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Orange Sugar Bread Rolls

This orange sugar bread rolls is a really easy Chinese/Asian bakery style milk bread. It only needs single proofing, so you get to enjoy the bread faster. It also uses orange juice and orange zest for maximum orange flavor.
Orange Sugar Bread Rolls
Orange Sugar Bread Rolls

I am in love with this Chinese/Asian bakery style bread that only needs single proofing, loaded with freshly squeezed orange juice, and topped with sugary freshly grated orange zest and butter.

If you love bread and orange, you need to give this orange sugar bread rolls recipe a try.

Orange Sugar Bread Rolls
Orange Sugar Bread Rolls

Single proofing bread dough

Most bread dough recipes calls for double proofing, meaning you let the dough proof twice, with deflating and more kneading in between the two proofings.

This recipe requires only one time of proofing, so you get to enjoy a freshly baked bread that much faster.

Also, this dough yields a very soft and very fluffy bread. I had a very hard time stopping myself from eating more than two bread in one sitting right after taking the photos!

Orange Sugar Bread Rolls
Orange Sugar Bread Rolls

Fresh orange juice and fresh orange zest

If you are like me, then you love anything and everything with orange. This bread is loaded with freshly squeezed orange juice, and freshly grated orange zest.

If the market doesn’t have any fresh orange, I suggest using fresh lemon instead of subbing with bottled orange juice (and sans zest! The horror!).

The orange juice is kneaded into the bread dough, while the orange zest is mix with sugar to top each bread with heavenly orange sugar and butter.

It is best to use my step-by-step photo as a guide on how to top your bread with orange sugar and butter.

Orange Sugar Bread Rolls
Orange Sugar Bread Rolls

General use of the single proofing bread recipe

This particular recipe calls for a quarter cup of fresh orange juice in the bread dough. If you like this single proofing bread recipe, you can actually use it to bake other kind of bread.

Simply substitute the 1/4 cup of fresh orange juice with 1/4 cup of milk, and follow the rest of the recipe as written.

You can use this single proofing bread dough recipe for simple loaf, plain bread rolls, or even fancier bread with fillings.

Orange Sugar Bread Rolls

5.0 from 11 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 1 hour 35 mins

Cook Time: 25 mins

Total Time: 2 hours

Serves: 8

Print Recipe


  • Bread dough
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) warm milk (38 Celsius/100 Fahrenheit)
  • 3 gram active dry yeast
  • 5 gram sugar
  • 300 gram bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 25 gram sugar
  • 2 gram salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon (30 gram) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • Orange sugar topping
  • 50 gram sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 4 tablespoon (60 gram) unsalted butter, cut into 16 cubes
  • Simple syrup glaze (mix together the following)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon hot water


  • Bread dough
    1. Mix warm milk with active dry yeast and 5 gram sugar. Set aside until foamy, about 15 minutes.
    2. Sieve together bread flour (or all-purpose flour), sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
    3. Make a well in the flour ingredients, then pour orange juice, egg, butter, and the foamy yeast solution into the well. Knead into a non-sticky, soft, elastic, and smooth dough. Hand knead is about 20 minutes.
    4. Divide dough into 16 portions, shape each into a ball, and arrange on a parchment lined 8" square baking pan.
    5. Cover with a wet kitchen towel/saran wrap, and let the dough proof until double. The dough should expand to fill the pan. Proofing time is about 1 hour in a warm kitchen.
  • Adding the orange sugar topping
    1. Preheat oven to 180 Celsius (350 Fahrenheit).
    2. Mix together sugar and fresh orange zest.
    3. Make a diagonal slit on top of each bread rolls. Stuff each slit with some orange sugar (divide equally between the 16 bread rolls), and stuff one cube of unsalted butter into the slit.
    4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
  • Simple syrup glaze
    1. Remove baked bread from oven.
    2. Mix together sugar and hot water to make simple syrup. You can microwave the mixture for 15-30 seconds if you use cold water instead of hot water.
    3. Brush the top of the bread with simply syrup to create a nice shiny glaze to the bread.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Karen Karen says:

    These look so delicious. I am terrible at any bread that involves yeast but this looks great and I'm willing to give it a try! Perfect for Easter!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Pull-apart bread indeed is perfect for Easter, Karen. I might bake a batch myself for Easter.

  • Hayley | The Simple Supper Hayley | The Simple Supper says:

    I've never made anything like this before and I'm so excited to try this recipe out! I'll let you know how it goes!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Yay, have fun baking the bread Hayley. :)

  • Kelly Anthony Kelly Anthony says:

    These orange sugar bread rolls have me wishing I had one in my hand right now. They look like perfection!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Oranges are in season and the price is quite cheap. Be sure to grab some and maybe give this bread recipe a try, Kelly. :)

  • Gloria Gloria says:

    These sound totally delicious. Great for my afternoon latte break. I would love them for breakfast too. Perfect as a brunch item.

    • Anita Anita says:

      Haha, they are indeed great for any time of the day. I even munch on them watching Netflix after dinner! :D

  • Julie Wallace Julie Wallace says:

    I had never heard of this bread, but clearly I've missed out. I'm so intrigued to try these! So pretty - that color!

    • Anita Anita says:

      I love the color too, bright orange from the orange zest. And my entire home smells like orange juice while the bread is baking in the oven. This is definitely one of my favorite bread to bake.


    Can I use instant yeast instead of active yeast for this recipe?:)

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi Audrey, you can use instant yeast. Please skip step 1 and immediately proceed with step 2. Add instant yeast and the 5 gram sugar from step 1 into step 2. Add the 1/3 cup warm milk from step 1 to step 3. Everything else should stay the same. :)

  • Charla Charla says:

    I love how bright and pretty the bread rolls look. As an OJ fan I bet they taste as good as they look.

  • Kelli Kelli says:

    These sound INCREDIBLE! I can't find yeast at my grocery store right now, but I do have a sourdough starter so maybe I can play around with these flavors on a sourdough bun. Either way my mouth is watering now!

  • Carrie Robinson Carrie Robinson says:

    These sound & look amazing! Definitely making these soon. :)

  • Emily Liao Emily Liao says:

    These orange bread rolls were amazing! The citrus flavor was perfect and the texture of the bread was just the right amount of fluffiness.

  • Mahy Mahy says:

    I need these bread rolls right now! They look too good to miss the recipe, so I can't wait to make them over the weekend!


    Hi. How long do I have to knead when using a standmixer? Thank you!

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi, it should be around 12-15 minutes with a stand mixer. The dough should become a ball and no longer sticking to the bowl. It should be very smooth and soft.

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