Recipe – Sweet Orange Poppy Seed Rolls

By Callie | September 5, 2019

When I was a kid, my mom never failed to make orange rolls on Sunday morning. They may have come out of a can, but they were always the best part of the weekend! While sitting around at a family dinner last weekend we started reminiscing about things from our childhood. My brother and I agreed that those orange rolls were always a highlight. I started playing around trying to find the best recipe. I know what you’re thinking, just go to the store and grab one of those cans! There is just something you can’t beat about making something from scratch. After toying around with different techniques, adding Blue Bird Poppy Seeds™ made these Sweet Orange Rolls an absolute dream! Whether you are making them for yourself or your family, there is no way that there will be any left. Make sure to pay close attention to this recipe, I hope you enjoy them half as much as we did!


Sweet Orange Poppy Seed Rolls

110 grams melted butter, unsalted
115 mL buttermilk
420 grams all-purpose flour
50 grams granulated sugar
7 grams instant dry yeast - 1 packet
¼ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste

110 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
1 - 8-10 ounce jar of orange marmalade
100 grams dark brown sugar
5 Tablespoons Blue Bird Poppy Seeds™

Sweet Glaze:
115 mL fresh-squeezed orange juice
Zest of two large oranges
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste
220 grams powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
Optional; Blue Bird Poppy Seeds™ for topping


For the dough:
In a glass bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Crack the eggs into a separate bowl, whisk until fluid and set aside for later.

Pour the buttermilk into the bowl with the melted butter. Place the bowl back into the microwave and heat for 30 seconds. You only want the mixture to reach 110-114 degrees, so make sure not to overheat. (If you happen to overheat, just let the mixture rest a bit until the temperature comes back down within the range of 110-114 degrees). Add the yeast and sugar once the butter-buttermilk mixture has reached optimal temperature, give a quick stir and let sit for five minutes. This allows the yeast to activate. **This step is crucial in creating a fool-proof dough!**

Using a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, pour the yeast mixture into the mixing bowl adding in the flour, salt, and vanilla bean paste. Turn the mixer on low and add in the whisked eggs. Keeping the mixer on low, knead the dough for 6 minutes. If the dough is still super sticky, add a Tablespoon of flour at a time until it comes together. Make sure to not add too much flour, you do not want your dough to be too dry. If you add too much flour, simply add in splashes of buttermilk until you reach the desired consistency. For these rolls you want a dough that is still nice and sticky, but dry enough that it not going to stick to your hands.

Taking a large bowl, butter the bottom and sides. Pull the dough out of the mixing bowl and move into the greased bowl. I like to use my hands to grease the bowl, that way when I move my dough I am greasing all sides with the excess left on my hands. Lay a light towel loosely over the bowl and move it to a warm location of your house. (I like to set mine under a window that gets a lot of sun. I find that the heat provided by the sun shining through aids in the rising.) Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size. If you have a warm area to rise in, it usually takes between 1.5-2 hours.

Filling the dough:
Once it has doubled, push the dough down and dump it onto a floured surface. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 24 inches long and 12 inches tall. Take the softened butter and spread it over the dough using your hands or a spatula. Next, scoop the marmalade on top of the butter and spread it evenly across the dough. Finally, scatter the brown sugar and Blue Bird Poppy Seeds™ on top of the marmalade and butter.

Once all the fillings have been added, start rolling the dough. Start at the bottom of the long end, slowly rolling and tucking as you go along. Slowly work your way up, do not rush! The more precise you are, the more fillings will stay inside! Once you have finished rolling, pinch the end creating a tight seam.

Grease a 9x13 inch pan or dish with butter. Using a sharp knife or bench knife, slice the roll into 12 equally sized pieces. Place each roll into the dish, make sure they are nice and snug next to each other. Cover the dish with a thin towel or piece of saran wrap.

**I like to make these rolls the night before, at this point I would take the covered dish and place it in the refrigerator until morning. If you prefer to make these in one session, skip the refrigeration and move to the following step.**

Place the covered dish in a warm place and allow the rolls to rise until they have again doubled in size. This step usually takes 45 minutes to an hour. I like to preheat my oven while the rolls are rising. Once they have doubled, remove the saran wrap and bake at 350 degrees. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the rolls are lightly golden brown. Remove the rolls from the oven and set it to the side.


Pour the orange juice, orange zest, pure vanilla bean paste, orange extract, salt, and powdered sugar into a mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer or a whisk, combine the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the warm orange rolls, a little goes a long way. You can always add more glaze once you serve them up! Sprinkle a few Blue Bird Poppy Seeds™ on top and enjoy!


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