I forgot to post the picture of Hallie throwing a tantrum for the twelfth time the morning after Thanksgiving. And the picture where I threw one too, beet red and angry. And I didn’t tell you how I threw out the stuffing before anyone could take seconds because it didn’t taste right. I bought the wrong bread. And I didn’t record the argument we had about how to best hang the garland outside either. But I did want to tell you about these make ahead orange clove rolls we consumed during those days. That cream cheese glaze, it can cover a multitude of sins.
Do you know Sam from Love, Cake? She’s my favorite baker. She counseled me on cream scones when I decided to break up with buttermilk scones. I based these cranberry orange scones off hers and haven’t wavered since. Sam has worked in several kitchens for top food magazines. She’s got street cred like no other food blogger I know. She recently published her first book, The New Sugar and Spice. I knew it would be good because it came from her hands. But after making banana fritters from her book, Kev decided we should bake our way through the whole book. I’ve never seen the man touch a cookbook much less pour over one. Street cred.
I stumbled upon these rolls accidentally. I had planned on making the orange clove pull apart bread from Sam’s book for a late afternoon snack. My parents had just flown in for the long Thanksgiving weekend. Growing up, my mom bought that tiny 5-stick pack of clove gum whenever she could find it. One stick would ignite your mouth with flavor. For rationing sake, she’d give us each a half a stick at a time. Clove bread seemed like a thoughtful choice. I left the dough on the counter before picking them up and didn’t return for many hours later—too late for a second rise and a snack. Thankfully, it took the full day for the first of two rises. It should have only taken 2 hours, but we keep our house at a chilly 65 during the day. Not good conditions for bread rising.
Later that night, after it had doubled in size, I decided to roll out the dough in a large rectangle and spread the filling like I would for cinnamon rolls. I reassembled the dough into a log and used a sharp serrated knife to divide it into 7 equal parts, tucking the pan into the oven for safety from the even colder night air. Perfect sleeping conditions.
After a full nights sleep, they rose beautifully. I baked them as soon as I woke up, no sooner, and topped them with a simple cream cheese glaze. I wont tell you about the part when my mom and dad passed on the orange clove rolls at breakfast. My dad can’t have sugar that early in the day, and my mom is always watching her girlish figure. But I will tell you about how Kev, Hal, and I devoured half a pan before passing the rest onto our neighbors.
After all that, I wasn’t going to tell you about how I forgot this dough on the counter for one too many hours. But I did because they made for the best happy accident—make-ahead orange clove rolls. They come together the way a breakfast roll should—with little effort and no early alarm clock.
- 1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 c. bread flour
- 1/4 c. pure cane sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. instant yeast or active dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
- 4 tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 c. whole milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 c. sugar
- zest from one orange
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 tbsp. orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tbsp. whole milk
- 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- pinch of kosher salt
- The morning before serving, assemble the dough. Into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add flours, sugar, yeast (see note below for yeast recommendation), salt, and cloves. Set aside.
- Into a small saucepan, melt butter until a couple small butter chunks remain. Remove from heat and swirl the pan to melt the remainder of the butter. Into the pan, stir in milk. If milk and butter separate, return to the heat for a second until the butter melts. If using instant yeast, whisk the egg and vanilla directly into the butter mixture once warm, not hot, to the touch and proceed with the next step. If using active dry yeast, whisk together the egg and vanilla in a separate small bowl. Make sure your butter mixture is between 105-110 °F to activate the yeast. Proceed to the next step adding the butter mixture first to activate the yeast. Mix, and then add in the egg mixture.
- Turn mixer on and blend dry ingredients together. Slowly pour in wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Switch to a dough hook and mix on low speed for at least 10 minutes. Dough will look slightly sticky and cling to the very bottom of the bowl. That's just right. Remove dough from the bowl and knead a couple more times, eventually shaping into a ball. Place in a bowl and cover with towel or plastic wrap. Set dough in cold oven or tucked into a chilly corner, and allow to rise all day.
- Later that evening, once dough has doubled in size, assemble rolls. Make filling. Into a small bowl, add sugar and orange zest. Rub the two between your fingers to release all the zesty oils. Add in remaining filling ingredients and combine to a paste. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to a 12" x 9" rectangle. Spread filling over the dough using your hands. On the long side of the rectangle, leave 1" across without filling. Begin rolling dough into a log using the long side of the dough with the filling spread to the edge. Once rolled, pinch the seam together, using a little water as glue if needed. Using a sharp serrated knife, make 6 even cuts, leaving you with 7 rolls. Line an 8" springform pan or cake pan with parchment paper. Place rolls in pan. See dough image above for reference. Cover and allow to rise overnight.
- Morning of, preheat oven to 350°F. Bake rolls for 30-35 minutes. While baking, assemble glaze. Using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese, orange juice, and milk together until smooth. This might take a second. Add in powdered sugar and kosher salt. Beat together again until smooth. Once rolls are golden and done, remove from oven and tent with foil for 5 minutes. I like to steam them just before serving. Once done, spread glaze and serve warm. Best served same day. Give leftovers to neighbors.