Sweet Orange Rolls (From A Bess Inspired Brunch)

January 2013

For brunch with Bess, the colors of my various vintage wares put me in a Scandinavian state of mind. When I think of going for coffee and sweets in Sweden (something I have thus far only experienced vicariously), I imagine a beautiful display of spiraling rolls. For this wintry brunch, a sweet orange roll was the answer!

Bess Inspired Table

Should you find yourself with extra orange filling, fret not. It works well on crepes, pancakes or toast in the days following. It’s also lovely to spoon a dollop of warm, orange sauce over the rolls when served.

Orange Rolls

Sweet Orange Rolls 
with Maple Whipped Cream

1 1/4 cups half & half, heated to 115°
1 (1/4-oz.) package active dry yeast

1/3 cup raw sugar
2 Tablespoons organic, unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 large egg (local/free-range), lightly beaten

4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

16 Tablespoons (2 sticks) organic, unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup orange zest (from about 4-5 oranges)

2 cups honey

1 teaspoon pure orange extract (not optional)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Combine the milk and yeast in a mixing bowl; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Stir in sugar, melted butter, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and egg

Add flour, and mix until dough forms.

Knead until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.

Transfer to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel; let sit until dough doubles in size, about 1 1/2 hours.


Meanwhile, use a mixer to beat softened butter, brown sugar, and zest in a bowl.

Add remaining salt, honey, and extracts; beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Transfer dough to a work surface; using a rolling pin, roll dough into an 18″ × 10″ rectangle, and spread filling evenly over dough (there will be extra filling). Roll the dough into a log; trim ends and cut log into 12 rounds.

Transfer rounds cut side up to a greased 9″ × 13″ baking dish; cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 6 hours or overnight.


Heat oven to 375°.

Uncover rolls and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Drizzle extra filling over rolls before serving.


Maple Whipped Cream
*makes enough for rolls and coffees 


1 cup organic heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 Tablespoon Snap Liquor


Remember the chilled mixer blades trick?

Use an electric mixer [with chilled mixer blades] to whip the cream in a chilled bowl.

Once soft peaks have formed, add the vanilla, maple syrup and Snap and continue to mix until stiffer peaks form.

Keep chilled until ready to serve.

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