Sourdough Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

These rolls are perhaps the most light and tender recipe I've ever made with a sourdough starter. I've tried quite a few sourdough recipes over the years, and as much as I love working with sourdough - sometimes the results have been on the dry or heavy side. I'm glad to finally be finding recipes and techniques that give lighter and more tender results! I adapted the recipe from Smitten Kitchen so that I could use my starter, and also adjusted it to use less sugar. If I was making this for a special occasion, I would probably bump up the sugar content again. As it's written below, it was just right for an "everyday" bread that still felt like a special treat.

INGREDIENTS (for the dough)

3 Tbsp melted butter

1/4 cup milk (warm / room temp)

1 egg

2/3 cup pumpkin puree (I simply mashed mine against the side of the bowl)

1 cup active sourdough starter (mine is 100% spelt, but it should work with any type of starter)

1.5 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

2.5 - 3.5 cups flour (just enough to make a soft dough) (I used 100% spelt flour; more or less flour may be needed with other types of flour)


Combine the wet ingredients + the sugar, salt, and 1 cup of flour.

(The original recipe called for cinnamon and other spices in the dough; I forgot to add them in. Add them if you'd like a stronger punch of spice.)

Add more flour, 1/2 cup at a time.

Once a soft ball of dough has formed, turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter, and knead it until the dough can be stretched thinly without breaking, and a bit of light can be seen through the stretched dough. While kneading, add the least amount of flour necessary.

INGREDIENTS (for the filling)

3 Tbsp melted butter

1 - 2 Tbsp sugar, or more (original recipe called for 3/4 cup brown sugar + 1/4 cup white sugar)

1 - 2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 cup pecans (optional)


Roll out the dough into a large rectangle with a rolling pin.

Drizzle the melted butter over the dough, and spread it with your fingers to the edges.

Sprinkle sugar, cinnamon and salt over the dough. (I actually didn't measure, but sprinkled on what looked "about right".)

Gently roll the dough into a long log, and slice it with a very sharp knife into 1.5 inch sections.

Set the sections upright in a buttered baking dish or large pie plate.

Cover with a tea towel, and let it rise for 10 - 12 hours (or until doubled in size).

Bake at 350F... and I just realized that I didn't pay attention to how long it took this to bake. The rolls are done when they're lightly browned.

If desired, drizzle a glaze over the rolls when they're fresh out of the oven.

Other Notes

If any rolls are left over the next day, they're delicious sliced and toasted.

I think this would also be delicious rolled up into a loaf and baked in a bread pan (though, it may be too much for one pan). With the next batch, I'm going to use a savoury herb & chopped almond filling instead of the sweet cinnamon filling. Maybe that one would be good as a loaf of bread too!