This Cranberry Orange Roll Pull Apart Bread is amazing. It isn’t necessarily difficult, but I’ll tell you up front that it does require a time commitment, like all recipes in the yeast bread genre.
It’s hard to make pull apart bread with one hand. But I made it anyway because if the years are going to be short and time is going to pass and all the days come to a close in the end, I want some of them to include Cranberry Orange Rolls.
2½ teaspoons active dry yeast
½ cup warm water
2 cups milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons orange zest
8 cups sifted white flour
½ cup melted butter
For the Filling:
4 tablespoons butter at room temperature
1½ cups light brown sugar
zest of one medium orange
1½ cups fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped in a food processor
For the Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
2½ tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
- Step 1
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast and warm water. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until yeast has dissolved. Add the milk, sugar, salt, eggs, orange zest, and 2 cups of flour. Mix on a low speed with the paddle attachment until the dough is smooth. Slowly add 3 more cups of flour, increasing the mixing speed until the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and glossy. Add the melted butter and mix well.
Mix in the remaining flour until a stiff dough forms and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Dough should be firm and smooth, but still a little sticky – don’t over flour.
- Step 2
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Toss the dough to lightly coat with flour. Place it back in standing mixer, cover, and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Step 3
Using the dough hook on the standing mixer, knead until the dough is smooth and pliable – about four minutes on speed 2 in a KitchenAid mixer. Place kneaded dough in a large greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Step 4
On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 2 equal parts. For each loaf, take one part of the dough at a time and roll it into a large rectangle – about 11×14. Using a spatula, spread 2 tablespoons of room temperature butter on each loaf. Sprinkle each loaf evenly with ¾ cup brown sugar then top with ¾ cup chopped cranberries and half of the orange zest.
- Step 5
Roll the prepared dough into a log starting on the long side. Place seam side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut diagonal slices, about 1½ to 2 inches apart (approximately 12 rolls) cutting almost to the bottom of the log, but leaving the dough attached. Arrange cut sections so they lean to alternating sides (as pictured above). Let rise for 15 to 20 minutes while the oven preheats to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Step 6
Beat one egg with 2 tablespoons of water. Brush egg mixture over the dough. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. You will want to check the bread often between 20 and 30 minutes to prevent over baking. Check the inner rolls to make sure they aren’t still doughy. Remove from oven when the outside is golden brown and all the inner layers are cooked. Let cool slightly.
- Step 7
To make the glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar and orange juice. Drizzle over the slightly cooled loaves.