Despite my mother's immense talent in the kitchen, the weekend breakfast treat requested most often by my brothers and I was a freshly baked tray of sweet orange rolls from a refrigerated can. Fragrant, warm, and slathered in sweet orange icing, those rolls didn't last a second in front of four hungry kids. For anyone out there with a special affinity for that instant dough, the extra effort of making the Ruby Red Sweet Rolls, in Lisa Fain's The Homesick Texan Cookbook, from scratch is worth it. Simultaneously dense and fluffy, the classic sweet rolls are brightened with the Texas native Ruby Red grapefruit. Serve them soft and fresh out of the oven for brunch with fruit and coffee or reheat them for a late-night dessert.
Ruby Red Sweet Rolls
Makes 15 rolls
adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook
For The Rolls
1 tablespoon or 1 packet yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons Ruby Red grapefruit zest
1/2 cup Ruby Red grapefruit juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg, beaten
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
For The Filling
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ruby Red grapefruit zest
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
For The Icing
2 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup Ruby Red grapefruit juice
2 teaspoons Ruby Red grapefruit zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Mix the yeast with the warm water and let it sit for 5 minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in zest, juice, sugar, salt, egg, butter, and 1 cup flour. Mix with dough hook until lump batter is formed. Slowly add remaining flour until a soft, pliable dough comes together. Don't worry if it's sticky. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. After rested, mix again with dough hook on low speed until dough is smooth. Add a bit more flour if dough is still very sticky. Place dough in a clean greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in size about 1 1/2 hours.
Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish. On a floured surface, roll out risen dough in a large rectangle, about 9 by 13 inches, with the longer side facing you. For the filling, sitr together sugar, cinnamon, and zest. Spread the butter over the whole dough adn sprinkle mixture over the butter. Starting on one of the long sides, roll the dough and pinch the ends to seal. Cut off 1-inch slices from the rolled dough and place sliced rolls in teh baking dish. Cover with a towel and let rise for an hour.
Heat oven to 375°F. Bake rolls until golden brown, about 20 minutes. While rolls are baking, whisk together icing ingredients. Spread on rolls when they come out of the oven.
Caroline Ford is a food stylist, writer & recipe developer in Portland, OR. More of her writing can be found on her blog: Food. Write. Style.