This time of the year I always find myself craving fresh citrus. Maybe the long dark days of an Upstate New York winter, make the bright cheery citrus fruits especially appealing. Or maybe I just have Orange on the brain (Go ‘Cuse!!). Either way, Orange Sweet Rolls are a perfect breakfast during winter.
Orange sweet rolls are like cinnamon roll’s fun and sassy cousin. This fruity spin-off of the cinnamon roll will fill your whole kitchen with the sweet smell of oranges as it bakes, which will definitely ward off any mid-winter blahs. The pop of flavor from the orange zest is a perfect compliment to the sweet buttery filling in these orange sweet rolls, I think it may be impossible to eat these sweet rolls and not smile.
I will be the first one to admit I have a small carbohydrate addiction. I love bread, and rolls. I tried the South beach diet once and thought I was dying, it may of been the longest morning ever, I had a bagel and felt better and chalked the South Beach diet up to things I will not be doing again. I don’t just like eating breads and rolls, I really like playing with yeast doughs. I love the kneading and shaping, it is a great way to work out any frustration.
Grated orange rind/zest from 2 large oranges (reserve 1/2 teaspoon for glaze)
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
Dissolve the yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in the lukewarm water. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, or in the bowl of an electric mixer, and mix until fairly smooth. Knead the dough, by hand for 10 minutes, or with your mixer equipped with the dough hook for 5 minutes. The dough should be smooth and supple. Turn the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise until puffy, 1 to 2 hours.
Prepare 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.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface. Pat and then roll the dough into an 16 x 12 -inch rectangle.
Spread the prepared filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch bare edge along one long side .
Assembly: Starting with a long edge, roll the dough into a long log (not too tightly, or the centers of the rolls will pop up during baking). Make sure to finish up at the edge that isn't brushed with milk or butter. Brush that edge with water and pull it up over the log, pinching to seal. Roll the log so it's seam-side-down on your work surface.
Use a ruler to mark off 1 1/2-inch intervals, then use a serrated knife to gently cut 12 rolls; you may also loop dental floss around the log at each interval and pull, which gives you a nice, clean cut. Transfer the rolls to lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about 1-inch between each roll.
Brush the sides of each roll with melted butter or vegetable oil, if desired; this makes the rolls easier to pull apart after they're baked. Cover the rolls with lightly greased plastic wrap, and set them aside to rise until puffy but perhaps not doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Bake the rolls in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, reversing the pans midway through. They should be golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to cool slightly, as you prepare the frosting.