Not much is more comforting or satisfying than biting into a warm cinnamon roll. It takes me back to when we would pop open that container to make the Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls on a weekend morning and the excitement of hearing the oven buzzer go off when they were ready to come out of the oven. I tried a homemade version a while back and my gosh they were amazing. I tried them again when I had to give up dairy and even dairy free, they were amazing. So I decided for this batch I would veer from the usual cinnamon and sugar flavor and incorporate some spices that are typically found in chai tea. Chai makes me happy, it’s like a cup full of happiness every time I make some. I mean what could possibly be better than a combination of comfort and happy. It’s like a yoga savasana in every bite. For those of you that are not familiar savasana, or a yoga nap as I like to refer to them, is your reward at the end of a session. It’s a magical experience and I will go out on a limb and say my absolute favorite part of a yoga session. And I love yoga! But I love these cinnamon rolls more. My husband even commented that they were the best I’ve ever made. So give them a shot this weekend!
For the Dough
- 6 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 3 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
- 2 tsp instant (rapid rise/bread machine) yeast
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk, room temperature
For the Filling
For the Icing
- To prepare the dough, cream together the sugar, salt, and butter, on medium high speed in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Whip in the egg and lemon zest until smooth. Add in the flour, yeast and milk, and mix on low speed until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium speed, for about 10 minutes, until the dough is silky and tacky. If it's too sticky you can add a little flour or water while kneading.
- Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling around to coat the dough in some oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Mist your counter with some spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Roll the dough out with a lightly floured rolling pin, into a 14x12 in rectangle. Make sure to not over roll the dough or it will affect the texture of the bread. Sprinkle the sugar/spice mixture over the dough and roll into a log shape. With the seam side down, using a sharp knife cut the dough into 8 or 9 rounds.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the rolls about 1/2 inch apart. Let them sit out for about 75-90 minutes until they are nearly doubled in size and now touching each other.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the cinnamon rolls for about 20-30 minutes or until the dough turns a light golden brown. Let the rolls cool for about 10 minutes and streak with the glaze.
- To make the glaze sift the powdered sugar into a bowl. Add in the milk and vanilla and whisk together. Using the whisk, drizzle the icing over the tops of the rolls. If you prefer more icing, just double the batch.
This recipe is adapted from Annie’s Eats.