I like the average orange rolls, but I love this recipe so much more. The average orange roll is a sweet roll recipe with an orange glaze on top. They are good when warm but not so much later on. This recipe puts the orange flavor throughout—from dough to filling to glaze. It’s sweeter, softer, and much better.
I used blood oranges because I now live in Arizona and a friend gave us a bunch of them. Any oranges will do of course, but the blood oranges are what gave these rolls such a pink tinted glaze. In fact try this recipe out with lemons or even grapefruit in place of oranges and I bet they’d be just as delicious.
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
1 Tbs sugar
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1/4 cup butter melted
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 (3.4 oz) pkg instant lemon pudding
3 Tbs orange zest (or more to taste)
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups bread flour
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 Tbs orange zest
2 tsp orange juice
1/2 pkg cream cheese, softened
2 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup orange juice (freshly juiced is best)
In large bowl combine water, milk, sugar, and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes. Add slightly cooled melted butter (if it is too hot it will kill the yeast), and the egg. Add salt and flour, combining well, and adding additional flour if needed. Dough should be only slightly sticky to the touch. Place dough in warm oven and allow to rise until doubled in size. If you are in a hurry you can set a bowl of hot water in the oven as well, the extra moisture will help the dough rise faster.
Mix filling in small bowl, creaming together sugar, butter, zest, and juice. You can add more zest or juice for a stronger flavor, but be careful not to make the filling runny, it should be a thicker consistency.
Once dough has risen, divide it into 2 and place the first half on a floured surface. Roll dough into a rectangular shape about a 1/4 inch thick. Spread half of the filling on the dough making sure to get it all the way to the edges. Roll up dough lengthwise and use a serrated knife and a sawing motion to gently cut the log into 1-2 inch sections. Place rolls onto a buttered cake pan or cookie sheet with an edge, about an inch apart. Repeat with 2nd half of dough and filling. Allow the rolls to rise again until about doubled.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Once rolls are risen, bake one pan at a time for 15 to 20 minutes–they should be barely golden colored when finished.
While the rolls are baking make the glaze. Use a hand mixer to beat together the softened cream cheese, zest, and orange juice until smooth. Add in enough powdered sugar to thicken the glaze to a medium consistency. Spoon glaze over rolls while they are warm out of the oven.
Eat warm, if you can wait that long, while gooey and super soft. Or eat them the next day, if they last that long, because the dough stays soft for a few days if kept in closed container.
These rolls are clearly a bit time intensive, but are so decadent that they are worth the wait.