Saturday, June 20, 2009

Swirly Saturdays

When I made these buns for my mom's luchtime carb addiction addition, I was in a cinnamon-raisin type of mood. But I was also craving cinnamon rolls - the super yummy, ever-so-slightly gooey, tear apart and devour while still warm delights that I remembered from the breakfast buffets we had after a sleepover night at one of my childhood friend's houses. Her mom always brought out two, sometimes three pans of them straight from the oven just as we were waking up so they were the perfect temperature for still-molten frosting (but unburned mouths) by the time we crawled out of the sleeping bags strewn over the floor. Granted, this was gourmet-in-disguise as I found out later, since the souls of the always perfect buns were a little more Poppin' Fresh than Martha Stewart.

Now, I've made a couple versions of rolls myself along the years, with various fillings from coconut to coffee to Nutella, and yet I've never blogged about making actual cinnamon rolls. And, if you're looking for a bun like Deb's creation over at Smitten Kitchen... you're out of luck for now (though if you need a killer cinnamon bun in loaf form, see Kelly. No, really, go.). These buns were a little more towards my mom's metabolic speed, and my roll-shaping capabilies! Don't get me wrong, one of those crammed-full-of-yum treats will eventually grace this blog (God willing!) but I knew I needed something portable and not covered in potentially sticky frosting that fould just rub off on the inside of the plastic bag on Mom's way to work. I did want to encapsulate the spirit of the sticky cinnamon bun, though, so I came up with what I thought was a rather ingenious solution - roll the filling inside a dough strip, then roll the tube of filled dough into a swirly bun! A self-contained gooey cinnamon-raisin filling, no messy cutting, and every bit of the taste would still be in there! An added bonus, I discovered, was that pan clean up is a GAZILLION times easier.

I used my sourdough starter along with a "booster" of regular yeast for the dough, because I hadn't been sourdough-ing it much at the time and it was a little lazy reacting during pre-ferment. If you have a good, strong starter though, leave out the yeast and all will still be well! If you only have packaged yeast, just add 40g flour and 40 mL water to the ingredients, and add the remaining pre-ferment water/flour measures as well. Questions? Leave a comment or write me a note. A Flickr set of the shaping technique I used is posted as well.

Check out more yeasted creations over at this week's Yeastspotting.

Raisin Syrup Sourdough Swirls
Makes 8 large buns
80g (unfed) whole-wheat sourdough starter
1/2 cup warm water
150g whole wheat flour
170g all-purpose flour
100g whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp skim milk powder
All the pre-ferment (above)
1/2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp dry active yeast
2/3 cup warm water
Golden syrup
Pumpkin pie spice
  1. Combine pre-ferment ingredients until well-hydrated. Cover and let stand at room temperature 4 hours - overnight.
  2. For the dough, whisk together the flours, salt, and skim milk powder in a small bowl.
  3. In a separate large bowl (or stand mixer basin), mix the pre-ferment, oil, syrup, yeast and water well. Let stand 5 - 10 minutes.
  4. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until everything is incorporated into a soft, smooth dough.
  5. Place into an oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 2 hours, until almost doubled.
  6. Gently deflate dough, folding it over itself 4-5 times and pressing out the air.
  7. Separate the dough into 8 portions (mine were approx 3.5oz each) and form each into a rough ball.


  1. Working with one ball at a time, shape the portion into a long rope.
  2. Roll the rope out into a flat oblong using a rolling pin.
  3. Drizzle a ribbon of golden syrup down the centre of the oblong, then dust with pumpkin pie spice and dot evenly with raisins.
  4. Fold the "short" ends of the dough over the edge of the filling and press the edges (on the "long" sides) to seal.
  5. Next, fold one "long" edge over the filling, then cover with the other "long" edge (like a letter-fold). Pinch seam to seal.
  6. Roll up into a swirl shape with the seam facing inwards. Pinch the end to seal. You should have a tight scroll shaped bun when finished, without any leaking filling.
  7. Place the shaped buns onto two lined baking sheets, cover and allow to rise one hour.
  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Place the risen buns in the oven and immediately decrease the temperature to 400F.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden and hollow-sounding when tapped on the bottom.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 215.3
Total Fat: 1.9 g
Cholesterol: 0.2 mg
Sodium: 51.4 mg
Total Carbs: 44.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.9 g
Protein: 7.5 g


  1. Damn, I REALLY need to get on the sourdough starter again. These look amazing, I love your use of WW Flour - even if only for you Mum's sake. Will need to check out your archives for coconut. Coconut is great in everything!

  2. Very clever shaping solution. Mmm, delicious too!


Thanks for the feedback!