When you take the time to bake something like sweet rolls, you want to know that they are going to be worth every single second you spent. And these orange rolls, my friends, are one of my very favorite things in the world. Worth every single, tiny second spent. And they're not difficult, despite the connotation of baking sweet rolls.
dude, what's up with my font sizes....
Let's start out with ingredients:
1-1/3 c. slightly warm water
4 cups flour (may use bread flour)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
For the orange glaze icing, you'll need:
2 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. finely-grated orange peel
3 Tbsp. orange juice (use the juice from your orange)
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
To start out, you make the dough by mixing the water, yeast and sugar in your mixer. Then add all of the other ingredients except for the flour and the ingredients that say (for filling). Once it's all mixed, add 1/2 of the flour and start your kneading. Add about 1/2 cup of flour at a time until the dough is sticky but is not sticking to the sides of the bowl. This is where your experience with making bread or rolls comes in handy - determining when the dough is done kneading. You don't want to add too much flour or your rolls will not be soft, they'll be tough. Sticky...but not sticking to the bowl.
Sorry for the lack of pictures up to this point. I didn't decide to blog about this until later but I got the parts you'd really want in pictures.
Okay, so you've got the dough ready. Lightly flour a large surface and plop your dough onto it. Use whatever you have handy (I have a dough divider) and divide the dough into two equal halves. Set one aside. Pull out your rolling pin and roll that sucker into a large rectangle with measurements about 8"x16". Having a measuring device here is helpful to make sure your roll will be even.
Now...are the pictures. Grate your orange so you have some peel, and then squeeze the juice into another bowl. Melt your remaining 2 tbsp of butter. Spread 1 tbsp of it onto the rolled out dough. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 tsp of orange peel over the butter. (You'll do this all over again with the other lump of dough too). And then we roll. Roll like the picture from the long edge. Start on the far side and roll toward you. It's easier.This is an easy thing for kids to help with - the sprinkling and rolling. They love it. And then they love to have their picture taken with it.
So we have a rolled up log looking thing. You can either cut it with a knife with average results, or do it the professional way (like me, the professional "I hate to cook") and use dental floss like so. Make notches where the cuts will be so you get them even. Slide the floss under the roll, cross the floss and pull. Wah-la - perfecto cuts.Pick up the little sliced piece and like my mom is doing in this picture, hold it in one hand and with your other hand, push the center up just a tad. This makes them bake in this cute little shape so they look all the more appetizing.You can use a cookie sheet to bake these but if you like them to all squish together in the pan as they bake, grease a roasting pan or what-not and place them close together.Cover them and place in a warm spot. I usually turn my oven on to the warm setting while I'm making the dough, then put my rolls in and turn off the oven. It's toasty but they're not going to bake. When the rolls have risen to twice their size (about 30 minutes), preheat your oven to 375 (if they're rising in there, remove them first - don't be like me and forget and leave them in there) and bake them for about 15-20 minutes or until they are golden brown. Ovens vary so just use your judgment. These were mine just after baking.
For the icing, just mix together the ingredients and use a little hand blender to get it smooth. Pour over the top of the rolls in the quantity desired. I actually used about 1/2 of this recipe but it's up to you. Make sure to do this while the rolls are still warm. This makes about 24 super-spectacular, to-die-for, ultra-yummy, make-yourself-sick rolls!
p.s. credit goes to my mom who gave me this awesome recipe. Thanks mom!