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Orange Dinner Rolls

Serves: Makes 18 rolls


  • For the dough:
  • ¾-cup whole milk, warm (about 110°F)
  • ¼-cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp. instant yeast
  • 3⅔-cup all-purpose flour
  • 1¾ tsp. coarse kosher sea salt
  • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) butter, room temperature

  • For the filling:
  • 4 tbsp. (½ stick) butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • Zest of 3 medium oranges
  • ¼ tsp. orange extract or ½ tsp. orange blossom water (optional)

  • For the glaze:
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter
  • 2 tbsp. orange juice


When we got married my husband and I did our best to blend some of our family’s traditions together for the holidays. Naturally, food was where we started.

My mom always made the best rolls. I can remember on a few occasions she made orange dinner rolls. They were heavenly! Warm, buttery and bursting with fresh orange zest.

We make a modified version for our Thanksgiving spread. They’re one of my favorite ways to use up the oranges we receive from my husband’s citrus growing family in Florida. We always get a box or two around the holidays and they always get put to good use!

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add milk, sugar, egg and egg yolk. Sprinkle the yeast over top and allow it to sit until foamy, about 5 - 7 minutes.

Add flour and salt, mix until combined, about 2 minutes. Switch to the dough hook and knead on low for 1 minute. Add 8 tablespoons of softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Knead until the dough forms a soft, sticky ball, about 5-6 minutes.

Place the dough in a large, well-greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 - 1½ hours (if you live in a warm, humid climate you can do this at room temperature, however, if your kitchen is cool, you may want to let your oven heat to 100°F, turn it off and let it rise in there).

Punch dough to deflate, and then place onto a floured surface. Roll the dough into a large 16-inch circle.

In a medium bowl combine the soft butter, sugar, orange zest, and extract or water if using. Mix until smooth and creamy. Using a pastry brush or an offset spatula, spread over the surface of the circle of dough.

Using a pizza wheel or pastry wheel, cut 18 triangles or wedges. Roll each into a crescent shape starting at the outer edge and rolling inward towards the tip.

Place onto a well-greased baking sheet, with the tip tucked under (if it’s not under good enough it may unroll as it rises). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 40 minutes to 1 hour or until doubled in size (again, you may want to do this in the oven if your kitchen is cool).

Preheat oven to 350°F.

When the rolls have risen, remove plastic wrap and place in the oven to bake for 18 - 22 minutes or until golden brown on the tops. Remove from the oven and brush with the melted butter and orange juice. Remove from the pan and serve while warm.

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