 1 quart Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast
  • 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
  • Plenty Of Melted Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon

For the frosting:

  • 1 bag Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
  • ½ cups Milk
  • ¼ cups Melted Butter
  • ¼ cups Brewed Coffee
  • ⅛ teaspoons Salt

Preparation Instructions

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).

When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.

Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting.

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