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Orange yeast rolls a delectable winner

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Today's recipe for Orange Rolls was a request from Frances McCaffrey of Spokane, Wash.


She writes: "I have been looking for a recipe for orange rolls. They used to serve them with dinner at the Spokane Club. They were very moist and must have been made with orange juice -- but no peel."

We're not sure about the rolls at the Spokane Club, but we're positive that the recipe sent by Margaret Chadwick of Churchill is a winner.

Her Orange Rolls are made with a yeast dough. Working with yeast can be tricky, especially if you're new at it. If you follow a few simple rules, you shouldn't have a problem.

Yeast is a living organism, and, as with all living things, it's sensitive to temperature. So the temperature of the liquid in which the yeast is dissolved is important. Too much heat will kill the yeast and too little with slow its growth or kill it (the result is that the dough won't rise). Dissolve yeast in liquids with a temperature range of 105 to 115 degrees for dry yeast and 95 degrees for compressed yeast. To be absolutely sure, use a thermometer.

If you're not sure your yeast is active, combine it with 1 teaspoon sugar and the warm liquid called for in the recipe, and let stand it for about 5 minutes. If the yeast begins to swell and bubble, it's OK -- if this doesn't happen, the yeast is dead and cannot be used.

Kneading the dough develops the gluten, the proteins that give bread its shape and texture. Dough should be kneaded until it is smooth and elastic. This may take from 5 to 15 minutes. We used our heavy-duty mixer with interchangeable paddles to mix, blend and knead the dough.

A suggestion: Before you begin, measure all the ingredients and place them on the counter to use as needed. You may have a few extra bowls or dishes to wash, but it's worth it to have everything at your fingertips.

Just as we expected, the rolls turned out light as a feather. The orange juice and orange zest added a sweet freshness to the rolls while the bits of walnuts and orange icing completed these irresistible treats.

Orange Rolls

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk, scalded
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 to 5 1/2 cups sifted flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons grated orange peel
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • Orange icing (recipe follows)

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water (105 to 115 degrees); set aside. Scald milk. (Scalding is cooking a liquid to just below the boiling point.) Add shortening, sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm. Place in mixing bowl. Stir in about 2 cups of the flour and beat well. Add eggs and mix well. Stir in yeast, orange peel and juice and remaining flour (or enough to make a soft dough). Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Or place dough in mixer and, using the dough hook, mix until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. Cover bowl and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours. Punch down, cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Divide dough in half. Roll each to a 12-by-9-inch rectangle, 1/4 inch thick. Spread each with filling.

Orange Filling

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

Combine all ingredients.

Spread filling on dough. Roll up dough like a jelly roll. Seal edges and cut in 1 inch slices.

Place rolls on a slightly greased cookie sheet or muffin tins. Cover and let rise till double (about 45 to 60 minutes). Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes. Makes 24 orange rolls.

Orange Icing

    1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar

Combine all ingredients. Stir until smooth. Icing may be drizzled over hot or cool rolls.


Laverne Howell of Wilkinsburg writes: "I'd like to know if anyone has a recipe for Apple Squares. I found it in the Post-Gazette back in the '70s and used it all the time. Then I lost it for a period of time and recently found it, but some of the recipe had crumbled. It called for seven items; I can read some of the ingredients, but the first two are gone. It was really simple to make and very delicious. Anyone, please help if you can."

Mollie Claar of Elizabeth Township is searching for a pumpkin torte recipe. It was served at a Russian church in McKeesport.

Rick Parker of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is looking for a prune cake that is layered. "It is more like a pastry than a cake, and it's very heavy. My grandmother used to make it for my father every Christmas, and I would love to surprise him with it."

If you want to answer a recipe request from a reader or are looking for a recipe yourself, please write to Kitchen Mailbox, c/o Arlene Burnett, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222, or e-mail to aburnett@post-gazette.com. Please include a name, neighborhood/city/borough/township and state and a daytime phone number on all correspondence.

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