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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Spiced Sourdough Rolls with a Meyer Lemon Glaze #FoodieReads

Updated: Feb 8

This was inspired by the third book in Jasmine Webb's Mackenzie Owens Mysteries, Blast from the Past. You may remember when I posted Vanilla-Flecked Cheesecake with Beurre Noisette Crust after reading the first in the series.

On the Page

In Blast from the Past we find ourselves back in Cornwall with Mackenzie Owens and her merry band of murder-solving pals, including her grandmother, her friends, and the local private investigator with whom she shares an undeniable attraction.

At a lavish homecoming party in the city park, the guest of honor - local boy turned billionaire - is blown up in front of everyone in St. Albinus. Mack and friends dive into figuring out how killed David before anyone they know and love is targeted by MI5 as a suspect.

And, as always, Mack and her sweet tooth bring baked goods to the page.

"Sophie had told me a few days ago that Ann had received an order for two thousand baked goods for this party. I inquired about the status of cheesecake on the order list, and was told there would be four different varieties. That had sealed my decision to come to the party. There was no way in the world I, Mackenzie Owens, was ever going to pass up an opportunity for free cheesecake."

"Maggie emerged from the kitchen, carrying a tray laden with tea and a plate full of cookies that looked suspiciously familiar. 'When on earth did you manage to slip thirty of the cranberry-pistachio-white chocolate cookies from the party into your purse?' I asked Maggie. Then I turned to the others. 'Sorry. I mean, Maggie definitely baked all of these'."

When the ladies go to London to track down some leads, they go to a food-court kind of place and eat a 'Millenial bullocks' version of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding (it's in a wrap!), Nigerian food, and chocolate-dipped strawberries. Mack says, "The four of us spent a while working our way through the food. All of it was incredible. The spicy sausage that came with the jollof rice was dazzling. The burrito was like a whole new vessel to contain some of England’s best-known classic. And the chocolate-covered strawberries tasted like heaven."

On the Plate

But what sent me into the kitchen was Mack's assertion that...

Anyone who eats a cinnamon bun without frosting is a sociopath!

Okay, these don't have frosting, exactly, but they are iced.

Adjust the spices for what you have in your cabinet or use all cinnamon. Also note that this is not a quick recipe, so unless you start the first steps the night before, these won't be ready in time for breakfast. If you want to bake this for an early breakfast, complete the steps up to the final rise and put your rolls in the refrigerator. In that case, bring them out on the counter to come to room temperature while the oven preheats. Also note that I used weight, versus volume, measurement. It's more accurate which is crucial in baking.


makes approximately 16 rolls


  • 320 grams milk (I used whole milk)

  • 113 grams butter, cubed (I used salted, so skipped adding more salt)

  • 48 grams organic granulated sugar

  • 200 grams sourdough starter (fed recently)

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 600 grams all-purpose flour

  • Also needed: two 9" baking dishes, parchment paper


  • 3/4 cup organic dark brown sugar

  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 4 Tablespoons butter, cold and shaved into slivers


  • 1 cup organic powdered sugar

  • 1 Tablespoon whole milk, more as needed

  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used a Meyer lemon)

  • dash of ground cardamom

  • zest from 1 organic lemon for garnish



Melt butter in the milk and pour into a large mixing bowl. Gently stir in the starter and the sugar. Let stand for five minutes. Whisk in the beaten eggs and fold in the flour. Use a wooden spoon to combine until a shaggy dough forms. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and cover with a damp towel. Let dough rest for 30 minutes.

After the dough has rested, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, approximately 5 minutes. Place in a clean, oiled bowl and cover, again with a damp towel. Let rest for another 30 minutes.

After resting for a second time, I used the folding-turning method to incorporate air into the dough. Dip your hands in warm water, then place one hand under one side of the ball and stretch the dough up and over the top.

Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat that stretch. Do it a second and third time so that the bowl is facing the same way it was when you started and you have done four fold-overs total. Cover the bowl with a damp towel. Now let this rise for 1 to 2 hours at room temperature. The dough should be billowy if not doubled in size.

Line two 9-inch baking dishes with parchment paper and set aside. Lightly dust the surface of your dough with flour and then do the same for your rolling pin. Divide the dough in half, then roll each dough ball into a rectangle, about 12" x 16", to yield eight 1-1/2 to 2" rolls per rectangle.


Mix the sugar and spices together in a bowl until well-mixed. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the rectangles, leaving a 1/2" border around the edges. Place 2 T butter slivers down the center of each rectangle and roll each into a cylinder. You want the log to be somewhat right. Roll the cylinder so the seam is down, then slice the log into 1-1/2 to 2" lengths.

Place the rolls into the prepared pans (I put 8 rolls into each) and let rest until the dough puffs up a bit. This might take 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how warm your kitchen is. If you are baking this the following morning, cover the pans and place in the refrigerator at this point. Bring them out on the counter to come to room temperature while the oven preheats.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the pans in the center of the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. The tops should be lightly golden brown and firm to the touch. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack. While the rolls cool, make the glaze.


Place powdered sugar in a small mixing bowl. Whisk in the milk and lemon juice until smooth. Stir in the cardamom until well-combined. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the rolls. Sprinkle with lemon zest and serve immediately.

You can let diners add more glaze to their own rolls, if desired. In my household's case, it is always desired!

I am adding this to the February #FoodieReads link-up.

9 views2 comments


Wendy Klik
Wendy Klik
Feb 05

I would love one of these cinnamon rolls with my coffee in the morning. Love the spice mixture you used.

Culinary Cam
Culinary Cam
Feb 09
Replying to

Thanks! I think I need to make another batch soon.

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