If you are looking for a sweet roll recipe that is perfect for breakfast our brunch, give these orange sugar rolls a try. They have a springy feel and use ingredients available at any time of year. They are soft, fluffy, and have a delicious crunchy orange sugar on top. They would be perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch or a special breakfast.
Orange rolls for any time of day
These rolls are a sweet and fluffy treat for any time of day. Most people would probably serve them for breakfast or brunch, but we also eat them as a sweet dinner roll. They evolved from a monkey bread recipe in one of my favorite bread books. Their fluffiness is delightful, and because it is a rich dough, the leftovers will keep for a few days for you to snack on.
This recipe went through a few changes until I was happy with it: changing the pull-apart bread to individual rolls and changing the wet and sticky glaze to a crunchy orange sugar. The dough recipe is a great, versatile dough for cinnamon rolls and other sweet breads.
A few things to keep in mind as you make this recipe:
If you have never made a yeast bread before, please check out my beginners guide to yeast bread baking, which will go over the basic steps and different methods you can try.
The dough has a lot of sugar and dairy, which means it will be slower to rise. I let mine rise for the first rise for almost 2 hours.
It is very important that the rolls cook through, so check their doneness with a cake tester. They are covered in butter and therefore take a little longer than the average roll. Doughy rolls are gross. This might mean your edges over-brown. You can eat them yourself.
You could try a variation with lemon zest instead of orange, or mixing a little cinnamon in instead.
You can serve these directly out of the pan if you prefer.. I do not like the idea of people touching everything, so I pull them apart to be served individually. They are good either warm or at room temperature.
Recipe and video
Orange Sugar Rolls
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup water
- 3 tablespoons softened butter unsalted
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt (reduce to ¾ teaspoon if using salted butter)
- 1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast SAF brand
Orange Sugar Topping
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons grated orange rind
- Combine dough ingredients and knead into a smooth, soft dough using stand mixer or bread machine. This is a sticky dough and will seem overly wet at first, but will tighten up as kneading goes on. If it seems excessively sticky, add flour a teaspoon at a time.
- Allow dough to rise, covered, in a warm place. It may take up to 2 hours for it to double in bulk as the dough is so rich.
- After dough has risen, remove from bowl and cut into 16 pieces of a relatively equal size. Roll into balls.
- Using some of the butter that will be used for the topping, brush a shallow and wide baking pan such as a pie dish to keep the bread from sticking.
- Combine the orange rind and sugar and sprinkle a small amount on the bottom of the buttered dish. Place the rolls inside.
- Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes. Halfway through the rising time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- When rolls look puffy, drizzle the remaining melted butter on top and then sprinkle the orange sugar on. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the tops have browned and dough is completely cooked through.