Preview: These Orange Sweet Rolls are incredibly addicting, especially for orange-lovers. The recipe includes directions for mixing and kneading in a bread machine, but you can do it by hand or use a stand mixer. See the recipe notes for details.
A food magazine that printed a recipe for the famous orange rolls served at a steak house in Alabama inspired me. Of course, the first step was to figure out how to use my bread machine to mix and knead it. No problem.
Unfortunately, the rolls didn’t turn out at all like the famous ones.
My sister from Alabama has been talking about the famous orange rolls for years. She was often encouraging me to come up with a recipe to make them herself at home. Unfortunately, since I had never been to the restaurant that serves these rolls, I could only go by her description.
A few years ago, my sister transported the famous rolls to my house. As you can imagine, they didn’t fare so well after a 12-hour car trip. I was not impressed.
During my annual visit last year, she finally took me to the restaurant. Since it wasn’t dinner time, we asked for a half dozen rolls to go. Now I understood what she had tried to describe to me for so long.
The rolls were still hot when we got them and a bit doughy. They were extraordinarily orange in color and taste. The sweet stuff on top was a glaze, not an icing like you might put on traditional cinnamon rolls.
After converting the magazine recipe, I wasn’t happy with the final product because the orange flavor wasn’t nearly as prominent as the restaurant variety. I fixed that by using frozen orange juice concentrate instead of fresh orange juice and increasing the amount of orange peel used in the filling.
The final analysis:
These rolls are mighty tasty and so fabulous that I wanted to eat half the pan. Therefore, I’m declaring this experiment DONE!
These orange sweet rolls aren’t anything like the famous orange rolls from the restaurant, but they have earned a space in my bread machine roll collection.
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Orange Sweet Rolls Recipe
- ¼ cup milk (room temperature) - 75 gr
- ½ cup frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed to room temperature) - 120 gr
- 1 teaspoon table or sea salt - 6 gr
- 1 egg plus 1 yolk - use large eggs
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened - 85 gr
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour - 360 gr
- 2 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast - 6 gr
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened - 28 gr
- ½ cup granulated sugar - 100 gr
- 2 tablespoons grated orange zest - from two medium oranges
- ¼ cup heavy cream - 51 gr
- ¼ cup granulated sugar - 50 gr
- 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate - 30 gr
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter - 28 gr
- ⅛ teaspoon pinch salt
- Add ingredients to a bread machine pan in order given. Leave lid open. Choose the DOUGH cycle and press start.
- Check the dough at least twice by lifting the lid to take a peek. Do this right after the machine starts to see if the paddles are correctly engaged. Recheck the consistency of the dough again 15 minutes into the DOUGH cycle.If your dough is too wet, add flour one tablespoon at a time. The dough should stick to the side, then pull away cleanly.Conversely, if the dough is too dry, add one tablespoon of liquid at a time until the dough looks just right. Find out more about this surprising secret to success with a bread machine here.
- When the dough cycle finishes, check to make sure the dough has doubled in size. If not, allow dough to continue to rise in the pan until it is double the original volume. IMPORTANT NOTE: Because this is a highly enriched dough, it takes longer than usual to rise. Allow at least an extra hour for this.
- Remove the dough from the bread machine pan onto a floured surface. Roll into a rectangle measuring approximately 12 x 17 inches.
- Spread softened butter over rolled-out dough until dough is completely covered. Sprinkle sugar-orange zest mixture evenly over butter.
- Begin rolling dough from the long side. Roll as tightly as you can. Cut long roll in quarters. Cut each quarter into 5 evenly-sized rolls.
- Place inside buttered 9 x 13 inch pan, cover with a tea towel, and allow to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes before baking.
- Preheat oven to 325˚F. Bake rolls for 25-30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 190˚F.
- Mix the glaze while the rolls bake. Combine all ingredients into a small saucepan and heat over medium temperature under mixture turns syrupy and coats the back of a spoon. Set aside to cool.
- Pour glaze over hot rolls as soon as they come out of the oven.
- To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer: Add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on LOW to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Then, using a dough hook, turn the speed to 2 or 3. Continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
- If making by hand: Combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead with your hands until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Kneading will likely take 10-20 minutes, depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate the dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
- Please note: If you only have active dry yeast, use 1/4 teaspoon more than called for in the recipe. It no longer needs to be dissolved first, but you can if you prefer.