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« Cranberry Sauce | Main | Banana Espresso Chocolate Chip Muffins »
Monday
Nov142011

Cranberry Orange Brioche Rolls

Cranberry Orange Brioche Rolls

As the late, great Douglas Adams once said, "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

These past couple weeks have been all about meeting deadlines for me. In the next few days, all of my little side projects and work deadlines converge. I've done little else but stress over deadlines in the last week, frantically working as fast as my hands and mind will allow. After working for what feels like non-stop for far too long, I feel like there is little left of me to go around.

Yet, as I'm sure many of you know, the show must go on.

Cranberry Orange Brioche Rolls

My brain currently feels a bit like jello, wobbly and unsure of its balance. I've fallen asleep in front of the computer twice, albeit briefly. And I think if I have to edit one more photograph, I might just lose my mind.

When I'm under a lot of stress, I tend to stress eat (I know, it's bad and I shouldn't, but I can't seem to help myself). It's not that I'm even eating junk food. All my food groups are present and in balance. I just sit in front of the table eating much more than I should because every minute I'm there is one minute I don't have to spend working, never mind the fact that the work will have to get done whether I eat more or not.

Logic doesn't always make sense to a stress addled brain.

Cranberry Orange Brioche Rolls Cranberry Orange Brioche Rolls

Nevertheless, this weekend I took some time out of my schedule to make these rolls. Bread, whether you realize it or not, is one of the perfect foods to make when you are home, but busy working on projects or chores. It requires a few minutes of attention every couple hours (a welcome distraction when you need a bit of a break) and, at the end of the day, there is something piping hot coming out of the oven to feed your tired soul.

I know I said that chocolate makes the world go 'round but, after warming up a leftover bun for my dinner, I think these rolls might too, in a more subtle way.

Cranberry Orange Brioche Rolls

These Cranberry Orange Brioche Rolls are delicate, rich, buttery rolls with plenty of flavor. Sweetened with honey, the rolls are contrasted with tart cranberries and a hint of orange zest. These rolls would make an elegant holiday breakfast to serve overnight guests, or perfect to keep as a secret all to yourself. Serve warm with a small pat of butter, if desired, but they are just as delicious plain. Dried cranberries may also be substituted for the fresh cranberries if your tastes would prefer.

One Year Ago: 30 Second Sangria (I could use one of these about now...)

Cranberry Orange Brioche Rolls

Yields 1 dozen rolls

Sponge
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup milk, barely warm
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together yeast and milk, mixing until yeast is dissolved. Stir in orange juice, honey, and flour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30-45 minutes, or until dough begins to ferment and bubbles form.

Dough
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
Zest from 1 orange
1 cup fresh or dried cranberries

If using a stand mixer, mix in flour and salt to the sponge using dough hook attachment. Add the eggs and mix for an additional 2 minutes, or until dough is formed into a ball. Add in the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time and continue kneading the dough for 5 additional minutes. Knead in the orange zest and cranberries.

If not using a stand mixer, mix in flour, salt, and egg to the sponge by hand. Add in the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, gently kneading in the butter by hand. Knead in the orange zest and cranberries. Continue kneading dough for another 7-8 minutes, or until dough is elastic.

Place dough in a bowl, cover with plastic film, and allow to rise for 2 hours at room temperature (or overnight in the refrigerator) until dough has doubled in volume. Punch down the dough, cover again, and allow to rise a second time for 45-60 minutes, or until dough has doubled in volume once again.

Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface and divide dough into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball, flatten with the palm of your hand, and place rolls on a lined baking sheet close to each other (this will help them rise better). Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise an additional 15-20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

Honey Coating
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon butter, melted

In a small bowl, mix together honey and melted butter. Using a pastry brush, coat rolls evenly with mixture.

Bake rolls for 25-30 minutes, or until rolls are lightly browned. Serve warm or room temperature.

Reader Comments (13)

wow your photos are gorgeous! and the rolls sound super good. i love the combination of cranberries & orange. & i love your little orange twists... so cute!
Yum! I love brioche - and the cranberry and orange would make it even better! Amazing.
11.14.2011 | Unregistered Commentersara
I baked a couple of brioche loaves this weekend for a Thanksgiving stuffing practice round (I always use brioche in my stuffing). It's been awhile and I forgot how good this bread is. Your roles look delicious as well, even though I'm bursting at the seams from stuffing my face with it. :)
11.14.2011 | Unregistered Commenterla domestique
The photos make the brioche looks so delicious. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I'm planning to try this one for Christmas!
11.14.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSybil Wieners
Nicole-- Wow, thank you! I love those little orange zest curls too. :)

La Domestique-- That stuffing sounds like a dream! I'm dreaming about it already.

Sybil-- Thank you! This would make a wonderful holiday roll and will not hog all of your attention while you work around in the kitchen. :)
11.15.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Oh my goodness...these look so delicious.

I am going to make them. I hope they come out as beautiful and delicious looking as yours.
11.15.2011 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
I watched a food network program about a super delicous looking breakfast pastry where the pastry artist/chef took a thick slice of homemade brioche and spred it with a mixture of ground almonds, butter, sugar and eggs then baked it until golden and crisp. I do not remember where the bakery is, but I surely wanted to go book a ticket just to eat one of those. I have also been very hungry for bread pudding, whick I don't even really "like" compared to all the other pastries I prefer. I think brioche makes a delicious bread pudding - not that you would have any of these rolls left, but maybe that's another use for them. As a side note, if you need help editing, my sister is superb and does it as a side job.
11.15.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSweet Pea
Hmm your pictures look so nice...the directions don't look too hard...I think I'll gives this a try...
11.15.2011 | Unregistered CommenterGG
Hello! I'm planning on making these this weekend - I have a lot of work to do and I'm already anticipating my study breaks! But I have a question. When do you combine the sponge to the dough? Is it with the flour and the salt in the first step of the dough recipe? Thank you! I'm really looking forward to making these!
11.15.2011 | Unregistered CommenterEleanor
OMG. this looks sooooo yummy. Will definitely learn to bake so that I can have this!
11.16.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlexa Woodsen
Eleanor-- Yes, that's exactly it. I've fixed the recipe above to be clearer. Thanks for catching that!
11.17.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
These look delicious. I keep telling myself that I need to make homemade brioche one of these days. So good for leftovers and making french toast too.

On a side note--check out my latest post--I'm 110% sure we have the exact same linen from Target. I love it!
Followed to the letter but dough was lumpy and could not get to ball without adding more flour. Very disappointed.
07.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

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