These sweet lemon/orange rolls filled with a delicious lemon sugar butter mixture and/or bitter orange jam topped with a sticky lemon glaze are the perfect way to welcome spring.
It’s been crazy warm here for the past few weeks. We actually haven’t had any snowfall this winter. It’s still February and some of my fruit trees started to form blossoms and you wouldn’t believe but tulips and daffodils has started to grow, too. Still only the leaves, but it’s crazy! I mean these bloom in late April and May.
But let’s go back to these fabulous citrus rolls!
These soft and fluffy rolls with lemon/orange are an ideal citrus season dessert/breakfast/brunch, but of course they can be enjoyed any time of the year. These are the best for breakfast served with a glass of milk, but they also go well with coffee or tea. I often make them because I really like sweet dough rolls. These, along with cinnamon rolls and cardamom buns (soon on the blog) are my favorite.
Is there anything better when you take out freshly baked cinnamon rolls from the oven and you’re welcomed with that amazing smell that spreads through the house? Well, there is! When these rolls are baking, the house smells fantastic, and when you take them out of the oven you have a desire to grab one while it’s still hot. When I first baked them, I wasn’t patient enough to even let that sticky glaze to harden a bit, I started to devour them immediately. And of the 16 pieces I made, I ate 10 of them (of course not immediately. I ate 5 for dinner and 5 for breakfast). Absolutely addictive and irresistible.
I became a little obsessed with sweet yeast dough, and even thought about devoting one whole month to it and research what is eaten in what part of the world, and then trying it out and sharing it with you. Of course, I expect to gain some weight that month, although I have already said that with the first day of March I will start to exercise again. The beach body is not going to fall from the sky, and it is an amazing short 4 months until summer!
WHICH INGREDIENTS YOU NEED
- all-purpose/plain flour
- sour cream (full fat is the best)
- unsalted butter, very soft (but not melted)
- dry yeast, instant or active
- vanilla extract
- lemons/orange marmalade
- granulated sugar
TIPS AND TRICKS
- I always suggest using a kitchen scale. If you don’t have one, buy it! They are cheap and you will always ensure same results in baking!
- I use Large eggs which are around 60-65 grams. In US it would be an XL egg.
- Weather can affect your ingredients. If you live in a moist climate, chances are you’ll need at least the recommended amount of flour, maybe even 30-40 grams (1/4 cup) more. The dough should be sticky, but still manageable. While you’re kneading, the dough should come together and pull away from the sides of the bowl, leaving the bowl mostly clean. Don’t add too much flour because your bread will be more dense. When you pick the dough up, some will stick to your fingers. After the first rise, it will be easier to handle!
- You can also refrigerate the rolls after you shape them and let them rise for 1 hour. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you are ready to bake the rolls, remove the pan from the fridge, and let them rise for an hour before proceeding with baking. Freshly baked buns for breakfast! YUMMY!
- You can make only lemon or only orange rolls. The amount of butter you spread over the dough, stays the same (60 grams (1/4 cup)). If you want to make only lemon rolls, use 4 Tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (about 4 large lemons) and 160 grams granulated sugar. And for orange rolls use 200 grams bitter orange marmalade and 160 grams granulated sugar.
- If you want to use sweet marmalade, you’ll probably need to reduce the amount of sugar. I haven’t tried to make orange rolls using grated orange zest (because I love these the way they are), but I would use around 4-5 Tablespoon finely grated orange zest for the whole pan (or half the amount if you want to make half lemon, half orange).
- It is mandatory to rub zest with granulated sugar! Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar, so it can release oils so you have flavored sugar!
Sweet Lemon and Orange Rolls
- 1 envelope dry yeast (7 grams) instant or active
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- 180 ml warm milk (3/4 cup) warmed to approx 37°C/100°F
- 60 grams full-fat sour cream (1/4 cup) room temperature
- 120 grams unsalted butter (1/2 cup) cubed and softened
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 500-550 grams all-purpose flour 4 - 4 1/3 cup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 60 grams unsalted butter (1/4 cup) very soft
for orange filling
- 100 grams bitter orange marmalade 3.5 oz
- 80 grams granulated sugar 2.8 oz
for lemon filling
- 2 Tablespoons finely grated lemon zest 2 large lemons
- 80 grams granulated sugar 2.8 oz
- 45 ml (3 Tablespoons) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 60 grams (4 Tablespoons) granulated sugar
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle yeast over warmed milk and honey, let it sit for a few minutes or until foamy.
- Using a paddle attachment, with the mixer on low speed, stir in egg, sour cream, vanilla, salt and 125 grams (1 cup) of the flour into the milk and yeast mixture.
- With a mixer on low speed, add in cubed butter, piece by piece until fully incorporated, slowly add 370 grams (around 3 cups) of the flour and stir until all of the flour is moistened.
- Switch to the dough hook, and knead for 5-7 minutes or until the dough is smooth, pliable, and stretchy, but still soft and not overly sticky. If the dough seems very, very soft and very sticky, add the rest of the flour, tablespoon by tablepspoon, mixing between additions until smooth and stretchy but still soft. Stop adding the flour when you get to that point.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1-1 1/2 hour.
- For the filling mix lemon zest with granulated sugar. Use your fingers to rub the lemon zest into the sugar. The rest of filling we assemble as we go.
- Grease 33x23 cm (9x13-inch) baking pan with butter.
- Deflate the dough by punching it down and place on a floured surface. Roll the dough into approx 40x25 cm (15×10 inch) rectangle on a lightly floured surface.
- Spread the softened butter on top.
- Sprinkle the lemon sugar on one half of the dough.
- On the other half spread 100 grams of orange marmalade and sprinkle it with granulated sugar. Roll up the dough into a log as tightly as you can and slice the log into 12 (or 16, if you want smaller rolls) even rolls. Transfer the rolls to prepared pan.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let put them back into a warm spot to rise until puffy for another 1-1 1/2 hour. See NOTE 2!
- After the rolls have doubled in size, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned.
- While the rolls are baking, in a small saucepan add lemon juice and granulated sugar and heat until sugar dissloves. Set aside.
- When the rolls are done, immediately, while still hot, brush them with lemon glaze (and sprinkle with pearl sugar if desired).
- Rolls are best enjoyed the same day and while still warm, but stay fresh and soft in a covered container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.