Don’t those look delicious?
They are a family favorite! My Grandma would make these beauties every Thanksgiving. Now I do too. My family loves them!
On Thanksgiving day, I tweeted that picture up there with these words:
“The best part of Thanksgiving! Grandma’s orange rolls. Miss her. So glad she always had me help her.
A few people tweeted back asking for the recipe. Of course, I am happy to share!
I typed it up today in FamilySearchRecipes. Twice. The first time I accidentally swiped back before I hit save. Grrr! So the second time, I typed it up in Google Drive and pasted it into FamilySearch. Much better.
You can view the recipe on FamilySearch here. But I’ll add it below as well. After a picture of my lovely, orange-roll-making, Grandma, along with my Grandpa.
Grandma Peterson’s Orange Rolls
Grandma Mary Margaret Ellis Peterson would bake the most delicious orange rolls every Thanksgiving. They are a family favorite! As a young, fairly newly married wife and mother, she tasted these rolls at a shower she attended with her sisters-in-law, Janice and Marilyn. They all loved the rolls, got the recipe, and started making them. Over the years Grandma apparently adjusted the recipe. I loved helping her make these delicious rolls when I would visit her over Thanksgiving.
Begin making the rolls about 5 hours before you plan to serve them. One batch yields about 36 rolls. I typically double the batch for 72. I will include the filling recipe Grandma used, but I double that recipe for a single batch of rolls or quadruple it for a double batch of rolls. The handwritten recipe seen attached to this is the copy I wrote out years ago the first time I made orange rolls myself. Aunt Shauna shared the recipe with me.
In mixer start the yeast (if you are worried about how to do this, google yeast starts for more detailed instructions):
- 2 yeast packets or 4-½ tsp yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 cup warm milk
Let sit in mixer bowl for a minute.
Add 3 to 3-½ cups flour (never more than 3-½), mix until soft and spongy, not runny.
Cover with a few kitchen towels until doubled – about 1 hour.
In another bowl, beat until creamy:
- 6 Tbsps Butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1-½ tsp salt
- 2 eggs
Add this to the dough, mix. Add 3 to 3-½ cups of flour. Mix until it’s an elastic dough. The dough should be a little bit sticky.
Transfer dough to a huge, sprayed container. Place container on a folded bath towel and cover with a few kitchen towels. Keep that dough nice and warm. Raise until doubled – about an hour.
While dough raises, mix filling. I will list Grandma’s original recipe for filling. I only use butter and I double it for a single batch of rolls or quadruple it for a double batch of rolls.
Beat and Cream:
- ½ cube butter
- 1 Tbsp margarine or Crisco (I replace this with butter)
- ½ cup sugar
- Zest of 2 oranges
Portion filling into 2 portions (4 if making a double batch).
Use sprayed, serrated knife to slice dough in half (or quarters if making a double batch). On a sprayed kitchen counter, place one portion of dough and roll into a large, thing oblong about as long as a large baking sheet but not quite as wide. Spread one portion of filling evenly across the dough. Roll the dough tightly from the long side so that you have a long skinny roll. Slice dough into one-inch (or slightly larger) rolls and place on large, sprayed baking sheet.
Grandma would cut the dough with unflavored dental floss or thick quilting thread. Aunt Shauna uses a knife. I prefer to use some of Grandma’s thick quilting thread. If using thread, lift the end of the roll, slide the thread to the desired position, pass the thread across the top of the roll making an x, pull thread in opposite directions to make the cut. This works best with two people, one to lift, one to cut, first person places each roll on the baking sheet. Fill baking sheet well – if using a large baking sheet (13” x 18”), place rolls in four columns with five or six rows. You want the rolls to raise and squish together so they bake into a nice large group. They are softer this way.
Place baking sheets on folded bath towels, cover with a few kitchen towels to keep those rolls nice and warm while they raise again. Let raise about 45 minutes or so – longer is fine.
Bake 15-20 minutes at 350º. 15 minutes for one sheet is usually perfect in my oven.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family and yummy food! xoxo