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Rooibos Cinnamon Raisin Rolls

Every month, Adagio Teas has a TeaChef contest. When you sign up, they’ll send you a free sample of the month’s featured tea, which you can use to create an original recipe. The recipes are submitted back to the site and, at the end of each month, you can vote for your favorite recipe to win. The prize? Something tea-related and the honorary title of “Best [Tea] Chef in the Universe”. Frankly, I’m in it for the title.

This month’s tea is here, along with all the other entries.

This is a variation on my rolls that was really quite tasty. Try these as cinnamon buns or try the base recipe for the rolls alone, if you have a chance. Regardless of whether you will try them or not, please head over and vote for my entry! The voting button is just under the photo.

Rooibos Cinnamon Raisin Rolls
(a variation on my roll recipe)
1 ¼ cups water
1 tbsp rooibos tea
1 package (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp salt
2 ¾ cups all purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
½ cup raisins

4 tbsp butter, cut into teaspoons

4 tbsp milk or cream

1/2 cup sugar


Bring water to a boil and stir in tea. Let steep for 7 minutes, strain leaves and let water cool until it is just warm to the touch, 100-110F.
In a large bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the warm tea, yeast, honey and melted butter. Stir together and let stand for 10 minutes, until foamy.

Stir remaining tea, salt, 2 cups of flour and raisins into yeast mixture. Add remaining flour one tablespoon at a time, stirring until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. You may not need all the flour, but if you need to add a bit extra, that’s fine. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Turn risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface, divide dough in half. Working with one half at a time, roll into long rectangle, about 12×6 inches. Leaving a hlaf inch margin to make rolling easier, brush with about 2 tbsp milk or cream (you might not use it all, which is fine). Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and about ¼ cup sugar. The surface should be well coated.
Starting with a long side, roll up into a tight log, pinching along the seam to seal. Divide log into 6 rolls with a sharp kinfe, cutting every 2 inches, and place cinnamon buns swirly side up on a lined or greased baking sheet. Repeat with 2nd half of dough. Top each bun with about 1 tsp butter.
Bake at 375 for 20-24 minutes, until golden brown.
Drizzle with glaze (see below) while hot.

Simple Cinnamon Bun Glaze

2 cups confectioners sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp cinnamon

milk (skim is fine)

Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl, adding enough milk to make the glaze drizzle thickly but easily. Add a bit more sugar if you thin it too much, but it’s not an exact science, so I wouldn’t worry too much. It’ll taste good in the end no matter what.

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  • Christina
    November 27, 2005

    I have recently become a rooibos ADDICT!! I love the tea and buy teabags from a local gal who makes her own. However, on a pinch I found some at a supermarket here- I think it was called Kalahari. Anyway, it is my new panacea for the common cold. It will take it away faster than a speeding bullet! And as a mother of two, that is exactly what I need in my back pocket! I will have to try you cinnamon rolls. Thanks!

  • Zarah Maria
    November 27, 2005

    Oooh – luscious!

  • chanit
    November 27, 2005

    W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L !!! thanks 😉

  • Mona
    November 27, 2005

    ohmygod my mouth is totally watering. i can’t imagine anything better tasting than that cinnamon roll in that picture!

  • Joe
    November 27, 2005

    Sounds awesome! So voted for this!

  • Lori
    November 27, 2005

    I’ll gladly vote for this, Nic. You’re so creative.

  • Nic
    November 27, 2005

    Thanks so much for the praise and votes, guys!

  • keiko
    November 28, 2005

    Nic, I wish I could taste them – look irresistible!

  • Anna
    November 29, 2005

    Nic, you got my vote. In the meantime, I’m wondering how those rolls would taste with chai tea.

  • Nic
    November 29, 2005

    Keiko – Thanks so much!

    Ana – I think this turned out to be a good way to campaign! I think that these would be wonderful with chai tea. (It’s really my favorite)

  • Cindy
    November 30, 2005

    Love those rolls.

  • Michele
    November 30, 2005

    Oh my goodness these look GOOD!

  • Cathy
    December 4, 2005

    Congrats Nic – I just checked over there again and see that you won! I signed up for the next month’s sample. I’m not sure I can live up to your example though!

  • Angelica
    June 20, 2007

    Hello Nic,
    1st time on your site..and I found it too fantastic to be true. All my baking recipes or rather dream recipes are in one place. Its like dough heaven for me!!! Thank you so much for sharing. First its gonna be the cinnamon buns.. let’s see how they will turn out .. I cant believe your pics and hope mine turn out close. I cant pass by a Cinnabon without my kids going in ..
    Thks again..Angelica

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