Thursday, July 8, 2010

Mom's orange-scented sweet yeast rolls

When I posted pictures of several things my mom and I cooked and baked while vacationing in Morocco, I got a lot of recipe requests. The most popular item was clearly my mom's orange-scented yeast rolls; they're orange-y, soft, tender and only mildly sweet. So here it is. Let me know if you try this recipe. Would love to hear about your experience :o)

*** UPDATE ***
July 9th: I have updated the recipe as it contained some typos. A big thanks to Arden for pointing them out. To be sure there are no other problems with the recipe, I made a batch tonight. They're currently rising. I'm planning on baking them tomorrow but the dough has the expected consistency.

Mom's rolls are both pretty and tasty :o)

Mom's Orange-Scented Sweet Yeast Rolls
(original recipe)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (17.5 oz)
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast (can be increased up to 3 tsp if you're in a hurry)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
zest of 1 large orange
2 eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup sugar
3/8 cup vegetable oil (3 fl oz)
1 cup milk, lukewarm
1 egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
sugar for sprinkling

  • Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  • In a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Slowly drizzle in the oil while beating. Add the milk.
  • Remove the whisk attachment and attach the dough hook.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and knead dough until soft and smooth. The dough should be slightly wet and tacky. Put the dough on an oiled surface and knead a couple turns by hand to form a ball.
  • Let the rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until doubled in volume.
  • Divide the dough into little balls, the size of a small lemon. Let the balls rest for about 15 minutes.
  • Form the dough into braided rolls following the step-by-step pictures below.
  • Let the rolls rise in a warm place until double in volume (this can take up to 1 hour).
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 
  • Brush the rolls with the egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar or Swedish pearl sugar.
  • Bake the rolls in a preheated for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Enjoy slightly warm or at room temperature.
  • Leftover rolls can be frozen.
Forming braided rolls:

Roll each ball into a snake (about a foot to a foot and a half)

Fold the snake in half and start braiding until the bottom. Pinch the ends together.

With the top of the braid as the roll's center, start coiling the dough

When done, tuck the ends underneath the roll. Now it's ready for its final rise before being brushed with the egg wash and baked to deliciousness :o)

Bon Appetit (thanks Mom!) :o)


  1. Thank you!! There are even photos - tutorial of how to braid the dough!! Awesome! Thanks!! :DDD I hope to try these this weekend and not get side-track to other stuff instead!

  2. Gorgeous! I love the step by step pictures. I want to try and make these, hopefully soon.

  3. mmm....look so good! a big thanks to your mom for sharing. I think I'll be making these soon;) will let you know how it turns out! oh and thanks for the I know how you made them look so pretty!

  4. those sound heavenly!! I'm glad you showed how to braid them, I am not a very experienced baker, and didn't have a clue! This is going on my list to do, they look oh so good, and the bit of orange has me hooked!
    thanks for sharing

  5. These look delightful. I am going to give them a try next week, thanks for the detailed recipe and the photos! Wish me luck!

  6. Yum moms rolls look delicious!

  7. Hi,I really can't wait to try this recipe! Being a newbie I have a question, you say knead until smooth, approx. how long should I knead for? I have trouble with the texture of my homemade sweet breads, and I think Im either overkneading or underkneading. Thanks so much for your reply...Shirin

  8. Greek Girl from QueensJuly 10, 2010 at 11:52 AM This looks and sounds gorgeous Hanaa. I'm definitely going to try out your recipe. One thing, though, and that's me and doing the braiding thing. I've tried a few times, and, call my clumsy or ham-fisted or whatever, but my braids never come out looking very...emmm...braidy. Any advice or helpful hints? I guess it's a case of practice making perfect. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hanaa, these just look beautiful. I can just inhale the orange aroma. Yum.

  10. These look and sound fantastic, Hanaa. I love using recipes like this--super well tested over the years, from generations of baking. They're better than anything from any pastry chef. These rolls must smell just wonderful.

  11. These look amazing! Yeast is my nemisis, although I'm gaining on it. I'll definately be trying these.

  12. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. My mom was tickled pink when I told her about all of your wonderful compliments :o) If you decide to make these rolls, I would like to hear from you on how they turned out. I made a batch over the weekend, ate 1 (ok ok, I ate 2) still warm from the oven, and froze the rest. Yum!

    @Kayte: good luck, Kayte :o)

    @Anon: if you have a KitchenAid mixer, knead for about 8-10 minutes on speed #2. The dough will be sticky but that’s ok. Just use oiled hands and surface to form it into a ball before letting it do its first rise.

    @Greek Girl from Queens: I have included step-by-step pictures on how to do the braid. Click on the Read More link at the bottom of the post to see them. You should have no “braidy” issues if you follow that. Let me know if you have any further questions. Good luck! :o)

  13. Mmm, those look delicious, and so pretty. I'm bookmarking this one to make soon!

  14. I made the rolls this afternoon. The are delicious :-)! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  15. Hanaa, you're killing me with all this delicious bread! I can't wait to try making these. Thanks for sharing your mom's recipe!

  16. I will try them today and will let you know..I'm quite sure they will turn amazing


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