1 cup whole milk, slightly warmed (about 30 seconds in the microwave)
3 tablespoons water
1 egg, beaten
For the filling:
1½ cup granulated sugar
zest of 2 medium oranges
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
1½ cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries, coarsely chopped in a food processor
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
For the egg wash:
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon cold water
For the glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (more or less for desired consistency – I like mine thick)
1 tablespoon orange zest
If you are making this in the bread machine: Place the yeast in the bottom of the bread machine, then add the flour, sugar, and salt. Whisk together the melted butter, slightly warmed milk, water, and egg then pour over the dry ingredients in the bread machine. Use the dough setting.
If you are making this by hand or with a standing mixer: sprinkle the yeast over the warmed milk and let it sit for a few minutes until foamy. Stir in the butter, egg, sugar, and 1 cup of flour. Then add the salt and remaining flour, mixing as you add until completely incorporated. Knead for about 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and soft. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning the dough over so all sides are greased. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled.
While the dough is rising, mix together all the ingredients for the filling. Refrigerate until dough is ready, or for at least 30 minutes.
Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
To assemble the buns divide the dough into 8 equal portions for large buns (as pictured here) or 16 equal portions for smaller buns. To make them equal, I weigh the dough (it should be about 2 pounds) and then weigh each portion (about 4 oz for large buns) so they will be the same size – this is of course not strictly necessary.
On a lightly floured surface, roll each dough portion into a flat, oblong shape. Spread a very generous tablespoon of the filling down the center of the dough. Roll this up.
Optional step: Using a very sharp knife, make two slices along the length of the roll. Gently pull this apart to expose the filling, then take an end of the roll in each hand and twist in opposite directions until the roll is completely twisted.
Take the twist and tie it into a simple knot. Place on the prepared baking sheet. You will have to bake these in two batches, but I have had great success even with the different rise times.
Cover the assembled buns with a towel and leave them to rise for about an hour, or until puffy.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Whisk together the egg wash and lightly brush the outside of each roll.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden.
Whisk together the glaze ingredients and drizzle over the cooked buns. These are excellent served warm!