Soft Sourdough Cinnamon Swirls

Following on from my sweet cocoa and hazelnut sourdough, I thought I’d continue the sticky and sweet theme with these lovely breakfast rolls, a healthy alternative to their more commonplace sugary cousins which you will find in every bakery and café.

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Sourdough fermentation of a sweet recipe offers so many health and flavour advantages over conventional baking, and this recipe uses very little additional sweetening other than the natural sugars in the fruity filling. Dates offer a low GI source of sugar, and are an invaluable ingredient for the imaginative baker.

Feel free to ‘pimp’ the filling by adding other dried fruits or chopped nuts, pecans would be particularly nice.

Dough Ingredients & Method:

120g plain white flour
38g cold cubed butter
100g starter (100% hydration)
100g strong bread flour
117g tepid milk
1 medium egg, whisked
4g salt
15g honey

Rub the butter into the plain flour by hand, before adding the rest of the ingredients and using a mixer with dough attachment to knead for 4-5 minutes until very smooth. Cover the mixing bowl and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
Turn the soft dough out onto a floured surface, stretch and fold into a ball and place in a clean bowl. Cover and allow to ferment at room temperature for 6-8 hours, until approximately doubled in volume.
Place in the refrigerator for half an hour immediately before baking.

Filling Ingredients & Method:
120g pitted organic dates
120ml unsweetened apple juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp honey
Small knob of butter

Place the dates and apple juice in a small saucepan, bring to a vigorous boil, then remove from the heat and cover for 20 minutes. During this time the dates will absorb the lovely apple juice. Add the honey and cinnamon and stir in the butter before pureeing with a blender to a fairly smooth consistency.
Allow to cool.

Putting It All Together:

Preheat the oven to 175C (350F). Tip the chilled dough onto a floured surface and roll into a rectangle approximately 24cm x 30cm. Brush the surface of the dough with a thin smear of melted butter.
Using the back of a spoon, spread the filling evenly over the surface of the dough, leaving a thin margin uncovered at the edges.
Roll the dough along its long edge to create a ‘Swiss roll’ effect. Cut the log into 12-15 segments along its length,  and place these, cut side up, in a buttered baking pan or flan dish.
Brush the swirls with some milk to glaze, and place in your preheated oven for around 25 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool, boil the kettle, and enjoy.

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