The Orange Rolls That Weren’t.

Last weekend, I had two major flops in the kitchen. Two different flops for the same recipe.

One batch of dough didn’t even make it onto the counter to be rolled out. That’s how bad it was. I barely got it mixed together before I knew it wouldn’t work, and it went straight into the trash.

The second go round of the dough looked more promising, so I tried a new method of making sweet rolls where you roll and cut them the night before, let them rest in the fridge overnight, and then have them rise in the morning before baking them.


I was ready.

The dough looked great. The filling smelled amazing. And they rolled up perfectly, which doesn’t always happen.

I took them out in the morning to get them to room temperature, put them in the oven with a pan of boiling water and let them sit for 30 minutes.

And…nothing happened. They looked exactly the same!

So I tried a new method. Since I had a load of (already) dry clothes in the dryer, I turned the dryer on for about 10 minutes to get it warm. Then I turned off the dryer and put the pan IN the oven on top of the warm clothes to see if they would rise.

An hour went by and they had barely moved.

I baked them anyway.

After our yogurt biscuits came out of the oven and we had finished breakfast, I decided to go ahead and bake the rolls to see how they would do.


Recipe, fail. Twice.

So…anyone have any good, tried and true (and maybe whole wheat) orange roll recipes to share?

It’s a good thing those biscuits made up for these rolls.


  1. So sad that these didn’t turn out! They look perfect; so uniform (mine never look that way!). i do have a recipe for orange rolls on my blog–but it’s not whole wheat, or healthy in the least.
    I love the dryer trick; I have been known to do that when my warm oven is otherwise occupied. Keep trying–I would love to see what you come up with!

  2. OMG YOU MUST FIGURE OUT what went wrong. Then post about it! Because the idea of orange rolls?!?! Well I can barely take it! I need these – now! :) Work you rmagic – I know you have it in you!

  3. (and sorry I’m not more of a help – but you know I’m a baking reject – you don’t want to be taking advice from me even if i did have any to offer!) :P

  4. oh i feel your pain. i had a horrible cinnamon roll flop a few weekends ago. i just can’t seem to get them right!

  5. Is it possible your yeast is just dead?

  6. My last batch of cinnamon rolls at home were a major flop! I made them too thin and they didn’t rise either :(

  7. So sad :( They sound so good!

  8. Ugh. I hate when that happens. As a cook/baker it’s always hard to know when to walk away from a recipe and when to keep pressing on. I have one recipe for lower fat chocolate banana muffins that I’ve been tweaking and tweaking and it never quite works so finally I abandoned it. I’ve never made orange rolls but I will say I’ve had a lot of success with the following doughs. Maybe they could be adapted for orange rolls? <–This is basically just a brioche dough, but it works like a charm. I will say it is very rich though so maybe it's too much with orange? <– This recipe also rocks. I made it awhile ago and it sounds like the method of the dough is similar to what you talk about above

    Neither are WW though. Were you following a recipe that was specific for whole wheat because I do always notice that things that are more whole wheat just don't rise as much. I did find a great product from King Arthur that helps with that (it's an additive you use to make the whole wheat dough rise better).

  9. When you added the yeast to your liquid/sugar, did you let it sit? And if so, did it bubble and foam? If it didn’t, the yeast was either dead to begin with, or the liquid was too hot and killed it…

  10. Pingback: Redemption

  11. Pingback: The Orange Rolls That Were

  12. Pingback: one way my husband will (happily) eat kale

  13. Pingback: - What's Moo?

  14. Pingback: - What's Moo? Blog

  15. I always test my yeast before using it. Mix 1/4 cups of the warm liquid and 1 tsp sugar add yeast. After about 5 minutes it will bubble and foam and you’re good to go. Just be sure that you don’t kill it by adding liquid that is too hot for it. An instant read thermometer is the key there. I don’t rely on the milk on the forearm trick.

    I would try it again, but you can add orange rind to any recipe (or however the orange flavor was added.

    I made this recipe when it first came out a couple months ago and it topped a recipe that I had been using for over 20 years!

  16. PS: I very often rise my dough in the fridge for the final rise in order to bake fresh the next morning. IT REALLY DOES WORK!

  17. I just noticed the date on this post!

    Did you figure out what went wrong or at least give them a second chance?

Comments are closed.