Thursday, December 25, 2008

Orange Cinnamon Rolls

It is a long standing tradition in my family to have cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning before we open presents. I know craziness, to do anything before presents , but that's how we do it. Whether we are at my parents' house or ours, cinnamon rolls come first. It's always a debate about whose recipe we are going to make--my brother's, my dad's or mine. We've come to an understanding that whatever state is hosting gets to make the rolls. This year, I got to make my cinnamon rolls. I think this is one of the best tasting roll recipes I've had--I've even gotten my brother to convert to my recipe!

To make preparation easier on Christmas morning. I let the formed rolls rise overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, when I preheat the oven, I remove the rolls from the fridge and let them warm up on the counter before putting them in the hot oven. This extends the cooking time slightly. Another option would be to form this into a bread loaf of cinnamon swirl bread (also very good!).

Orange Cinnamon Rolls
1/4 c warm water
1 T active dry yeast
2 c whole wheat bread flour (or regular whole wheat if you can't find w.w. bread flour)
1 c milk, scalded
3/4 c orange juice
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c butter, melted
1 egg
1 T orange peel, grated
1 1/2 t salt
3 1/2 - 5 1/2 c bread flour

2 T butter, melted
2/3 c sugar
2 T ground cinnamon

Combine warm water and yeast in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Combine whole wheat flour, milk, orange juice, 1/2 c sugar, 1/4 c butter, egg, orange peel, and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix well. When cooled to lukewarm, add yeast mixture and mix. Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead 8 - 10 minutes or until smooth. Place in a greased bowl, turn to grease both sides, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/4 hours. Punch down and divide in half. Roll or stretch each portion to a large rectangle.

Combine 1/3 c sugar and cinnamon. Put 1/2 of melted butter on each rectangle. Top with cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll up lengthwise and cut into 1 - 2 inch slices (the easiest way to do this is with a string. Loop the bottom of the string underneath the dough. Cross the ends and pull until the string cuts the dough). Place in greased 9 - 13 inch baking pan. (If making this a day ahead, put in the refrigerator now). Let rise until doubled in size. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for about 20 - 25 minutes. Leave in pans for 5 minutes, then cool on wire rack. Top with favorite cinnamon roll icing (either cream cheese/confectioners sugar or just confectioners sugar/water icing) if desired. We usually eat these without icing. However, as M believes, icing never hurt anything! This will make 18 - 24 rolls depending on size.

1 comment:

Darcy Hamre said...

This sounds to yummy....must try this one soon.