Try these tasty and showy sweet rolls with a light, fluffy crumb.
Oranges (Juice and grated peel from 2 medium fruit. Reserve some for icing. See directions.)
6 cups flour
1 heaping TBL dry yeast (or 1 package)
1 ¼ cup milk
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 eggs (beaten one minute by hand or mixer)
1 ½ cup powdered sugar
2 tsp finely grated peel (reserve from above)
2-3 TBL orange juice (reserve from above)
Lightly grease two large cookie sheets and set aside.
Prepare oranges. I used an old-fashioned, hand grater for the rind and then squeezed the fruit manually. Measure the juice. The recipe requires ¼ cup for the dough and 2-3 TBL for icing. If necessary, add water to obtain correct amount. The frosting uses 2 tsp shredded rind, reserve this amount. The rest can go into the rolls.
Sift flour into a large mixing bowl. I used to skip the sifting but have since discovered this simple step lightens the crumb with cakes and even yeast bread. If you don’t own a sifter, use a fork to ‘fluff’ or aerate the flour. Add dry yeast and set bowl aside.
Cut the butter into several smaller pieces to help it melt, then add it into a medium saucepan along with the milk, sugar, and salt. Heat on stovetop (low setting) until warm to the touch (but not hot because it can kill the yeast). Add to flour mixture, stirring until combined. Add the eggs and stir again. With an electric mixer, beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Fold in ¼ cup orange juice and the grated rind (reserving 2 tsp for icing).
Add 1 cup of flour to the mixture and stir with a spoon. Repeat, until dough is thick, then turn out onto a floured surface and knead more flour in until the consistency is smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes). Place the dough into a large greased bowl, rotate it slightly, and then turn it over to bring the coated side on top. Cover and let rise in a warm area for about an hour.
Punch dough down. Divide in half. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Roll each half into a 12” x 7” rectangle. If dough becomes difficult to work with, let it rest a few minutes to allow the glutens to relax. With a sharp knife, cut strips 1” wide and 7” long. Tie into a loose knot and place on cookie sheet, 2” apart. Allow the rolls to rise for about thirty minutes until double in size.
At this point, I encounter a logistical problem with my oven. Bread only cooks evenly on the one rack that’s situated in the exact middle between the upper and lower heating elements. Therefore, I can only use this one rack, and both cookie sheets won’t fit on it. So one batch of rolls goes into the oven and the other waits on the kitchen counter, covered.
I prefer not to preheat the oven with yeast bread. So the rolls go into a cold oven, and then I set the temperature to 370 degrees. The rising temperature gives the dough a nice upward lift.
Because cooking times vary, especially with this method, watch the yummies carefully. Bake until golden brown. Remove to a cookie rack to cool. For the last sheet of uncooked rolls, I add them to the preheated oven, and they take about 10 minutes to bake.
While the goodies are cooling, prepare the icing.
Put powdered sugar into a medium bowl along with grated peel and most of the juice. Stir by hand, adding more juice, as necessary, to form a consistency that’s right for drizzling. Use an electric mixer to remove any lumps.
To minimize the mess, I place waxed paper under the cookie rack of baked rolls before drizzling the icing onto them.
My husband and I ate some of these wonderful rolls while they were freshly baked. The yummies were also great for breakfast the next morning. I split several open, added butter, and warmed them gently in the microwave. A sliced orange on the side made the meal complete!