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Seasonal Eats: Sweet Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

A delicious recipe from Eat Alberta First: A Year of Local Recipes from Where the Prairies Meet the Mountains. 

Sweet Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls - credit Nicole Liboiron-Coles.jpg

credit Nicole Liboiron-Coles

MAKES 8 to 12 rolls

TAKES 25 minutes’ active time + 15 to 20 minutes’ baking time 

RATING Competent to proficient


These are my favourite cinnamon rolls. Their texture is a cross between bread and cake, and the dough soaks up the cinnamon and brown sugar and rises beautifully. Enjoy them for a special breakfast treat or coffee time visit.



8 × 8-inch baking pan

Measuring cups and spoons

Large bowl


Wooden spoon

Rolling pin

Pastry brush


Wire rack


1 cup Sweet Sourdough Starter (Recipe follows)

1 egg, beaten

1⁄3 cup sunflower or other neutral-tasting vegetable oil, plus more for the pan

1 cup flour, plus more for kneading

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

¼ heaping cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon Vietnamese cinnamon



  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and grease the baking pan with butter. 
  2. Whisk the sourdough with the egg and oil in a large bowl until smooth. 
  3. Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until every.thing comes together. 
  4. Sprinkle a flat surface with a bit of flour and empty the dough onto the counter. Knead it for just a few turns, until it’s smooth, then roll it out to a rectangle about 8 . 12 inches. 
  5. Brush the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon evenly over top. 
  6. Roll the dough, starting from a short side. Cut the log into 8 to 12 evenly sized rolls. Place the rolls in the baking pan. 
  7. Bake on the middle rack for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. 
  8. Remove from the oven and serve warm or cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. 
  9. Store in an airtight container and freeze any you don’t eat within 24 hours.


Sweet Sourdough Starter 

MAKES 1 ½ to 2 cups. The texture and quantity varies because of humidity and the age of the starter. 

TAKES A few minutes on the first 3 days to start. Then you feed it on day 4 and use it on day 5. RATING All levels



Measuring cups and spoons 

Large glass bowl 

Whisk Tea towel 

Storage container 

Wooden spoon


2 cups flour 

3 Tablespoons sugar 

1 package (2. teaspoons)  active dry granular yeast 

1 teaspoon salt 

2 cups lukewarm water



  1. Mix the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt together in a large glass bowl and gradually whisk in the water until smooth. 
  2. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and sit it in a warm (25°C to 30°C), draft-free place. Your oven with just the oven light on works well. 
  3. Transfer the starter to a larger bowl, jar, or plastic container. Cover partially (just tilt the lid, don’t seal it) and refrigerate. 
  4. Stir the starter 2 to 3 times a day for about 3 days or until it is bub.bly and producing a yeasty aroma. 
  5. Feed the starter on day 4 (see page 72 for instructions on how to do this) and use it on day 5. 
  6. Feed it again after using it, then place it back in the refrigerator until you want to use it again.

Recipe by Karen Anderson from Eat Alberta First: A Year of Local Recipes from Where the Prairies Meet the Mountains, copyright © 2023 by Karen Anderson. Reprinted with permission of TouchWood Editions:


Book Cover Eat Alberta First

Learn more about Eat Alberta First: A Year of Local Recipes from Where the Prairies Meet the Mountains:

Equal parts cookbook and manifesto, this beautifully photographed collection is the ultimate guide to local eating in Alberta all through the year.

Eat Alberta First presents 90 tried and true recipes in celebration of Alberta’s farmers, ranchers, and food artisans. Alberta Food Tours founder and enthusiastic locavore Karen Anderson’s love of her province is enriched with the experience gained during her extensive global travels. Organized around uniquely Alberta seasons (including “Cabin Fever” and “Harvest Hurry Up”), with mini workshops on sourdough, foraging, and canning, gorgeous food and landscape photography, and an Alberta food sourcing list, the book is designed to help the home cook build reliance on their skills and on the province’s food producers.

Beginning with detailed lists of pantry essentials and an introduction to the skill levels each recipe is organized by, Karen then takes readers through the seasons, from the depths of winter (when the tough get baking), through always dicey springs, full-on summer, harvest, and batch prepping for a busy fall. The book concludes with a chapter dedicated to hosting a diversity of feasts all year round.

Learn to make Morel Mushroom Cheese Spread, Never the Same Way Twice Coleslaw, Slow-Cooked Alberta Bison, Long Life Noodles with Greens, the ultimate charcuterie board, Festive Vegetable Biryani, Summer’s Every Fruit Cake, and many many more. We think you’ll find Karen’s gusto and belief in the power of local truly inspiring.


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