Sweet Orange Dinner Rolls

I don’t make bread very often. I absolutely love it, but I feel like I always tend to mess it up which makes me oh-so-frustrated. Plus, I feel like for something that takes so much time and effort, side-dishes don’t get much appreciation; not like dessert, that is. I was inspired, however, by an orange roll I ate yesterday and wished I had a million more to stuff down my throat afterwards. So, I researched recipes and devised my own. The result? A sweet and orangey, fluffy and buttery dinner roll, perfect with a savory spicy beef and rice dish! I love that the orange compliments the meat so perfectly. You just have to try these rolls with your next pot of chili, stew, or whatever strikes your fancy! (These also would be so yummy warmed up for breakfast, with some honey drizzled on top.)

Sweet Orange Dinner Rolls
3 packets active dry yeast
1 and 3/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup melted butter (I used margarine)
2 tsp salt
2 large eggs, beaten
6 cups of flour (approximately)
Orange Simple Syrup: 
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1/2 orange 
~In a large bowl, combine the yeast and the water. Let sit for approximately 5 min to activate. 
~While your yeast is activating, make your orange syrup. On high heat in a small sauce pan, combine water and sugar and stir continuously until sugar is disolved. Turn off heat and add the zest and juice from the orange. 
~Stir in honey. Stir in butter. Mix in 2 cups of flour. When the flour is well mixed in, mix in the salt. Add the remaining flour, one cup at a time, until the dough holds together and is elastic. 
~Flour your work surface. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle (approximately 12″x16″). Brush on the orange syrup (don’t flood your dough though, but make sure the entire dough surface is covered; you should have syrup left over). Roll up the dough (kind of like you’re making cinnamon rolls). Cut into 1.5-2″ segments and arrange in a greased 9″x13″ pan. You should get appx 12 rolls, but if you get more, you can always use 2 pans.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While oven is preheating, cover rolls with a damp towel and let rolls rise to nearly double in size, 20 min in a warm spot (I let mine rise while sitting on top of the oven because my stove top gets warm while the oven is heating). Bake rolls for 25 min or until golden brown on top. Place on a cooling rack and brush tops with more of the orange syrup and sprinkle with powdered sugar (if desired), then let cool. Eat up!

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