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These ooey-gooey sourdough cinnamon rolls turned out to be a sticky hearty treat.

To note this recipe by saying that this was a complete experiment. I used a lot of techniques to gain some dough-handling experience. I also wanted to see how the dough would react to these sourdough cinnamon rolls.

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe will take you over a day to complete if you follow my method of madness. However, I will provide alternatives and tips to move past certain steps if you are uninterested in playing with the dough.

I have not had much experience with dough, and in the next few weeks, I will be making some sourdough bread from my starter.

The bread will have high hydration which means the dough will be wet and sticky so I wanted to have a little fun with this one.

This cinnamon roll dough comes together in 3 parts – Autolyse, Stretch/Fold, & Rest

First things first, combine the flour and milk together until you have a cohesive incorporated mass. Autolyse the dough for at least 45 minutes. To do this simply cover the mixture with plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature.

This dough is very wet so beware! You can always reduce the amount of milk you use to 1 cup if it is just too hard for you to handle, again I really just had fun with this one.

What does it mean to Autolyse?

A classic autolyse is done with water, not milk so I want to state that first, however, this recipe was all about having fun!

This resting period allows the flour to become fully hydrated and for the gluten bonds to begin to form. This makes the dough more elastic and stretchy which should allow for easier shaping of the dough.

Skip the Autolyse: If you like, you can skip the Autolyse process, you would simply combine these ingredients (flour, milk, sourdough starter discard, egg, unsalted butter, and honey). You would then mix until fully incorporated, cover with a damp cloth, and let rest overnight for 8-12 hours.

After the 45 minutes have passed your dough should have expanded, the amount of expansion will vary.

Autolysed sourdough cinnamon roll Dough

Next add the sourdough starter discard, egg, unsalted butter, and honey to the resting dough mixture. Now using a stretch and fold technique, work the ingredients into the dough.

Grabbing one side, pulling vertically, shaking to stretch the dough, and folding it over the top. Repeat this step for about 1 minute or until you feel the dough starting to feel tight under the tension of your pull.

You will repeat this stretch and fold technique every 30 minutes for about 2 hours.

Let it rest!

This step will vary from person to person because your dough will determine when this step is complete. Once your dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, keep its shape, look and feel supple, you can call this step complete.

Again this dough is very wet and sticky, flour the sides of the mixing bowl before the overnight rest, or use a plastic dough scraper to help remove the dough from the bowl with ease.

After the 2-hour cycle or once you have decided this step is good to go, cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let rest at room temperate overnight. Roughly 8-12 hours.

In the morning your dough will be fully expanded and should have grown to its full rise capabilities.

sourdough cinnamon roll Dough from overnight rest

Forming and preparing your rolls for the oven

Preheat oven to 400F.

Melt unsalted butter, then combine with brown sugar and cinnamon, and set aside.

Remove the dough from the bowl, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out using a rolling pin. Shape dough into a rectangle, roughly 14”x20”. Spread brown sugar filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch of bare dough around all edges.

Rolled out dough with brown sugar spread

Starting on one of the long sides, begin rolling the dough into a log shape. Gently pre-score the dough before cutting it into 12 even pieces that are about 1 1/2 inches thick.

As you can see mine were extra gooey, properties of a very hydrated dough.

Line a 9” inch springform pan with parchment paper and place the sourdough cinnamon rolls inside.

sourdough Cinnamon Rolls in springform pan

Turn oven down to 350F and bake rolls for 40-45 minutes or until tops are a light golden brown.

While they are baking, stir together the whipped cream cheese, confectioners’ stage, unsalted butter, vanilla extract, and milk. Mix until smooth and set aside.

sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Once the cinnamon rolls are done, remove them from the oven and allow the pan to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the rolls along with the parchment from the pan and place them on a wire rack.

Add icing while they are still slightly warm, serve and enjoy!

Cinnamon Rolls with icing
Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 11 hours 45 minutes

Tasty Cinnamon Rolls that are not overly sweet, made with with a hearty dough from sourdough unfed/discard


  • 2 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter (cold)
  • 1/2 cups Sourdough Starter Unfed/Discard
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder

Brown Sugar Spread

  • 3/4 cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter


  • 1/2 cups Whipped Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cups Confectioners Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tbsp Milk


  1. Combine 2 ½ cups of flour, 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 ½ cups of milk. Mix together until you have a cohesive and incorporated mass.
  2. Autolyse for 45 minutes - Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 45 minutes.
  3. Add 4 tbsp of unsalted butter (cold), ½ cup of sourdough starter unfed/discard, 1 egg, 2 tbsp honey, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp baking soda and 1 tsp baking powder. Stretch and fold ingredients into the mixture, then let rest covered for 30 minutes.
  4. Stretch and fold mixture every 30 minutes for 2 hours or until dough is tight/supple
  5. After last stretch and fold, cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rest overnight at room temperate for 8-12 hours.
  6. After overnight rest, preheat oven to 400°F
  7. Before rolling out your dough make the cinnamon filling. Melt 2 tbsp of unsalted butter, then combine with ¾ cups of brown sugar and 2 tsp of cinnamon. Mix together and set aside.
  8. Turn out/scrap dough from mixing dough onto lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough so that it is a large rectangle about 14''x20''.
  9. Spread cinnamon filling mixture evenly over dough, leaving ½ inch of bare dough around all edges.
  10. Starting on one of the long sides, begin rolling the dough into a log shape.
  11. Gently score the dough to map out even pieces. Cut dough into 12 pieces and place them in a 9-inch parchment lined springform pan.
  12. Reduce oven to 350°F and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a light golden brown.
  13. While rolls are baking, stir together ½ cup of whipped cream cheese, ½ cup confectioners sugar, 2 tbsp of unsalted butter (melted), ½ tsp vanilla extract and 2 tbsp of milk (or as needed for consistency you prefer). Mix until smooth.
  14. Remove rolls from oven and allow to cool for 10-15, remove from pan and place on wire rack (including parchment paper).
  15. Add icing


*This dough is very WET and not easy to handle if you prefer a less wet dough reduce milk to 1 cup.

*If you prefer to not do much dough work or just to save time, step Autolyse and stretch and fold steps. Combine all ingredients EXCEPT salt, baking soda, and baking powder. And allow the dough to rest overnight. Add salt, baking soda, and baking powder in the morning and knead into dough. Continue with recipe steps.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 327Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 336mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 2gSugar: 17gProtein: 7g

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Wanting something a little spicy instead of just sweet – check out my Pickled Jalapeños recipe!

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