Pipe Dream #175: To Interpret Ambiguous Phrasing – Grandma’s Fabulous Orange Buns

orange buns 3

You probably know by now about my love of yeast cinnamon rolls. Check out the archives. You won’t be disappointed. My mother has an equal love for rolls of the orange variety. They are nostalgia-inducing. Plus delicious. My grandma, the best baker in the world, used to make them for every holiday.

My mum tried to carry on the tradition, and I remember having them every Easter as a kid. But something happened between yeast and my mum, and the recipe “stopped working for her.” I found it difficult to believe that the yeast would be at fault here, so I endeavored to recreate the rolls for her sake as much as mine. Like a present.

This task was a bigger challenge than I expected, mostly because the recipe is peppered with phrases like “Add enough of the remaining flour to make a ‘moderately stiff dough,'” and “Let rise for 1-2 hours.” There is a big difference between one and two hours! And I don’t know what satin feels like (I’m a millenial)–how am I supposed to tell what a “satiny” dough feels like?

But despite my fears, I think things turned out all right. I’ve tweaked the recipe below with my notes.

orange buns 5

This picture looks like a Sunday morning. Easter morning. Except it is not, but it could be your Easter morning this year.

orange buns 2

The zest in this is precious. The thinner you roll out the dough, the more dramatic your swirls will be. I think my grandma doesn’t roll them out so thin. Next time.

Also, I doubled the recipe and made four different variations of the rolls. We’ll be set for a while. #saturdays

caramel nut bun 1

Caramel and pecan and hazelnut stuffed buns, anyone?

gmas cinn rolls 2

gmas cinn rolls

Or you can go with the regular cinnamon variety. Classic.

orange buns 1

The stamp of approval. The rolls were successful, and tasted just like I remembered.

Glad to make you happy, Mum. Thanks for putting up with me especially when I ask you to pose your hands just so,

L

Grandma’s Fabulous Orange Buns

Adapted from Mom’s Favorite Recipe (a family cookbook)

1 cup milk

9 tablespoons butter, divided, at room temperature

1 cup white sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/4 ounces (1 package) active dry yeast

3 eggs

4 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoon (or more) orange zest (from one orange)

2 cups powdered sugar

2-4 tablespoons orange juice

Scald milk in a small saucepan (Heat it til it is almost boiling). Remove to a the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and cool until lukewarm (110 degrees F). Add 3 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup sugar, salt and yeast to the milk. Let stand for three minutes, then add egg and 1 cup of four. Beat well.

Add enough of the remaining flour to make a “moderately stiff dough.” This part is tricky and relies on feel. I used about that much, maybe 3 cups. Beat on medium speed with the dough hook for five minutes, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for an additional 5 minutes until the dough is “smooth and satiny.”

Place in a greased bowl, turning to coat the surface of the dough, Cover with a towel, and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours. Divide the dough in half, and roll each into a 12″ by 8″ rectangle.

Stir together the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter, the second 1/2 cup of sugar and the orange zest. Spread this over the dough. Roll up each rectangle, starting on the long side and rolling toward yourself. Pinch the seam closed. Slice each roll into 18 buns. From here, you can place them into 3 greased 9-inch baking pans, or into individual muffin cups. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes, checking them to make sure the middle is getting done. If you find that the rolls are getting too brown before the center is baked, cover the pans with aluminum foil.

While the rolls are baking, combine the powdered sugar and orange juice to make a thinnish glaze. Drizzle over the warm rolls. Makes about 3 dozen.

Variations:

Try filling the rolls, with butter, cinnamon and chocolate chips and topping with a cream cheese glazeOr caramel bits and nuts with a caramel glaze! The best.

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