Last Updated: November 19, 2023
Here’s an easy copycat recipe for Hawaiian-style sweet bread rolls using oranges instead of pineapple
Homemade orange bread rolls
I love Hawaiian-style rolls, but where I live oranges are a lot more plentiful than pineapples. As a result, I adapted my mother-in-law’s copycat Hawaiian roll recipe to use oranges instead. (I call them “Florida” rolls because even though I live in California and have a yard full of orange trees, just as I think “Hawaii” when I think of pineapple, I think “Florida” when I think of oranges.)
It’s still got that delicious sweet / tartness the original pineapple-based recipe, but with a citrusy sweet orange flavor and orange-gold color. These rolls are great all by themselves, but they’re also a classic on the Thanksgiving table as well as the sweet bread for pulled pork sandwiches and other smoky-sweet barbecue.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Rest time: 1-½ hours
Cook time: 20 – 25 minutes
- ¾ cup of orange juice with pulp (about 3 oranges)
- ½ cup milk
- ½ stick (¼ cup – 4 tablespoons) butter – room temperature
- 3 eggs (2 for the dough, 1 to brush the tops of the rolls)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1-½ teaspoons salt
- 1 packet (1-½ teaspoons) instant yeast
- 4 to 4-½ cups of flour
Bread ingredients in the mixing bowl
- Add the orange juice, milk, butter, sugar, salt, yeast and 2 of the eggs to a bowl. Then add half your flour (2 cups or so) and mix with a wooden spoon until you’ve got a chunky dry/wet ball.
- Mix your dough at a medium speed (a dough hook is good for this if you have one), gradually adding the remainder of your flour until the dough mixes and It’s no longer chunky and shaggy (the amount of flour you end up using will vary, based on humidity and flour type).
- Continue to mix the dough at a medium speed until it is smooth, soft and no longer sticky (usually 4-5 minutes).
Orange bread roll dough mixed
- Cover the dough lightly and set it somewhere warm to rise until it’s double in size (usually about an hour depending on the temperature).
- Lightly oil a 13×9-inch baking dish. Take your dough from the bowl, place it on a cutting board and gently degas it so it’s no longer puffy. Then, using a knife cut your dough into 15-18 equal sized pieces.(I make bigger pieces when we’re planning to use them as bread for BBQ; smaller when we’re going to have them as dinner rolls). Shape each piece into a ball and put them in neat rows in your greased pan.
Balls of dough in the pan.
- In a small bowl, mix your remaining egg with a couple tablespoons of water and brush the mixture over the top of your rolls. Cover the rolls lightly (plastic is better than cloth since it won’t absorb the egg wash) and set them somewhere ward to rise until they’re double in size again. (20 -30 minutes depending on temperature.)
Egg wash to make the rolls shiny and golden brown
Covered rolls resting and rising
- While your rolls are rising, preheat your oven to 375°F
- Once your rolls have doubled, remove the cover and bake until a deep golden brown on top. (20-25 minutes depending on your oven).
Baked orange rolls out of the oven
- Once they’re done baking, remove them from the oven and let them cool a bit so they’re easier to cut apart. Serve warm. Keep the remainder in a container or plastic bag to keep fresh and soft for several days.
The rolls are delicious for pulled pork sandwiches