Mistress Dough sourdough starter tips

One of my fondest memories as a child is the smell of Mistress Dough fresh baked sourdough cinnamon buns. My grandmother made these delicious treats every time she came to visit from Canada. I would peer over the countertop and watch her cut the rolls with sewing thread and place them in the pan, covered by her favorite kitchen towel. The aroma of sugar, cinnamon, butter and rising dough still puts a smile on my face. As she let the dough rise overnight, I was in agony waiting for the freshly baked rolls to reside in my tummy. Mistress Dough sourdough cinnamon buns must be tasted to enjoy!

Her recipe was written in pencil which has faded with time, but I hope you will enjoy making these tea-time treats with my 190+year old starter from her mother.

Don’t know how to make a sourdough starter? Just read my Mistress Dough sourdough starter tips for help. You can also purchase my great grandmother’s starter and enjoy an original Parisian Bakery flavor that made San Francisco sourdough famous.

Mistress Dough Sourdough Cinnamon Buns

Breakfast Homestyle
By Mistress Dough Serves: 8
Cooking Time: 35-40 min Total Time: 1 day

This recipe was written in pencil by my grandmother, who got it from her mother using our 190+year old Heritage sourdough starter. It takes a day to prepare, but trust me...you will be SOOO happy when you bite into these fragrant, delicious buns.


  • Dough
  • 160 g (2/3 cup) milk, whole
  • 112 g (8 tbsp) unsalted butter (my grandmother always felt you could never use enough butter in a cinnamon roll)
  • 1 large to extra large egg
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) bubbly, active sourdough starter ( which has tripled in size within 4-6 hours of the last feeding. Always use fresh fed starter within 4 hours for best results)
  • 24 g (2 tbsp) granulated sugar
  • 300 g (2½ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 3 g (1/2 tsp) sea salt (fine)
  • Filling
  • 28 g (2 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon ( I prefer Mexican cinnamon..it's sweeter. Just grind up the sticks of canella in the food processor)
  • Frosting glaze ( THE best part!)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup whipped cream cheese, room temperature (her recipe calls for fresh farmers cheese but cream cheese is more 2020's style)
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted (check your sweet tooth setting here!)
  • 1-2 tbsp milk





Prepare your 190+ year old Heritage Sourdough Starter according to directions. In the evening make the dough and let it rise overnight. This will give a wonderful boost to the flavor and is how my grandmother made her sourdough cinnamon rolls.




In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment (she did it by hand with a regular beater...arms of steel!) add the egg, starter and sugar. In a pan gently warm the milk and butter to melt, then cool slightly. Turn the mixer on low and slow (otherwise..well...you've been there...done that) and add the melted butter/milk mixture, flour and salt and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Scrape down the sides, cover with a towel and let rest 30 minutes (just enough time for a cocktail break!).


Now switch to a dough hook and knead on low for about 8 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. It will be tacky but if its sticky add a sprinkling of flour, give it a few runs with the hook. Turn it out into a buttered bowl (medium size), cover with a slightly damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Now do a 4 turn like you do with sourdough bread....stretch the top over and down, the bottom up and over, then the left side to right, and the right side to left. This makes the dough soft and slightly stretchy. Cover and let rise overnight at room temperature.




In the morning, flour the countertop and gently scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto the counter. Gently repeat the same 4 turn stretch as above, then flip the dough over and let it rest for 15 minutes.


Line a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper that comes up the sides. Lightly dust your rolling pin and roll out the dough into a 16x12 inch rectangle.


Melt the butter and brush it all over the rectangle of dough. Combine the sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle liberally over the buttered dough, leaving a border. Starting at the left side, begin tightly rolling the dough up into a long cylinder, finishing with the seam side down. Now take several strands of sewing thread and holding them taught together, cut down into the dough about every 2 inches to make 8 rolls (you can also use a knife but it tends to squish the buns so I stay with my grandmother's method for a better rise when baking). Place the rolls touching in the pan and let rise for 2 hours.


Preheat your oven to 350 and place the pan in the middle of the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. The tops should be golden brown but not burnt. If you like to use an instant read thermometer, the temperature should be about 190 F degrees. Cool in the pan for around 15 minutes, then remove from the pan and set on a rack above a baking sheet to catch the drippings from the icing.


Using the wire whisk attachment, add room temperature softened butter, whipped cream cheese and sifted powdered sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until smooth, adding milk to thin out the glaze. Pour the glaze over the buns and serve warm.


You can also add raisins to the cinnamon sugar filling for another variation. Pecan pieces were a favorite of my grandmother and she added them to her sourdough cinnamon buns, because who wants boring old buns anyway.