Orange Biscuits for #TwelveLoaves

by Renee on April 1, 2014

Orange Biscuits | Magnolia Days

Flour, fat, and liquid are the only three things needed for a batch of fluffy biscuits. Well, that is when the flour is self-rising. Scoop out flour into a bowl, cut in the fat, and bind it together with liquid. Cut or shape then bake. It’s as easy as it sounds. The problem to share a recipe is when you are so used to making them that you do no measuring. It is all done by sight and feel. That is the reason why I haven’t shared a recipe for regular ones. Special ones, like these orange biscuits, are a different story.

What is the story behind these biscuits? It all started with the Cook for Julia celebration back in August of 2012. I finally purchased some of her cookbooks to prepare for the event. I spotted a recipe for biscuits when I was looking through Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom. I almost chose them to post for the celebration. What stopped me was when I saw sugar as an ingredient. Sugar doesn’t go in biscuits, right? Well, maybe not plain ones however it works for these.

Orange Biscuits | Magnolia Days

Orange biscuits are light and fluffy. It took some adaption from Julia’s recipe in combination with what I know from the look and feel of the dough when I make regular biscuits. Sugar came into play because rubbing orange zest into it releases more flavor than simply adding zest into the mixture. I reduced the amount of shortening and liquid from Julia’s recipe because of using soft bleached all-purpose flour (which is the best for biscuits). The dough still was wetter than what I’m used to. Working more flour into the dough while kneading did the trick.

Orange butter sauce was created for these biscuits. Some folks brush melted butter on top of biscuits before baking. I wanted to take that step further to incorporate more orange. Boiling juice to reduce it and concentrate the flavor then adding butter was all it took. It worked nicely to brush on top and also to serve the remaining sauce with the biscuits.

Orange Biscuits | Magnolia Days

There is another part of the story. The April Twelve Loaves challenge is oranges. It is the reason why I decided to take another look at Julia’s recipe. I’m glad I did and I can’t wait to see what inspired the talented bakers with the breads they baked. Scroll down to find the list and join me in reading about each one.

Oh, and in case you are curious… I made Ham Steaks with Madeira Cream Sauce, Oil and Lemon Dressing, French Potato Salad, and Tuna Salad Nicoise for the Cook for Julia celebration.

Orange Biscuits

40 minutes

Makes 8 to 12 biscuits

Orange Biscuits

    For the orange butter sauce:
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • For the orange biscuits:
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
  • 2 cups bleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1 2/3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup milk (whole recommended)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
For the orange butter sauce:

Boil orange juice for 5 minutes or until reduced in half.

Add butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat.

For the orange biscuits:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Use your fingers to rub sugar and zest together until the sugar is moistened and looks like wet sand.

Whisk together orange sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.

Cut in shortening using two forks or a pastry blender until it is the size of small peas.

Combine milk and orange juice then stir in to flour mixture. It will make a sticky dough.

Turn out dough onto a well-floured work surface. Sprinkle the top with flour and knead about six times with folding dough over in half and using more flour as needed.

Pat dough out to 3/4-inch thickness. Cut out biscuits with a round cutter, by dipping the cutter in flour then pressing the cutter into the dough. Do not turn cutter while pressing.

Place cut out biscuits close together but not touching on a baking sheet.

Gather dough scraps and fold 2 or 3 times, pat out again, and cut biscuits. Repeat until dough is used up.

Brush tops with orange butter sauce.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Serve warm or at room temperature with remaining sauce.


Yield depends on size of biscuit cutter.

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Knock knock. Who’s there? Orange. Orange who? Orange you glad we have this list of breads for you? Check it out:

#TwelveLoaves April: Oranges. The month of March was filled with gorgeous strawberry breads! We have chosen oranges for our April theme! Choose a recipe including oranges. Your bread of choice recipe must include in the recipe: oranges, orange marmalade, orange zest. In addition to being in the dough, it could also be added to a glaze. Whatever you bake, (yeasted, quick bread, crackers, muffins, braids, flatbreads, etc) have fun and let’s have a delicious month of bread with oranges. Let’s get baking!

Twelve Loaves Logo

Want to add your bread to the collection with the Linky Tool this month? Here is what you need to do:

  1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme.
  2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
  3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this April, 2014, and posted on your blog by April 30, 2014.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party. It was created by Lora from Cake Duchess and runs so smoothly thanks to the help of the lovely Renee from Magnolia Days and this month the wonderful Heather of girlichef.

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Felice/All That's Left Are The Crumbs April 1, 2014 at 2:29 am

Oh wow, these look amazing. Place a basket of these in front of me and they would be gone in no time. And I totally get what you mean when you say that sometimes you make a recipe just by feel, because I do the same thing will my scones (no measurements, just by feel), so I am glad that you shared these ones.


Renee April 2, 2014 at 2:47 pm

At least I’m not the only one struggling with figuring out a recipe for something I make all the time. Thanks Felice.


Stacy April 1, 2014 at 7:46 am

I can’t believe you didn’t include a photo of the wonderful orange zest sugar you made, Renee. It was such a gorgeous color, bursting with orangey goodness. You have elevated biscuit making to a whole new level with the addition of orange sugar, orange juice and that orange butter on top. Just WOW!


Renee April 2, 2014 at 2:48 pm

I didn’t even think to put a photo of the orange zest sugar. It really did have such a lovely vibrant color.


Heather // girlichef April 1, 2014 at 8:26 am

There is nothing I’d love more than to slather the orange butter on these rolls and eat them alongside my coffee this morning. YUM!


Renee April 2, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Oh yes, slathering the sauce on the biscuits is a great thing. I may have also dunked them in it too.


Liz April 1, 2014 at 8:58 am

I bet you’re not surprised that I like a little sugar in my biscuits! And I have been rubbing orange zest into my sugar since Dorie Greenspan shared that tip…so good! We’d love your beautiful biscuits at my house :)


Renee April 2, 2014 at 2:49 pm

I’m not surprised at all Liz. I bet you go through a ton of sugar each year.


Christine from Cook the Story April 1, 2014 at 9:36 am

I bet that orange butter would be fabulous on just about everything! Even straight from a spoon! :)


Renee April 2, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Oh yes it is! And I did have a spoonful or two of it.


Bakingyummies April 1, 2014 at 10:31 am

I love the color of your biscuits. Rubbing he zest and sugar is something I’ve learnt today. I’ll have to use this technique the next time I’m baking with citrus. Thank you Renee!


Renee April 2, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Thanks Deepti and I know you will love the way the sugar rubbing thing works so well to bump up the flavor.


Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious April 1, 2014 at 12:13 pm

That stack of 5 on a plate? That’s mine. Nice baking with you this month for #TwelveLoaves!


Renee April 2, 2014 at 2:51 pm

I’m sending that stack to you now virtually…


Alice // Hip Foodie Mom April 1, 2014 at 10:18 pm

you had me at orange butter sauce. oh my gawd. brilliant!!! and your menu for the Cook for Julia celebration looked fabulous!!!!


Renee April 2, 2014 at 2:52 pm

Thanks Alice and I know you will enjoy the sauce. It is something I think I’ll make just to keep around to use it on other things.


Karen @ Karen's Kitchen Stories April 2, 2014 at 1:53 am

Your biscuits are beautiful. Thank you too for the Julia memories. Your menu sounds amazing.


Renee April 2, 2014 at 2:53 pm

I can’t believe it has been that long since the Julia 100th celebration. My how time flies.


Jennie @themessybakerblog April 2, 2014 at 8:35 am

I add a wee bit of sugar to my biscuits as well. Just a wee bit. Love the orange!


Renee April 2, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Thanks Jennie and all good with a wee bit of sugar in your biscuits. Everyone likes their biscuits a certain way.


Renee - Kudos Kitchen April 2, 2014 at 9:41 am

I think I could swim in that orange butter sauce. Totally delicious!


Renee April 2, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Too funny Renee!


Kathia Rodriguez April 2, 2014 at 8:00 pm

Delicious, I can have 4 or more for breakfast, and the butter sauce, YUM!


Renee April 5, 2014 at 8:58 am

Thanks Kathia!


Lora @cakeduchess April 2, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Oh, my goodness! Orange butter sauce-yes, yes!! Fabulous biscuits, Renee. I know what you mean about some recipes not really having an actual recipe. Thanks for your help in our #TwelveLoaves group!!


Renee April 5, 2014 at 8:59 am

Thanks Lora and I enjoy the Twelve Loaves so much and glad to help out.


Holly April 3, 2014 at 12:24 am

These orange biscuits are what happiness should be– bright and lively! They would be a great start to any day!


Renee April 5, 2014 at 9:00 am

Thanks you Holly and they certainly did brighten and lively up my day.


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