All grains contain peptides that mimic morphine or endogenous opioid substances. This is where I deal with my latest loaf craving. Get your bread-based exorphin fix here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Reinhart's Whole Wheat Cinnamon Buns

Reinhart's Whole Wheat Cinnamon Buns

Even though I wasn't happy with the way Reinhart's WW Cinnamon Raisin Bread turned out for me, the first time I made it, rather than make it again right away I've decided to move to the next recipe in the book.  The recipe is similar -- a whole wheat cinnamon bun recipe.  They smell great while baking, and they taste fine.  My wife wants raisins in them, the next time I make them.

The Soaker:

These ingredients are mixed and set aside for 12-24 hours.  This soaker of mine sat out for 22 hours.

The Biga:

These ingredients are kneaded briefly. I used the yogurt option.

Final Dough:

I have to confess and say that this is the first time I have ever followed the instructions of the recipe when it advises us to roll the 12 pieces of the soaker and 12 pieces of the biga in EXTRA whole wheat flour.  In the past, I have just rolled it in the flour that is included in the final dough ingredients.  It just occurred to me this time that it might make a small difference.  I used to be afraid that it might add too much flour to the recipe and turn out too dry.  Well, it did not.  In fact, next time I make this, I'll be cutting down on the hydration.

My dough took a bit longer than 60 minutes to achieve this size; whether it is actually 1 1/2 x the original, you be the judge.  Did it over-proof?

The Cinnamon Sugar

This is a lot of sugar.  To my mind, this totally eliminates any goodness one might derive from making a whole wheat version of these buns.  The sugar is going to give you that glycemic-insulin response (rather than the more subtle exorphin-rush that I am looking for!), and your body will ultimately suffer.  I would definitely cut this by half at least, next time I make it.

This dough was very difficult to roll up, because it was so wet.  It would not hold together even though I pinched it shut.  Therefore, I suppose it ought to be drier.

A lot of the sugar didn't make it, when I transferred the rolls to the tray.  There is just too much!

Before Baking

After Baking

The buns I made look nothing like the ones Reinhart has in his book.  Mine are so much flatter; I feel that mine must therefore be wetter.


I used the vanilla option.  Suspecting that, as I have often found, Reinhart likes to use more sugar than I care for, I cut the amount in half for the glaze, and there was still enough for me to drizzle on top.  Of course, not only do my buns look nothing like his, my glaze looks nothing like his either: I am sure that his glaze contains yet more sugar than he even advises in his recipe, or it just wouldn't drip like it seems to, in his picture; or it wouldn't be so white.

Anyway, despite my railing against the extra sugar of this recipe, these are excellent cinnamon buns.  Not, for me, the "ultimate comfort food" as Reinhart would have it.  But tasty enough.

Bite me.

Lots of people would like these.  These would be a nice treat for my coworkers, probably, if I could cut back the simple carbs a bit so that they would eat it.

Notes to Myself
  • Cut back on the hydration, next time you make this.  What if you just left out the honey?  Or half of the honey and half of the butter?
  • At your wife's request, add a few raisins when you put on the cinnamon sugar.
  • Use only about 50-75 percent of the sugar that is in the cinnamon sugar.
  • Use the string technique of cutting, rather than smunching the dough log down by using a pastry cutter.
  • If you are going to the trouble of making this again, double the batch and give some of the buns away to your co-workers.

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