Friday, September 6, 2013

Orange Sweet Rolls

I tend to make sweet rolls once a year, for Christmas morning, but they are not the orange kind.  In fact, I have never had an orange sweet roll before but they sounded so enticing that I had to give it a try!

These are supposed to be similar to the Pillsbury version, but I can't say whether they are or not, as I have never had them!  What I can say is that the dough was nice and soft and light and the orange flavor was nice and strong.  I would probably increase the cinnamon sugar mixture in the inside, and maybe add some nutmeg in there as well next time.  I do not normally put an icing on my sweet rolls but this one was nice.  Not so much icing that it overwhelmed me (icings on cinnamon rolls tend to do that to me) but a nice addition to the roll.  One interesting thing about these rolls is that not only is the orange flavor in the icing, it is baked into the dough as well!  An orange double whammy! 

I prepared the rolls in the evening and baked them the following morning.  I just personally can't see doing all the work for sweet rolls in the morning!  That is too much for me! 

Orange Sweet Rolls
adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/2 cup warm water
fresh orange zest from 1 medium orange
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
2 TB unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 - 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 TB sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 TB unsalted butter, at room temperature
(I would increase the sugar/cinnamon amounts here)

1 cup powdered sugar
1 TB orange juice
fresh orange zest from 1 medium orange
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dissolve the yeast in the water and allow to bloom for about 1 minute.  The yeast will get a bit creamy looking.  The water should be about 105F-115F, a bit warmer than body temperature but not too hot.  Stir the water/yeast mixture, then add the orange juice and zest, sugar, salt, egg, butter and 1 1/2 cups of the flour.  Beat everything together with an electric mixer (stand or handheld) on low.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Using a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle, about 1 1/2 to 2 more cups.  The dough should be soft, not sticky, and should spring back when you poke it with your finger.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead with your hands for 5-6 minutes.  Form the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased bowl.  Flip the dough over so all sides are lightly greased from the bowl.  Cover the dough and let it sit in a warm place until it is doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Line the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish with parchment paper.  Turn the risen dough out onto a floured surface and roll to a 15x9 inch rectangle.  Make sure the dough is evenly thick and as squared at the corners as you can.

For the filling, mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Spread the dough with the softened butter and sprinkle generously with the cinnamon-sugar.  Roll the dough tightly along the long edge and pinch the long edge closed along the roll.  This is a good time to smooth the roll and even the edges a bit.  After you do this, cut the dough into 15 even rolls using a very sharp knife or thread/un-flavored un-waxed dental floss (details on how to do this here).  Arrange the rolls cut side up in the prepared pan.  Cover the rolls and let them rise in a warm place for 30 - 60 minutes.  If you choose to bake the rolls in the morning, stop here.  Put the rolls in the refrigerator overnight.  In the morning, take the rolls out of the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature.  You can sit them on the counter and wait, OR gently float the pan in a roasting pan filled with hot water, OR put the pan in the oven set at "proof" or 200F.

Preheat the oven to 375F.  Cover the rolls with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops are golden.  Transfer the pan to a rack and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.

While the rolls cool,mix all icing ingredients together.  When ready, drizzle the icing over the rolls and serve!
Printable Recipe

I found the buns to have a very strong orange flavor.  If you prefer a lighter flavor than this, use less zest in the dough and icing!


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