Winterlake Lodge: From the Kitchen

Located in South-Central Alaskan Wilderness, United States

One of the great joys of travel is experiencing a destination with all of your senses; learning its rhythms, exploring sites both everyday and extraordinary, and sampling its flavors. Food is a touchstone for discovering a place and its culture, and at National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World, cuisine plays a central—and scrumptious—role. We asked chefs from our lodges for recipes that capture the flavors of their destination. We hope you enjoy bringing these tastes of the world into your own kitchen. Try this delicious recipe from Mandy Dixon, who heads the culinary program at Winterlake Lodge and Tutka Bay Lodge, and at the La Baleine Café in Homer.


Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

  • 250 grams or 1 cup of sourdough starter
  • 7 ounces warm milk
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 ½ tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 10 ½ ounces unsalted butter, softened

1.    In a medium bowl mix the starter and milk together with your hands. Add in the flour, salt, and sugar and mix.

2.    One at a time, stir in the eggs then the sugar. Add in the butter and mix well.

3.    Scrape out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for about 8 minutes.

4.    Roll the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly oiled bowl.

5.    Cover with plastic and put in a warm spot to rise until double in size. This should take about two hours or more.

For the filling, mix together:

  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup dried fruit (optional)

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.    Line two half-sheet pans or 1 full sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

3.    Gently turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide it in half. Roll/pat one half into a rectangle about 8″ x 16″ and spread it with the brown sugar mixture. Roll the dough up from the long end into a tight spiral. Seal the open end by pinching it close.

4.    Slice into about 1 inch chunks. Place onto the sheet pan, leaving enough room for them to double in size. Repeat with the other half. Cover and let rise about 45 minutes.

5.    Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the heat down to 320 degrees and continue baking another 8 minutes or so.


Caramelized White Chocolate for drizzling

1.    Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

2.    Spread one cup of chopped white chocolate over the bottom of a glass baking dish.

3.    Place in oven for 10 minutes, then stir with a spatula, spreading the chocolate evenly over the bottom of the baking dish. Repeat, heating the chocolate and stirring at 10 minute intervals, until it starts to brown and caramelize and turns the color of natural peanut butter.

4.    Stir in a pinch of flaky sea salt and drizzle the caramelized chocolate onto the cinnamon rolls. Serve and enjoy!

Mandy Dixon is a graduate of the Cordon Bleu Culinary School and the Culinary Institute of America pastry arts program. Mandy is the co-author of the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) award-winning Tutka Bay Lodge Cookbook.

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