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Orange Rolls

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

In our house, it’s just not a holiday without Grandmother’s rolls.

Notesif you know you are going to freeze the uncooked rolls, use 3 packages yeast. After cutting the rolls and placing them in muffin tins, cover the tins with foil and freeze them for up to 3 months. (Do not let them rise in the tins before freezing.) Three hours before serving, remove the rolls from the freezer, and remove and discard the foil. Cover the muffin tins lightly with dish towels, and put them in a warm place to rise. (We put them on top of the clothes dryer and run a cycle to warm them up!) Bake according to the directions above.

Cooking Methodbaking

CostModerate

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert, snack

Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Mealbreakfast, brunch

Taste and Texturebuttery, chewy, fruity, rich, sweet, tangy

Type of Dishrolls, yeast bread

Ingredients

  • 2 envelopes (4½ teaspoons) active dry yeast, or 3 envelopes if you plan to freeze the rolls before cooking (see tips)
  • ½ cup plus 1 pinch sugar, divided
  • 1¼ cups warm water (at temperature suggested on the yeast package), divided
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4½ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Grated zest of 1 large orange
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • ½ cup sugar

Instructions

  1. Now:

  2. In a large bowl, combine the yeast, 1 pinch of the sugar, and ½ cup of the warm water. Allow the mixture to sit until bubbles form, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining ½ cup sugar, the butter, and eggs, and mix well. Alternately stir in small amounts of the flour and the remaining ¾ warm cup water, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the salt. (This dough is very soft and can be stirred with a wooden spoon.)

  3. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel, and let the dough sit in a warm, draft-free location until it has doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Punch down the dough. Cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

    Later:

  4. Generously grease the muffin tins (for 30 rolls), and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the orange zest, butter, and sugar, and mix them into a paste. Place one-half of the dough on a well-floured surface. Roll it into a large rectangle, as thin as possible, about 1/8- to ¼ inch thick. Spread the rectangle with one-half of the orange butter mixture. Starting with a long edge, roll the rectangle into a tight cylinder, pinching the seam with your fingers to seal it. Cut the resulting cylinder into 1-inch slices, and place them in the prepared muffin tins, cut side up.

  5. Repeat with the remaining dough. (If you want to freeze the dough at this point, see the TIP below.) Cover the muffin tins with clean dish towels, and let the rolls sit in a warm, draft-free location until they have doubled in size, about 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the rolls for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

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