A few weeks ago, after trying to make up my own recipe for homemade orange rolls, I was frustrated.
I made the dough twice. And both times, I ended up throwing every last bit of it away. I hate wasting food and I really hated that nothing about these recipes turned out right. Absolutely nothing – the dough didn’t rise, the process just didn’t work out, and they were not edible.
This past weekend, Nick and I were at home with no big plans, so I decided to try again.
I sat down with the recipe that totally failed in every way and reworked it. I mixed in new ingredients, took out a few things, added a few more steps, and prayed that they would turn out.
Looking at the recipe, I had no idea if this batch would work or not but I was hoping for the best.
Thankfully, everything about this batch worked.
The dough rose beautifully.
The orange butter filling smelled incredible.
They baked up perfectly.
And the orange glaze? Over the top.
These are sweet. Sticky, syrupy, sickly sweet in the best way. But the orange zest and juice cut through the sugar so they’re not super rich.
And – like almost everything in this house – they’re mostly whole wheat. Don’t be intimidated by the length of the recipe. A lot of the prep work is hands-free (waiting for the dough to rise, etc), and they’re totally worth it.
Thank goodness I was able to conquer these rolls before citrus season was over!
Redemption is super sweet.
- 3 tsp yeast
- 3/4 cup fat free milk, warmed
- 1/4 cup water, warmed
- 1/4 cup orange juice, warmed
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 4 Tbsp butter, softened
- 2 Tbsp orange zest (the zest of one medium orange)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp orange juice
- 1 Tbsp milk
Combine the flour, yeast, and sugar in a stand mixer or large bowl.
Add in salt, milk, water, orange juice, melted butter, and eggs and mix with dough hook or mixer (or your hands) until combined.
Mix in the whole wheat pastry and all purpose flour, and let mix 5-10 minutes or until dough is smooth, elastic, and a little sticky. If it’s too wet and sticky, add in more flour, a little at a time, until the dough stays together when you pick it up.
Put dough in an oiled bowl and let it rise, covered, in a warm place until doubled (about an hour).
Once the dough has doubled, punch down and roll out into a rectangle on a floured surface.
Mix orange zest with the 4 Tbsp softened butter and spread butter mixture on the dough.
Sprinkle the 1/4 cup of powdered sugar on top of the orange butter.
Roll up the dough (starting with the side farthest away from you). Slice into 12 pieces and place in a greased baking dish.
Cover and place dish in the refrigerator overnight*.
In the morning, take rolls out and place in a cold oven. Put baking dish on rack below rolls and fill with boiling water. Close the oven door and the rolls sit in the oven for 30 minutes to rise.
Once the rolls have doubled again (about 30-40 minutes), take out and let rest at room temperature while the oven heats up.
Turn oven on to 350 degrees.
Bake rolls 20-25 minutes.
Mix together the powdered sugar, orange juice, and milk to make the glaze. Pour onto the orange rolls before serving.
*If you’re going to be making these in the morning, skip the refrigerator step and just leave the rolls out, covered again, in a warm place to do the second rise. Then follow with the same baking instructions.