When the holidays rolled around throughout my childhood and the family gathered together, everyone’s first question was this…“Is Mary Jean making her Orange Rolls?” Mary Jean is my Aunt and she is famous for these deliciously fluffy, melt in your mouth, beautiful orange rolls.
You can always tell how delicious a Thanksgiving dinner will be by the choice of rolls that are served. Are they store purchased to feed the masses? Are they from a can or frozen? Are they homemade? Are they fluffy? Are they served warm, fresh from the oven? Do they look like a labor of love? It is not always easy or convenient to try to make a homemade roll on Thanksgiving, however the pay off is great. You will be known as the Queen or King of bread! You can create tradition, like my Aunt Mary Jean did with her famous orange roll recipe. Everyone’s question going forward will be “Is insert your name going to make those rolls again?
Orange you glad I’m sharing this recipe with you?
In a small sauce pan combine 1 cup of milk and 3 T. butter. Turn heat to medium low.
Stir until butter is melted then remove from heat and let it cool.
Meanwhile add 1 T. yeast to 1/4 cup of warm water. Stir and let it sit 10 minutes.
Combine both milk/butter mixture and the yeast mixture in a kitchen mixer.
Next you will need: 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and 3 eggs.
Pour the flour and sugar into the mixing bowl, beat the eggs before adding them as well.
Using the paddle attachment mix until all ingredients until combined.
Then add 1 tsp salt and 2 cups flour. Switch to the dough hook and gradually add an additional 2 cups of flour. Once combined let the mixer knead for 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky.
Lightly cover with plastic wrap or a thin dish towel and let the dough rise for another 2 hours. While the dough is rising, use a microplane or small grater, remove the zest from an entire orange.
Add the zest to 5 T melted butter and 1/2 cup of sugar.
Mix well and set aside. After the 2 hours have past, the dough should be doubled in size.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter top.
Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces
Roll both dough balls out into rectangular shapes roughly 3/4 of an inch thick.
Spread the filling onto the dough leaving an inch uncovered on the long sides of each.
Roll the dough lengthwise gently pulling it towards yourself with each turn.
When completed, you should have 2 rolls that look about like this
Using a piece of kitchen string or plain dental floss, cross the strings into an X and pull both sides towards the counter top. The dough will slice quickly and easily in 1 swift movement. You can also use a sharp carving knife to slice it, however it tends to smash the dough slightly.
Each piece should be 1 inch thick. Place the sliced dough into a greased muffin pan.
Let them rise again for an additional hour, then bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes. The top should be slightly brown.
A little swirl of warm and yeasty homemade love for your thankful diners!
Mary Jean's Orange Rolls
For the bread mix
- 1 cup milk
- 3 T butter
- 1 T yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 5 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
For the filling
- 5 T melted butter
- Rind of 1 orange
- 1/2 cup sugar
- In a medium sauce pan over medium low heat add: 1 cup milk and 3 T butter. Stir until butter is melted and then remove from heat and let it cool.
- In a mixing bowl add: 1/4 cup luke warm water and 1 T yeast. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Using the paddle attachment, add the milk/butter mixture to the yeast mixture. Mix well.
- Add: 1/2 c sugar, 3 well beaten eggs, 1 cup of flour.
- Let rise 2 hours.
- Stir in 1 tsp salt and roughly 4 more cups of flour. Add flour one cup at a time. Dough will be sticky.
- Let rise one more hour.
- Make filling mixture by combining 5 T melted butter, the rind of 1 orange, and 1/2 cup sugar. Set aside.
- Divide dough in half and roll out 3/4 thick.
- spread each half with half the filling & roll up like jelly roll.
- Cut into 1" pieces and put into greased muffin tins.
- Let rise an additional hour (they should double in size).
- Bake 10 min at 400°.
- Serve warm.