Herein lies my recent, much-loved version of the almighty orange sweet roll, using this divine sweet roll base and a deliciously orange, sweet and buttery filling, taken from a recipe I posted in the past.
I’ve included my how-to-twist-the-rolls below the recipe. You can definitely make them in the classic cinnamon roll spiral shape, but I swear, they taste better twisted.
Or maybe that’s just me that’s twisted. Who knows. Either way, these rolls are seriously delectable. From the tender, soft dough to the dreamy light and citrus-infused filling – I adore them.
Don’t hate me, but I’d take one of these any day over a traditional cinnamon roll. I’d prefer one of each, of course, but if I had to choose, it would be orange rolls all the way, baby.
¾ cup buttermilk, warm (I pour the buttermilk in a glass liquid measuring cup and microwave for 1 minute on 50% power). Here is a guide for making your own buttermilk
6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs
4 ¼ cups (21 ¼ ounces) flour
¼ cup (1 ¾ ounces) sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
Grated orange rind/zest from two large oranges (reserving 1/2 teaspoon grated rind for the glaze below)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice from about 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind/zest reserved from the filling above
For the dough, whisk the warmed buttermilk and butter together in a large liquid measuring cup. Combine 4 cups of flour, sugar, yeast and salt together in a standing mixer fitted with dough hook (or you can use a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon or electric handheld mixer). With the mixer on low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and eggs and mix until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Increase the mixer to medium speed and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (knead for 15-18 minutes by hand). If after 5 minutes of kneading, the dough is still overly sticky, add 1/4 cup flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl but has a slight tacky feel when pressed between your fingertips. (See this tutorial for a visual.)
Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl and cover the top tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, around 2 to 2 ½ hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
For the filling, combine all the filling ingredients (reserving 1/2 teaspoon orange zest for the glaze) in a small bowl and mix well. Set aside.
When the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured counter (I use my trusty roul’pat for this step) and press it into about a 16 by 12-inch rectangle (if you have doubled the recipe, split the dough in half and roll out one half at a time). Gently brush the filling mixture over the rectangle, using an offset spatula or rubber spatula.
Lift the longest edge closest to you and begin rolling the dough into a tight log. Pinch the seam closed and roll the log so it is seam side down. Using a serrated knife, slice the log into 12 evenly sized rolls,more or less. You can slice them thinner or thicker as you like. For a traditional cinnamon-roll-look, arrange the rolls cut side down on a lined or lightly greased baking pan. If you want to try the twist method (see the pictures below), one at a time grab each sliced roll and holding on to either end simultaneously pull and twist the roll into a figure eight and place it on the prepared pan. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap. Let the rolls rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 to 1 ½ hours.
Bake the rolls at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes, until the rolls are lightly golden on top and cooked through. While the rolls are baking, mix together the glaze ingredients. Drizzle the glaze over the warm rolls.
As with all yeast doughs, I never use the flour amount called for in the recipe as a hard fast rule (unless a weight measure is given and then I pull out my kitchen scale). Because humidity, temperature, altitude and a multitude of other factors can impact how much flour you need in your yeast doughs, I always judge when to quit adding flour by the texture and look and feel of the dough rather than how much flour I’ve added compared to the recipe.