Sleepless in Sweet Rolls

Sleepless in Sweet Rolls

It was a sleepless night. I’m obviously still battling the remnants of whatever lung crud I got into 3 weeks ago. Along with the recent rash of rejection emails, it has destroyed my regular sleep cycle, making me irritable, cranky and down right mean. I’ve taken to lobbing insults at wrong numbers, stopping in at the gas station down the street to daily complain about his prices (seriously, he’s 10 cents higher than anyone else), and chasing down the wood rabbits with the car on the way home (I’ll get one….eventually).

So when my night’s sleep ended 45 minutes after it began, I was fit to be tied.

I keep a list in the kitchen of new recipes to try, gluten-free work-a rounds for some friends, and prepackaged foods to make from scratch. Since sweet slumber wasn’t happening, I figured I could at least be productive… besides, the frequency of wrong numbers after 1 am is nearly non-existent. So I thought I could scratch one off the list.

When we were kids, Pillsbury made an orange glazed sweet roll. Now, I’ve had the orange whack-a-tube rolls recently, but they don’t taste anything like they used to. There’s no bits of orange peel in the roll, the glaze is artificial tasting, and the dough… meh… don’t get me started… It just isn’t the same.

Since I had a fresh batch of glasee oranges ready, I knew I could come up with a better roll.

I’ve adapted a traditional danish pastry dough for the roll, and pureed the glasee oranges for the filling and glaze.

Orange Sweet Rolls
Makes 24 Rolls
For the Dough:
2 Eggs
Warm Water (see directions for the amount)
3 Cups + 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Yeast
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Butter (Cubed and Chilled)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 Teaspoons Salt
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Cup Milk
For The Filling and Glaze
2 Glasee Oranges (if you don’t have them, Use 8 Ounces Dense Orange Marmalade)
1/2 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Cup Confectioners Sugar
1 Small Mixing Bowl
1 Large Mixing Bowl
Large Zipper Bags
Measuring Cup
2 – 9″ Pie Plates
Cooking Spray

  • Crack the eggs in the measuring cup and add enough warm water to bring the level to 3/4 cup.
  • Place in the small bowl with the yeast and beat until smooth, set aside until frothy (about 15 minutes)
  • Add the 3/4 cup flour,  vanilla, and sugar and beat until smooth
  • Cover and place in a warm place for 1 hour, or until consistently bubbly
  • Mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl
  • Add the cubed and chilled butter and work into the flour mixture with your fingers until the mix begins to look like rough meal
  • Add the proofed wet mixture and the milk and pull the mixture together
  • Knead for about a minutes then place the dough in the zipper bag and refrigerate overnight

To make the filling:

  • Place the oranges (or marmalade), butter, granulated sugar and cinnamon in the food processor and blend until fairly smooth (you still want a few larger bits of peel)
  • Place in a separate zipper bag and chill

To make the rolls:

  • Lightly flour a flat surface and drop the dough on it
  • Roll out the dough to about 1/4″ thickness
  • Spread 1/2 of the filling over the rolled surface
  • Beginning with the edge closest to you, roll the dough up (jelly roll style) using the backs of your fingers (the dough will be very tender)
  • Cut the roll into 24 1″ sections and place in a well greased pie plate (12 per pan)
  • Cover with plastic and allow to rise for 45 minutes
  • Preheat the over to 375
  • Brush the tops with butter and bake on the center rack for 25 minutes
  • Remove the rolls from the oven
  • Mix the remaining filling with the confectioner’s sugar and coat the tops of the rolls while they are still hot

Allow to cool slightly and serve

6 thoughts on “Sleepless in Sweet Rolls

  1. The sweet rolls look wonderful Toby. Too bad they are born of insomnia. I do hope the sleeping gets better, and soon. I too have been in the sleep deprivation boat and it is absolutely no fun at all! Best of luck tonight. Oh, and nice buns baby!

  2. These are beautiful (loved the photo collage) and nothing tastes like it used to sadly! However I will say having struggled with sleep deprivation myself it was painful to read this knowing how it feels to have so little sleep and try to focus on doing ANYTHING, let alone in the kitchen! Bravo to you. Hope things will look up and that you'll get more sleep soon.

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