“And when they had finished the fish Mrs. Beaver brought unexpectedly out of the oven a great and gloriously sticky marmalade roll, steaming hot…”
-The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe-
I have tried and failed a bunch of times to make a traditional English (er, Narnian) marmalade roll. Each time I tried, the roll turned out so hideously ugly that I couldn’t bring myself to photograph it. On top of that, I realized that I don’t like orange marmalade. It’s too bitter for my taste. But I was not willing to give up on this concept, since the sticky marmalade roll described in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe just sounded delightful.
So, I decided to take an interpretive approach to this recipe. I kept the sticky roll concept and even included orange as a flavor, but I went with a more American recipe: orange cinnamon rolls! I’ve always loved orange rolls, but have never tried making them from scratch. I used this orange roll recipe and added cinnamon to it. So good! I do think this is something the Pevensie children would have enjoyed eating while sitting around Mr. and Mrs. Beaver’s cozy dinner table.
Mrs. Beaver’s Orange Rolls
For the dough
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 3 1/2 cups flour (more may be needed, see directions for details)
For the filling
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 Tablespoons cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons orange zest
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
For the glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 4 teaspoons melted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
- 4 teaspoons milk
- Dissolve the yeast in the water.
- Add the milk, shortening, sugar, salt, egg, and flour.
- Beat the ingredients together until it forms a smooth dough. If the dough is too sticky or wet, you may need to add a little bit more flour, but only add a little bit at a time.
- Knead the dough for about 7 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl and allow it to rise for about an hour.
- Divide the dough into two pieces, and roll each piece out into a rectangle.
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest for the filling.
- Brush each dough rectangle with melted butter, then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling on top.
- Roll the dough up length-wise, and cut each roll into pieces that are about 2 inches wide. I use unflavored dental floss to do this.
- Place the rolls into a greased baking pan.
- Cover the rolls loosely and let them rise for about 45 minutes.
- Bake the rolls at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes.
- Mix together the glaze ingredients.
- Pour the glaze over the rolls, and serve warm.