Mel's Kitchen Cafe".
Cinnamon Rolls or Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls on a chilly wintery day. The idea of making sweet rolls with a buttery orange filling was too much for me to resist. I made the dough, per Mel's recipe, using my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer.
I added one of my favorite ingredients to the dough recipe-- King Arthur Flour's Buttery Sweet Dough Emulsion (that I buy online). This ingredient adds that buttery, citrusy, vanilla bakery flavor that never fails me. This dough uses buttermilk, melted butter, sugar and eggs. I used SAF Instant Yeast, which is mixed in with the dry ingredients. I only use King Arthur Unbleached Flour, and for this recipe I used their unbleached bread flour. The dough mixed easily, and I let the stand mixer knead it for ten minutes. Placing the dough into a greased bucket, I closed the lid and then placed it into my oven. I find that turning my oven to WARM for two minutes, then shutting it off (while the dough is kneading), makes a warm and cozy place that speeds up the process of proofing the dough-- like in half the time!
In the meantime, I softened butter and whisked in sugar, orange zest and freshly squeezed orange juice. I wanted to increase the orange flavor, so I added this Pure Orange Oil (which tastes much better than orange extract).
See what I mean about "oozing" butter? Also, please note how crammed together I placed each slice into a 9" cake pan, that I coated with non-stick spray and then placed a round of parchment paper. This wasn't the ideal situation, and that explanation is coming up next.
I had three leftover slices, which I gently pulled and twisted (per Mel's suggestion). I covered both pans with plastic wrap, sprayed with non-stick spray and then placed the dough back into my cozy oven environment, and they rose in about 25 minutes. I removed them, and preheated the oven to 350F.
In 20 minutes, those rolls were baked golden and had risen well above the baking pan and they were tall and HUGE! Wow! That's when frosting becomes a baker's best friend. I took a detour from Mel's glaze, and made a cream cheese frosting instead. I removed the rolls from the cake pan, and slathered the cream cheese frosting that I flavored with some of the reserved orange zest, some fresh orange juice and more of the Orange Oil.
Frosted sweet rolls are so much fun to photograph. How tempting does this look?
I tore off the first "Godzilla" sized sweet roll, and I admired how soft and tender the bread turned out to be. The three hour wait was killing me, and I dug in.
TASTING NOTES: While I love cinnamon rolls, I think this is my new favorite version. The bread was billowy and super tender. The flavor of orange really came through, and I think the pure orange oil was a great additive, and the Buttery Sweet Dough flavor emulsion gave the bread a lot of added flavor. Though the butter ended up melting and spreading all over the rolls, this was not a bad thing. The frosting-- incredible! I see no reason why the rolls can't be made the night before, then allowed to proof the next morning (which might take a little extra time).
I've got some holiday side dishes that I'm hoping to photograph and share before Christmas, and I do plan to make some peppermint themed recipes for the holidays. However, I think that orange has it's rightful place this time of year, since they are in season. If you make these, you'll be a bakery hero. I know I'll make these again, though not in the immediate future. These are definitely not Weight Watcher's friendly, but they are a great treat for sure.
As always, a printable recipe is at the bottom of this post.