Orange Rolls

Orange Rollss
Finally, it's December.

I don't think I have ever said that before, but last week just really threw me for a loop.  A whole extra week in November after Thanksgiving?  It just didn't feel like the holidays.  I mean it's still 80 degrees here, but there's no telling how long that will last.  At least we can flip the calendar and start counting down.  So let's start baking treats that only seem legal during the holidays.
You are probably going to want to start a new Christmas tradition and make these sometime in the next 25 days.  Oh man, are they good.  Bake them for immediate consumption, make and refrigerate on Christmas Eve for a perfect Christmas breakfast, or freeze them in advance for any fun holiday brunch.  These rolls are super stars considering you can bake, ice and freeze.  Just pull them out and reheat and no one will be able to tell you did not stay up all night letting yeast rise.

I come from a house divided.  Mr. Hungry won't touch an orange roll if there is a cinnamon roll in the near vicinity.  The good news is that you can make one batch of dough, split it in half and make a half batch of orange rolls and a half batch of cinnamon buns.  Just remember to half the orange filling and cinnamon filling recipes.

Hope your December is off to a good start.

From my little kitchen to yours... Enjoy.

So the first bit will look quite familiar if you delved into the cinnamon bun recipes.  But we will repeat the process just in case.

Here we go...

First, let's gather our dough ingredients.  Let's talk about that milky looking mixture at the bottom right.  It's warm water and yeast.  If you want to get real technical and get out a thermometer, you want warm water between 105 and 115 degrees F.  If you want to get not so techie, run your finger under the hot water.  The water should feel hot, but not too hot where it is burning your finger.
Let's also chat about scalded milk.  Technically, it is milk that has been heated to it's boiling point.  Visually, it looks like the picture below.  If this is a totally foreign concept to you, check out this quick little video.  See the notes section of the recipe below for more detail. 
scalded milk
You can do your mixing with a hand or stand mixer, but I went the old fashioned way with a wooden spoon.  First you throw together the milk, sugar, butter, salt and egg.  Then, add two cups of the flour and mix well.
Add the yeast mixture and mix.  Next up, we are going to slowly add up to two more cups of flour.
dough 2
Basically you want to keep adding flour until the ball of dough is not overly sticky.  Out of the few times I have made these, I have used all four cups in total and if I have any left at this point, I end up using it during the kneading process if dough still seems sticky.
dough 3
Time for kneading/ a quick calorie burn.  Put your back into it and you can probably burn enough calories to eat an extra orange roll. Your dough is sufficiently kneaded when you perform the spring test at the bottom right.  Simply press in gently and the dough should spring back at you just a little.  
kneading 1
Kneading 2
Lightly grease a large bowl with oil.  I have used olive oil or vegetable oil... just a very thin layer.  Add dough ball and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Allow to dry in a warm dry place for 1 1/2 hours.
dough rising
While the dough is rising, it is time to get to the best part... the orange icing.  Just a few ingredients will get us there very quickly.
Orange Rollsd

Separate the dough in half so you will have two even balls.  Roll each ball out into a rectangle about 7 inches by 14 inches.
Orange Rollsa 
Get that icing and let's soak that dough in some orange goodness. Use 1/4 of the icing in the middle of each roll.
Orange Rollsf
Leave about a one inch edge along one of the long sides.
Orange Rollsg
Start to roll it up, starting with the long side with icing to the edge and ending with the side that has a border.
Orange Rollsh
You end up with a nice and snug roll.
Orange Rollsi
Pinch the seam to close it up.
Orange Rollsj

Orange Rollsk
Slice your rolls into 10 equal pieces.  I like to start in the middle and cut to keep them even.
Orange Rollsl
Hurry! Let's get these in the pan before we lose too much orange goodness.
Orange Rollsm
After lightly spraying a pan with cooking spray, stuff these little guys in as close to each other as possible.  Orange Rollsn
Once, they are baked and  golden brown, it's time to slather on more orange icing.
Orange Rollso
Put another 1/4 of the icing on each pan.
Orange Rollsq
Orange Rolls
Makes 2 pans of 10 rolls each
1/4-ounce package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup scalded milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
olive oil, for coating the bowl
Orange FIlling
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup orange juice

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour gradually until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Lightly grease a large bowl with olive oil (vegetable oil will work as well).  Place dough in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 

While dough is rising, prepare orange filling.  Combine powdered sugar, orange zest, butter, and orange juice in a large bowl.  Divide dough in half and roll each piece into a 14 by 7-inch rectangle.  Spread one-fourth of orange filling onto each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch margin on one long side.  Roll dough jelly-roll fashion, starting at long side with icing to the edge.  Pinch seam to seal, but do not seal ends.  Cut into 10 equal slices per roll, trimming off ends.

To bake in the next 24 hours:
Prepare orange through the step of preparing the pans.  Cover loosely with saran wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.  Refrigerate extra icing for frosting in an airtight container as well. When ready to bake, remove from the refrigerator and allow to sit on the counter for 30 minutes before baking.  Bake and ice as instructed above. 

To freeze:
Rolls can be completely baked and iced and then frozen for up to one month.

When slightly cooled, but still warm, pour the icing over the rolls.  Allow to cool completely.  Tightly wrap in Saran wrap and then foil.  Freeze rolls for up to one month.  When ready to eat, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Reheat orange rolls for about 15 minutes, until heated through.  They taste like they just came out of the oven!