Married to Medicine

Married to Medicine

Friday, December 2, 2011

All-Time Favorite Recipe: Orange Citrus Breakfast Rolls (with cream cheese frosting)

Oh.  My.  GOSH.  When my husband and I first bit into these rolls we were absolutely blown away.  Better than my wildest dreams, these rolls had it all:  Moist, stretchy dough texture - even on the outside of the roll, sweet citrus zing, and a hint of savory in the cream cheese frosting.

Citrus:  Perfect for the Holiday Season.
I wrote in an old blog entry that one of my goals is to try as many recipes as possible so that I can find THE best recipes to be the seasonal staples of my children's childhoods. Devouring my first roll I knew: I had arrived.  I'd found THE #1 Christmas morning recipe for my family.  For us, there can be no more important recipe. Of course, it'll be awhile before I'm hosting my own Christmases.  But for now, I'm thinking our tree-decorating day and whatever day we celebrate Christmas in Boston will include this recipe... and I'll make it at NO other time of the year, to preserve its magic.

Here it is, with pics, explanations, and only a few very minor alterations.

(Have you ever tried orange rolls?  They sell them next to the Pillsbury cinnamon rolls in all grocery stores - the citrus is such a nice change, really adds more flavor... and citrus is perfect for the holiday season)

Ingredients (Don't be intimidated, nothing exotic):

1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast (just ask a clerk if you can't find it - EASY)
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup warm water

1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup orange juice
1 stick butter
1/4 cup instant vanilla pudding mix
1 tablespoon orange extract (baking section by the vanilla)
4 cups bread flour ("better for bread" flour)
2-3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons grated orange zest (need 2 oranges for this)
1 teaspoon orange extract
3/4 cup white sugar

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1.5 cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
2 teaspoons orange extract

Directions (takes a little time, but not at all difficult):

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon white sugar and the yeast over the warm milk and water in a small bowl.  Let stand about 5 minutes.  Mix in the egg, 1/2 cup orange juice, melted butter, vanilla pudding mix, and 1 tbsp orange extract.  Stir in the first 5 cups of flour (including 4 of bread flour) and salt.  Add more if the dough is too sticky (it will be).  When the dough has pulled together into a ball, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed, about 7 minutes.

Place the dough in a large greased or oiled bowl and cover with a clean cloth.  Allow to rise in a warm place for 90 minutes (I used the oven - turned it on for just a minute and then turned it off so it would be a little warm).

Combine the stick of softened butter with the orange zest and 1 tsp orange extract in a small bowl until smooth.  Set aside.  Grease a 9x12 baking pan and another smaller square one.  Don't try to slice them thick and squeeze them into one pan; they won't rise enough and will turn out dense and hard.

Turn the dough out on a floured surface and roll into a 24 inch by 12 inch rectangle. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the dough, then sprinkle with the 3/4 cup of white sugar.

Smears of the filling, ready to spread evenly.  Imperfect rectangle.
Roll up the dough, beginning with a longer side (so that the roll is more long than fat). Slice into 1.5 inch pieces.  Use a very sharp knife or a bread slicing knife if you have one.  They may flatten as you cut but you should be able to sort of put them back how they should be.  The bread flour makes the dough heartier and easier to work with but the all-purpose flour is worth a little extra effort so that your rolls are softer and chewier when they come out.

Cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate overnight or up until a few days if desired.  Hint:  If you refrigerate overnight, which I recommend for a less stressful morning, leave the butter and cream cheese for the frosting out overnight so it's already softened in the morning.

Before baking.

You can save the extra for another morning, if you want.
Remove the plastic wrap and allow the rolls to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.  If you never refrigerated them, allow them to rise until they're twice as high.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly before frosting.

Fresh from the oven, not yet frosted.

Can you tell how amazing the texture of the dough was?

While the rolls are baking, cream together the cream cheese and remaining stick of butter.  Stir in the confectioners' sugar and 2 tsp orange extract.  Spread frosting over slightly cooled rolls.

Frosted.  PERFECT December morning.

Enjoy!  Goes well with breakfast sausage (try Trader Joe's chicken breakfast sausage - mmm) or Kielbasa (Polish sausage).

'Tis the season!!


  1. Ok, YUM. I am absolutely trying these Christmas morning!! If you say it's the best, it must be so. :-) Hope you all are great!!

  2. Wow, these look amazing. I love orange baked goods and I love cream cheese frosting so these just jumped up on my list of things to make this December - thanks for sharing! :)