Friday, November 26, 2010

THE Club - Sweet Orange Rolls

I've been wanting to attempt sweet orange rolls since David and I first visited THE Club in Birmingham for brunch.  (If you haven't been, they are DELICIOUS.  When googling for the recipe I learned they were the inspiration for Sister Shubert's orange rolls.) I figured I might as well experiment this holiday when I am home with the family.  I didn't follow the recipe exactly but I will tell you what I did and didn't do and what I would recommend.  

1/4 ounce dry yeast (1 package...I used rapid yeast and in this cold snap, it worked!)
1/4 c warm water - about 125 degrees (I got the water as warm as ours would get)
1/3 c butter, melted
1 cup sour cream
1/4 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c sugar
1 c flaked coconut
2 T butter

Orange Glaze

1 c. confectioners' sugar
1 T grated orange rind (I omitted)
1 T orange juice (used more like 2 since I eliminated the orange rind)
*Adapted from


Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large mixing bowl. How can something so great (like bread) come from something... so yeasty? 

Mix in the next 5 ingredients (everything but the flour).  Then gradually mix in the flour.  

Many thanks to Matt Fields, photographer extraordinaire.  

Place mixed dough in a well-greased bowl.  Aka, butter.  It works best.  Turn it over so the entire ball of dough is greased.

Since the temperature dropped 30 degrees overnight, I no longer had the pleasure of letting it rise in the attic.  Instead I opted for the oven method.  I turned it on 200 for a few minutes, and then cracked the door.  I let it rise in the warm oven for 2 hours.

This is the result.  I used rapid rise yeast...and I do believe it was more rapid than past attempts. 

This is to remind you of the before:

Mix the next 3 ingredients in a bowl.  This is where it gets hairy.  I did not have a zester nor did I have oranges that wanted to be zested.  (They had smooth peels.)  So I took to real orange extract.  THANK GOSH Mom had some.  I definitely would not have any at my house.  I put in 1/8 of a tablespoon.  I went on the light side because it smelled so potent.    Here is my zesting attmept gone bad.  I tried everything. 

I honestly think real zest isn't necessary.  Honestly, the thought of an orange peel to me is gross.  The recipe called for coconut.  I was not sure how I felt about that so I made one batch with and one without.  The recipe makes 2 pans.  Mom likes the coconut.  I like the one without.  I think the ones without still taste very similar to THE Club sweet orange rolls.  Maybe the sour cream is what makes them stand out?

Below is the first rectangle rolled.  The second one looked better but my hands were too gross to touch the camera!

Place them in a baking pan.  Do not worry if they look small, they will rise.

And after 30 minutes in the oven they will eventually look like this.

The recipe says 250 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  That is bogus.  I honestly cannot tell you how long I cooked them but it was likely twice that.  I watched them like a hawk and ended up turning the oven to 300 at one point.

As for the icing, I did not follow exact measurements obviously since I went with the 'no zest' route.  I used real orange juice from the orange, though.  That has to count for something.  I probably used more than 1 T...more like 2.

...And the result wasn't too shabby.  I have to say, they taste pretty darn good and similar to THE Club rolls.  

I will always be partial to the Julie/Shelley cinnamon rolls, though.  (Julie - I missed you.  I needed 2 more hands!) :)  Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


  1. looks yummy! I will have to give these bad boys a try!

  2. They are totally worth it...if I can do can!