Yield: 28 twists
Prep Time: 45 min + rising and resting times
Cook Time: 20 min
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
Two .25-ounces packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1/3 cup salted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest, divided
1/2 cup orange juice
3/4 cup dried cranberries or tart red cherries chopped
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup salted butter, softened
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1. For the dough: In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour and the yeast; set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat and stir milk, sugar, butter and salt until warm (120°F to 130°F) and butter almost melts. Add to flour mixture. Add eggs, 1 teaspoon of the orange zest, and the orange juice. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Stir in dried cranberries or cherries and as much of the remaining 4 to 4 1/2 cups flour as you can with a wooden spoon.
3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining 4 to 4 1/2 cups flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape dough into a ball. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface of dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 hour).
4. Punch down dough; turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Line two baking sheets with foil. Grease the foil; set aside.
5. For filling: In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1 teaspoon orange zest, the 2/3 cup sugar, the 1/4 cup butter, and the 1 tablespoon flour. Roll each dough half into a 14x10-inch rectangle. Spread half of the filling lengthwise over half of each rectangle. Fold dough rectangles in half lengthwise, covering the filling. Cut each filled rectangle into fourteen 1-inch-wide strips. Holding a strip at both ends, carefully twist the ends in opposite directions. Place strip on prepared baking sheet, pressing ends down. Repeat with remaining strips.
6. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double (about 30 minutes).
7. Prepare Orange Icing: In a small bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon orange zest, and enough orange juice (2 to 3 tablespoons) to reach drizzling consistency.
8. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake twists for 15 to 18 minutes or until light brown. Immediately remove twists from baking sheets and place on wire racks set on waxed paper. Drizzle warm twists with Orange Icing.
*To make the rolls ahead, prepared as directed through step 5. Cover twists with oiled waxed paper, then plastic wrap, leaving room for twists to rise. Chill for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Uncover; let stand at room temperature for 35 minutes. Break any surface bubbles with a greased toothpick. Continue as directed in step 7.
To bake ahead: Prepare as directed, except do not drizzle with Orange Icing. Place cooled twists in a freezer container or bag and freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, preheat oven to 325. Place twists on two baking sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until warm. Drizzle with Orange Icing.
Source: RecipeGirl.com (via Better Homes and Gardens)