Nov 17, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Overnight Sweet Rolls

I'm not sure which magazine I clipped this recipe from but it's been my go-to sweet roll recipe for many years. The heavy, rich sweet dough recipe is versatile enough to be used in most sweet roll recipes (just roll it the way you want it and add your choice of filling.)  It is also flexible:  you can make the rolls start-to-finish all at once, or you can refrigerate or even freeze the dough to finish and bake later.

My family's favorite are pecan sticky rolls, although orange/coconut rolls are near-and-dear to my heart as well.  Both options are explained below and they are wonderful to make ahead and have on hand to bake up fresh for special holiday breakfasts.

Basic Sour Cream Sweet Dough

2 packages instant active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105-115 F)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh orange rind (optional)
6 cups unsifted all-purpose flour

Stir yeast into water in small bowl with 1 tablespoon of the sugar; stir until dissolved and let stand about ten minutes until it foams.

Combine remaining sugar, melted butter, sour cream, eggs, salt and spices in large bowl of mixer; beat until well-blended.  Add two cups flour and beat until well mixed.  Add yeast mixture and two more cups of flour; beat two minutes at medium speed. Gradually stir in remaining flour to make a medium-soft dough (softer than a bread dough.)

Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead 5 minutes until smooth.  Shape into ball and place in oiled bowl, turn so greased surface is on top.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight, up to two days.

When ready to use, remove dough from refrigerator and punch down.  Turn onto lightly flfoured surface and knead briefly. Divide into 2 or 4 equal balls (2 yields two 9x12 pans; 4  yields four 8- or 9-inch pans.)  Flatten slightly; cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

Roll each ball into desired shape (keep remaining balls in cool place) and:
  1. let rise and bake at 350 until done; or
  2. cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, let come to room temperature and bake at 350 until done; or
  3. wrap tightly in foil and freeze for up to two months, let thaw in refrigerator overnight, then allow to come to room temperature and bake at 350 until done.
For cinnnamon rolls, divide dough into two portions; roll each into a 12x18 rectangle, smear generously with butter, sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar, then roll up from the long end; cut into 12 rolls and place in greased 9x12 pan.  Can be glazed or frosted as desired.

For pecan sticky rolls, make as for cinnamon rolls, but in baking pan combine 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup melted butter and 1 cup pecans before placing sliced rolls in pan.  Bake for approximately 25 minutes; immediately invert on platter for serving. (Tip:  make sure your tray is bigger than your pan.  Clamp them together securely and flip them together over the sink; that way, any hot flying caramel sauce can land safely :-)

For orange sweet rolls, divide dough into 4 balls.  Roll each ball into a 12-inch circle, smear with butter, sprinkle with sugar and coconut.  Cut into wedges and roll up crescent-style. Place in greased pan (each of the 4 balls will make a 9x9 pan or the entire batch will fill two 9x12 pans.)  Allow approximately 25 minutes for baking time but check at 20 minutes.

Orange glaze:  While the rolls are baking combine 1/2 cup butter with 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup sour cream and 2 tablespoons orange juice in heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Pour glaze over roll immediately after removing rolls from oven.  You can sprinkle with more coconut if desired.  Serve warm.

Happy baking,