In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the warm water, warm milk, yeast, and honey. Set aside to proof, 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the top should look frothy and bubbly.
While yeast is proofing, measure out 3 cups of flour with cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, brown sugar, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook. Stir to combine.
Pour in the bloomed yeast and stir until it starts to become sticky. As it is stirring, pour in melted butter. Continue to 'knead', stirring in another 1-2 cups of flour, bit by bit, until the dough pulls away from the sides and when you touch it its tacky but won't leave residue on your fingers. (Should take about 6 minutes)
Place into a well-greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Press dough into a large rectangle and fold in raising and orange zest. Divide dough into 24 even balls (2 oz. each if you wanted to weigh) and place onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover gently with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and rise another 45 minutes to 1 hour or until doubled in size. Remove plastic wrap and brush each roll with milk.
For the crosses, whisk flour and water together until a thick, pipeable paste comes together. Think slightly thicker than white school glue consistency. (You may need to add in more flour or water to get the right consistency.) Spoon into a piping bag or Ziploc bag, snip the tip and pipe crosses across all the rolls.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the rolls are nice and brown.
To glaze rolls (optional step), melt apricot jam or orange marmalade in the microwave until its runny and brush over the tops. Serve warm or at room temperature.