I am always looking for ways to improve my cinnamon roll game, and I think I have finally created cinnamon roll perfection. Go figure there is a secret ingredient that’s a smidge unusual…TEA! Yep! Instead of using plain water or milk as some recipes call for I went the extra mile and infused rich cinnamon flavor into the dough. I used Cinnamon Hearts Pu’erh from Steeped Tea, it’s a warm black tea with cinnamon and cassia and is probably the most cinnamony tea I have ever had the pleasure to drink, I love a warm cup of tea on a cool day with a splash of milk and a spoonful of honey so it seemed ideal for this recipe. It smells like a cinnamon roll even before it becomes a cinnamon roll and I think I’m in love…not only with these rolls but with the endless possibilities of tea flavors that could be used! Here is the recipe and I hope you give it a try, you will not be disappointed.
EXTRA CINNAMONY CINNAMON ROLLS:
1 package active dry yeast, dissolved in warm water according to product directions
3 cups flour, plus more for kneading
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup melted butter
1 tsp salt
1 egg lightly beaten
1 cup warm not hot steeped cinnamon tea (I got mine here)
a splash of milk if desired
1 stick softened butter
½ cup or more cinnamon sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 stick softened butter
¼ cup cold cinnamon tea
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
Combine all ingredients with mixer and set aside.
Start by dissolving yeast packet in water according to the directions on the packet. While the yeast is doing its thing, in a medium sized bowl, add 3 cups flour, & salt. To this add the maple syrup, melted butter, egg, and warm tea *Note: Do NOT use hot tea, hot liquids will scorch the yeast and render it useless, allow the tea to cool until warm before adding it to the recipe.
Add dissolved yeast and stir until a nice dough is formed. Depending on the day you may find that you need to add more flour or more tea/milk. I find that humidity plays a huge roll in bread making.
Dump dough out onto floured surface sprinkle with flour and knead until the dough is no longer tacky and is smooth.
Grease the bowl the dough was mixed in with oil and place the dough in the bowl to rise in a warm place.
When dough has doubled in size turn out onto floured surface sprinkle with flour and knead once more adding flour until no longer tacky. With a rolling pin, roll dough flat.
Spread softened butter onto flattened dough with the back of a spoon, sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar, then sprinkle with brown sugar.
Starting at one end, begin rolling the dough into a log. From here you can cut the roll into a log the length of a loaf pan to make a cinnamon loaf, or cut into1 ½ inch disks and arrange in your favorite pan.
Bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees and bake for 25-35 min depending on the pan you choose, watch them closely.
Allow cinnamon rolls to cool, then frost and serve!