There are a few frequently asked questions that I frequently . . . get asked . . .
Can I share my favorite with you? Can I just get this off my chest? Okay.
Q: How come you’re not 500 lbs, with all these treats and goodies you eat all day long?
I love this question. See, people come to this blog and assume that my family and I subsist on cake and cinnamon rolls. I think that’s pretty hilarious.
Honestly, I eat very little of the goodies I make. They’re usually for an event, or to give away to someone. And when I do make something just for fun, I send 98% of it away with my husband to work. He puts it in the break room for all of his office buddies to consume. And good grief, they do.
Now, take a moment and read over that last paragraph. Got it?
Good. See, that’s actually the answer I would have given you, if you had asked before I made these sweet rolls.
I made a whole bunch of these rolls for that Return of the Jedi party I mentioned earlier. Did I send the leftovers with my husband to work? Good heavens, no. I kept them home and had inhaled at least four of them by 10:00 a.m. Not one of my finer moments. But ooooohh, they were good.
I’ll be honest, if I were forced to choose only one baked treat for the rest of my life, there would be none of that wishy-washy “oh-I-could-never-choose-just-one” bunk. The winner would easily be fluffy, sticky, chewy, yeasted sweet rolls. Heaven. Just, heaven.
I’m not sure what else I can say to convince you to go make these. Just . . . go make them.
Promise me you will.
Orange Cranberry Sweet Rolls
recipe for dough adapted from Lion House Bakery
2 cups warm water
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
2 tablespoons Instant yeast* (such as SAF)
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/3 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons orange juice
Prepare the filling first by creaming together the sugar and cinnamon with the orange zest. Set aside.
Next make the dough. In a large bowl, combine the water, dry milk, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, eggs, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix just until smooth. Add two more cups of flour, and mix until incorporated (I do this by hand with a wooden spoon). Then mix in just enough of the remaining flour to make a very soft dough. Don’t go by the exact amount in the recipe — go by the feel of the dough. The dough shouldn’t be so sticky that you can’t knead it, but just barely manageable. The less flour you add, the softer the rolls will be, generally. Knead for about 6-8 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll into a rectangular shape, roughly 20″ x 12″. Brush dough with the 1/3 cup of melted butter, and sprinkle evenly with the sugar/orange zest mixture. Sprinkle with dried cranberries. Carefully roll the rectangle up lengthwise and cut into 1-inch slices using thread or floss. Place rolls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size. Halfway through rising, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until golden brown. While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze by mixing together the butter and powdered sugar, and stirring in enough orange juice to make it “drizzling” consistency. Stir briskly until smooth. As soon as the rolls are removed from the oven, drizzle or brush the glaze over the hot rolls.
*Note: If you want to use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast, I can’t make any promises, but you should make these adjustments:
- Dissolve 2 tablespoons active dry yeast with the warm water and sugar for about 5 minutes before you add it to the other ingredients to make the dough.
- Once you are done kneading the dough, place it in a large greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow it to rise until doubled. After it’s risen, punch it down and roll it into a rectangle, resuming the recipe as written.