October 08, 2019

Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls ~ #BreadBakers

These cinnamon rolls are a win-win situation for everyone.  The dough is prepared the night
before, so no getting up at the crack of dawn, just pull them out of the refrigerator in the morning
and in a little over an hour you can have piping hot cinnamon rolls ready to serve. #thiccbuns

The Bread Bakers were asked to bake Make ahead Breads which are breads that can be made ahead and rested, either in the refrigerator or at room temperature, before baking.  I am so glad that Karen from Karen's Kitchen Stories chose this theme, as this has always been something that made me nervous to attempt and she forced me to face those fears. And let me tell you there will be no going back now I have discovered how easy it is.

Not only is there the added convenience of having everything prepped and ready to go after a quick rise the following morning, but this is an excellent way to develop more flavor in your breads.  I choose cinnamon rolls as they are something I have not made very often and I really wanted to bake something where I could add chai spice.

Don't let this preparation list make you shy away from attempting these rolls.  If you have read my blog previously (mahalo nui loa if you have!) you have probably noticed that while some recipes have a paragraphs of instructions, I prefer to separate out all of the steps.  This can make the recipe prep look longer, but it just seems so much clearer to me and helps me know exactly what step I am up to whilst baking. As alway, if you mise en place, everything will come together so much quicker.

The real genius of these rolls is that they can be prepared all the way up to them being in the pan ready to bake, refrigerated overnight, and then baked the following morning.  When you take them out of the refrigerator in the morning you will need to let them come to room temperature as they resume the rising process. Do not put them into the oven straight from the refrigerator - if they are cold it will result in your rolls not being as light and fluffy as you would like them to be.  These rolls have a powdered sugar frosting, but a cream cheese frosting would be equally good.

To make my dough roll out nice and easy I use a non-stick silicone pastry mat like this one. Besides it being non-stick, the measurements on this mat makes it so easy to roll out your pastry to the exact size.  Also, if you have ever tried cutting your rolled dough into slice with a knife you know how it tends to flatten them. So don't use a knife. Instead use dental floss.  Seriously.  Make sure the floss is unflavored, cut a piece that is about 12 inches long, and slide it under the roll.  Once you have it in place grab both ends and cross them over to cut a slice.  It can be difficult to get even slices if you just eyeball it. To cut even slices I find it easiest to cut the filled roll in half, then cut each of those in three even pieces, and finally cut each of those three pieces in half so that you will have twelve rolls. Note that for this post I made eight giant rolls.

If you would like to know more about the Bread Bakers and see what the other bakers made for this months Make ahead Breads theme please scroll down below the recipe.

Chai Spiced Cinnamon Rolls

Filling ~
  • 70g (⅓ cup) sugar
  • 30g (2 tablespoons) brown sugar
  • 15g (1 tablespoon) chai spice blend (see recipe below)
  • 45g (3 tablespoons) butter, softened
Dough ~
  • 500 to 25g (4 ½ to 5 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 70g (⅓ cup) sugar
  • 15g (2 packets) Rapid Rise Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 305ml (1 ½) cups water
  • 90g (6 tablespoons) butter
  • 1 egg
Frosting ~
  • 290g (2 ½ cups) powdered sugar
  • 30g (2 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 30-45ml (2 to 3 tablespoons) milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Filling ~
  1. Combine sugars and chai spice in a small bowl; set aside.
Dough ~
  1. Combine 250g (2 cups) flour, sugar, dry yeast and salt in a large mixer bowl and stir until blended.
  2. Place water and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high in 15 second increments until very warm but not hot to the touch 50℃ to 60℃ (120° to 130°F), butter won’t melt completely.
  3. Add to flour mixture with egg, and beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally.
  4. Add 1 cup flour, beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally.
  5. Stir in just enough remaining flour so that the dough will form into a ball.
  6. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic and dough springs back when lightly pressed with 2 fingers, about 6 to 8 minutes.
  7. Cover with a towel; let rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Roll dough into a 40cm x 25cm (15 x 10-inch rectangle using a rolling pin.
  9. Spread 45g (3 tablespoons) butter over dough stopping at least 1cm (½-inch) from the edges on the long sides.
  10. Sprinkle with chai/sugar mixture.
  11. Beginning at long end of the rectangle, roll up tightly, pinching seams tightly to seal.
  12. Cut into 12 equal pieces. 
  13. Place, cut sides down, in greased 35cm x 23cm (13 x 9-inch) baking pan .
  14. If you are making these immediately, cover with towel; let rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour . 
  15. If you are making these the night before, loosely cover them and pop them into the refrigerator. Come back to them within 24 hours, remove the pan from the fridge and resume rising until they double in size.
  16. When you're ready to bake, place them into a preheated 180℃ (350ºF) oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until rolls are golden brown (cover with foil whilst baking if you feel they are browning too quickly on the outside).
  17. Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes.
  18. Frosting ~
  19. Combine all frosting ingredients (start with 2 tablespoons milk and add more if needed) in a large bowl and beat until creamy.
  20. Spread over rolls once they are cooled.
  21. Sprinkle with a little added chai spice mix if desired.
  22. Chai Spice Mix Ingredients 20g (3 tablespoons) ground cinnamon 8g (1 tablespoon) ground cardamom 6g (1 tablespoon) ground ginger 2g (½ tablespoon) ground allspice 2g (½ tablespoon) round cloves 4g (½ tablespoon) ground nutmeg Preparation Add all listed ingredients to an airtight container or jar. Store on your spice rack, at room temperature for up to 1 year.
      #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. This month the #BreadBakers, hosted by Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories, are baking breads that can be made ahead and rested, either in the refrigerator or at room temperature, before baking. It's a great way to develop flavor.

      Please take a moment to take a look at all the amazing bread baked by the group ~


        1. Love the Thankful plate. I am thankful for this amazing recipe you shared.

        2. Oh wow, those look completely brilliant! So soft and fluffy, definitely a must try.

        3. We LOVE making cinnamon rolls ahead and yours are gorgeous, Felice. What a delicious idea to add all the extra spices.

        4. Wow! I'm so glad I got you to try something new! Your rolls are gorgeous!

        5. The rolls look so inviting :) Best thing is that they can be assembled in no time. Can imagine the heavenly aroma of cinnamon. Lovely recipe!


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