Traditional Sweet Roll Dough
2 packages (or 2 Tablespoons) active dry yeast (less at higher altitudes)
½ cup warm water (105-115F)
½ cup lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup shortening, or butter, or margarine
4 ½ to 5 cups flour
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 ½ cups of the flour. Beat until smooth. Mix in enough remaining dough to make dough easy to handle.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl. Turn greased side up. (At this point dough can be refrigerated 3 to 4 days.) Cover; let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 ½ hours. (Dough is ready if impression remains when touched.)
Punch dough down. Shape into desired rolls. Cover; let rise until double, about 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Break dough into 2 halves. Roll each half into a rectangle 15x9 inches: spread with softened butter. Mix ¼ cup sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Sprinkled over butter rectangle. Roll up, beginning at wide side. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal well. Cut into 15 slices. Place slices slightly apart on greased baking pan on into greased muffin cups. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. While warm, frost rolls with icing.
Sweet icing: Mix 1 ½ cups of confectioner’s sugar, 1 Tablespoon milk, and ½ teaspoon vanilla until smooth. (I sometimes add a few drops of hot water to melt it all together and make it easier to drizzle over rolls.)
Variation: Frosted Orange Rolls
3 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 Tablespoon grated orange peel
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
Combine above ingredients and beat until smooth and creamy.
Roll ½ of dough into 12x7” rectangle; spread with half of orange filling. Roll up beginning at wide side. Pinch to seal. Cut into 12 slices. Place slightly apart in a greased round layer pan or a square baking dish. If making both half into orange rolls, use a 13x9” baking dish or a cookie sheet. Bake 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven. Frost with remaining filling while warm.
Family Memories: This use to be our favorite breakfast for Christmas or other holidays. I remember getting up while everyone else was sleeping to make the dough so it would rise and be ready to turn into rolls. Often at Christmas the kids would be up before me, and they would open their stockings and see what Santa brought them before we ate breakfast. Then I would make the dough and let it rise while we opened the rest of our presents before baking them fresh and hot and sweet from the oven. it was a great way to start our day, and my kids still ask me for this recipe at this time of year. As the kids got older, they would join me in the kitchen and participate in making these rolls. I know they will remember the cinnamon rolls the most, but there were times when I made the orange rolls instead. It has been years since I've made them,but they sure are yummy!