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Chocolate Orange Sweet Rolls
Tea Recipes

Chocolate Orange Sweet Rolls

MARCELLA DILONARDO

Recipe by: MARCELLA DILONARDO

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Add a little spice to your holiday baking with these chocolate and orange sweet rolls. A seasonal twist on cinnamon rolls, the dough features Sweet Orange Spice Tea-infused milk in both the tangzhong & dough. Nothing better than waking up to the cozy smell of these freshly-baked rolls!

What's tangzhong? It's an Asian technique of mixing and heating a portion of your recipe's flour and liquid together, then adding it to the rest of your mix. Your dough will absorb more of the liquid, making it rise higher, more moist, and keeps them fresher for longer. Give it a try!

Ingredients

Orange-Spiced Milk:
Tangzhong:
  • 1/2 cup orange-spiced milk 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Dough:
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup orange-spiced milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest 
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt 
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
  • Egg wash, for brushing (1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water)
  • Coarse sugar, for sprinkling
Filling:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

Directions

Make the Orange-Spiced Milk:
In a saucepan over low heat, whisk together the milk and tea leaves. Bring mixture to a gentle simmer and remove from heat. Let stand 15 minutes to allow the tea to infuse into the milk. Strain the milk from the leaves and set aside until ready to use, discard tea leaves. Divide into two 1/2 cups, as this will be used in both the tangzhong and the dough.
 
Make the Tangzhong:
Add a 1/2 cup of the orange-spiced milk, water and flour to a saucepan over low heat. Whisk together until mixture thickens into a smooth paste. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Make the Dough:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix together the flour and instant yeast.
  2. In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk together the tangzhong, the remaining 1/2 cup of the orange spice milk, egg, sugar, orange zest and salt.
  3. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and mix until dough begins to come together. Slowly add the butter in small cubes and continue mixing until the dough is smooth, about 8 minutes.
  4. Cover the dough and let rise for 30 minutes before refrigerating overnight.

Make the Filling, Roll and Bake:
  1. The next day, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out the rested dough on a lightly floured surface to roughly a 12 x 24-inch rectangle. Spread the 1/2 cup of softened butter evenly over the rolled dough leaving a 1/4 inch border around the edges.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the buttered dough.
  3. Tightly roll the dough into a log, starting from the 12-inch side. Trim  the edges when done.
  4. Slice the dough log into twelve 1-inch thick sections and transfer to a lined baking sheet, roughly 6 rolls per baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375˚ F degrees.
  5. When ready to bake, brush the tops with egg wash and finish with coarse sugar on top.
  6. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Enjoy with a hot cup of tea!

Yield: 12 sweet rolls

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