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Holiday Orange Rolls

I’ve had many Christmas dinners in my lifetime, but what I remember the best are the Christmas brunches. My family would gather at a dining table that was covered with platters of eggs and sausage (if I was lucky, there would be bacon), breakfast rolls and occasionally pancakes, plates overflowing with fruits of every color, and any sort of juice I desired (I was too young for mimosas). But what I looked forward to the most each year was the orange rolls. Little croissants would be snuggled next to each other on the platter, golden-brown and covered in the glaze. They would always be the first item reached for, and the food I ate the most of.

This year, I asked my mom to send me the recipe so I could try my hand at making these rolls for myself. They turned out better than I ever expected, and I hope you can find an excuse to try these at some point. (You can also find the same recipe here, not that it makes much of a difference.)

Orange Rolls:

1/4 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
Orange Filling
Orange Glaze

Orange Filling:

3/4 cup sugar (I used 2/3 cup and that was plenty)
2 TBS grated orange zest

Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix until even.

Orange Glaze:

1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 TBS orange juice

In a small heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine butter, sugar, sour cream, and orange juice; bring to a gentle boil, boil 3 minutes stirring constantly so mixture does not burn. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly until rolls are finished baking.

To make the rolls:

In a large bowl, combine warm water and yeast; stir until yeast is dissolved. Add sugar, eggs, 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, sour cream, and salt; beat until mixture is smooth. Add 2 cups flour; stir until well mixed. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, adding additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time if dough is too sticky.

Place dough in a well-greased bowl; turn dough over once to grease the top. Cover rolls with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size, approximately 1 to 2 hours. After rising, punch dough down then turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead dough briefly, 4 to 5 times.

Divide dough in half. Roll half of the dough into a 12-inch circle. Brush dough with 1 tablespoon melted butter, and sprinkle half of the filling mixture on top. Cut into 12 pie-shaped wedges. Starting with the wide-end, roll-up each wedge; bend into a crescent shape and place point-side down in the baking pans about 1-inch apart. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough.

Cover and let rolls rise is a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 1 to 2 hours.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 13×9-inch baking pans.

Prepare Orange Glaze while rolls are baking. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove rolls from oven. Place pan on wire rack to cool. Drizzle glaze onto the rolls while they’re hot.
Makes 24 Sweet Orange Rolls.

That’s all, folks! Hope your holidays are merry! Er — happy. Christmas. Whichever.

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