I tend to love baking the most during the holidays simply for the smell of all of the different spices and ingredients. These cinnamon rolls are a favourite of mine, and they’re great for a quick breakfast — just freeze them individually and heat them up in the microwave. They’re also a tasty addition to brunch. Hell, I’ll eat them for dinner if I’m feeling lazy. (Don’t judge, they’re festive enough!)
In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over water, and let sit for 10 minutes.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine milk, sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and orange zest. Whisk until butter just begins to melt. Remove from heat immediately and add to yeast mixture. Add all-purpose flour and with an electric mixer, beat at low speed until incorporated, then increase speed to medium and beat for two minutes.
Add cranberries and half the whole-wheat flour, and stir with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in the remaining whole-wheat flour. Knead until smooth and elastic (adding more flour if dough is sticky), about 6 to 8 minutes.
Shape dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly-oiled bowl, toss to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Punch the dough down and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Roll it out into a 12×18 inch rectangle.
In a medium bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
To assemble, spread filling in an even layer over dough. Scatter cranberries over filling, and roll the dough up tightly along the long end into a log. Cut into 12 equal pieces and transfer to a 6×12 inch (or similar-sized) baking dish, with swirl facing up. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 1 hour.
Bake cinnamon rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, or until light brown in colour. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Serve warm.
- 12 pieces