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14 Mar 2021

Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Easy Apple Cinnamon Rolls | Take Some Whisks


I lack a lot of patience sometimes. 


One baking thing that I never seem to have the patience for, is dough. Allowing time for kneading, rising, proving, and baking. The process of anything dough related just takes time. It's time I don't think I have, but I actually do... I just don't want to spend the time waiting for all of those things. Y'know? 


I want instant results, like you get with brownies or cookies or something. Those instant results I like. 


But I guess, thinking about it, ice cream takes time and I like that. Cheesecake takes time and I like that. Most cookies also require chilling time and I love them. 


...Is my problem just with dough? Maybe it isn't my patience after all.


Easy Apple Cinnamon Rolls | Take Some Whisks

Easy Apple Cinnamon Rolls | Take Some Whisks



Maybe it's the science behind dough that doesn't seem to be as present with other baked items. Sure there are measurements to consider with cookies and cheesecakes, getting the consistency right and all. But dough is a real science, for example that proving time. Prove your dough too much and the bubbles inside pop and the bread won't rise as much, making it stodgy. If you don't prove your dough enough, it'll still be dense because you haven't given it enough time to develop the gluten and build up those air bubbles. 


Don't knead the dough enough and it'll be dense. Dough is just a lose-lose situation for me, but I'm taking steps to tackling it. I'm trying to learn that dough science, work with yeast more, make more bread and other dough related things. My next project is hot cross buns for spring, but this recipe is for Apple Cinnamon Rolls. 


Easy Apple Cinnamon Rolls | Take Some Whisks

Easy Apple Cinnamon Rolls | Take Some Whisks

Easy Apple Cinnamon Rolls | Take Some Whisks


We are maxing out on apples and maxing out on cinnamon. Because that's how it should be done: packed full.


There is also nothing worse than a cinnamon roll where you cannot taste the cinnamon. I want a big punch of buttery, sugary cinnamon in the centre. With these, you have the added bonus of little soft apple cubes mixed in too. Don't go light on the apple, be generous. 


They are probably two of my favourite flavours combinations and the result is dreamy. 


Easy Apple Cinnamon Rolls | Take Some Whisks

Easy Apple Cinnamon Rolls | Take Some Whisks

Easy Apple Cinnamon Rolls | Take Some Whisks


These cinnamon rolls are a big batch, so feel free to half if you don't have this many mouths to feed. Or enough time to eat them all. Alternatively, what I've done is put iced leftovers into a container and then in the freezer, remove from the freezer, leave on the side for a few hours and they will defrost. I've heard you can put uniced rolls into the freezer too and then remove and warm them back up in the oven, but I haven't personally tried that yet. 


Easy Apple Cinnamon Rolls | Take Some Whisks

Easy Apple Cinnamon Rolls | Take Some Whisks

Easy Apple Cinnamon Rolls | Take Some Whisks


Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Serving: 12 rolls

Ingredients: 
300ml milk of your choice
50g unsalted butter
500g strong white bread flour (and some extra for kneading)
2tsp dried yeast (or 7g sachet)
3tbsp light brown sugar

5 apples
2tbsp water
1tbsp light brown sugar

200g unsalted butter, room temperature
200g light brown sugar
3tbsp ground cinnamon

200g cream cheese, room temperature
200g icing sugar

Directions: 
  1. First, lets prepare the dough. This can be done on the day or in advance to save time. Put your milk and butter in a jug and warm it up in the microwave in short bursts of 30 seconds, you want it to be slightly warmer than room temperature, never boiling/bubbling away. Just warm enough to activate the yeast. 
  2. Put the flour in a large bowl, pour the yeast mixture and the sugar in too. Mix together in a stand mixer with a dough hook or by hand with a spatula. If doing in a stand mixer, knead for 5-10 minutes. If doing by hand, once dough is combined, tip onto a floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. You want to essentially keep kneading until it forms a smooth elastic dough. I did mine in a stand mixer and it took about 10 minutes for the dough to really come together. To check if the gluten has fully developed during the kneading, pull a chunk off and stretch it between your hands, by pulling one side with each hand. This is the window technique, essentially when the gluten has fully developed, you should be able to pull without it tearing straight away, enough for the dough to thin enough you can see light through it. If it's not ready, keep kneading and checking.
  3. When it's ready, oil a bowl, so the dough doesn't stick, and then place the dough inside and cover with a tea towel or oiled cling wrap and place in a warm area for a few hours to rise. When the dough has doubled in size, you're ready for the next step. If you're preparing in advance, this is when you can place the dough into the fridge to chill overnight and rise slowly. Stop here and pick up the next step on the day.
  4. Now to prepare the filling on the day, peel and dice apples into small chunks, you don't want them too big. Place the apples, sugar and water into a pan and cook gently for 10 minutes. Keep stirring during this time so the mix doesn't burn. Then place to the side to cool. 
  5. For the cinnamon sugar, beat the butter, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl until smooth. This will usually take a few minutes. 
  6. When the dough has risen, or if chilled in the fridge overnight, tip onto a floured surface and roll the dough into a rectangle shape. Get your tape measure out to check the size and you will want to aim for about 50cm x 40cm. If it's slightly bigger than this, don't worry. Aim to get your edges as straight as possible, but don't worry if they aren't. Don't be tempted to make the dough bigger than this, as it will make the dough too thin and therefor not as thick and luscious! We want thick buns!
  7. Spread the cinnamon filling over the dough gently in small scoops. Don't dump the butter in one place as it will make it harder to spread, Make sure you spread the cinnamon mix right out to the edges of the dough. Then spread the apple mixture on top, making sure it's evenly distributed. 
  8. Next, to roll the dough, you want to start rolling along the widest part, the 50cm side. Start rolling as tightly as you can, gently pulling the dough towards you until it comes together into a long roll. 
  9. Use a very sharp knife for cutting, this ensures your slices don't squash the dough as you cut. First, make a cut down the centre of your roll. You want to aim for 12 rolls (or 6 if you have halved the recipe). Then slice each half into 3 pieces, then half each piece again, so you have 6 rolls on each side. 
  10. Grease a large baking tin or dish well, I've used a rectangle pan that was 13x9 inches, which held all 12 rolls. You can split the rolls up into smaller pans, using whatever baking dishes you have, pyrex glass dishes also work really well. You can also line with parchment paper too. 
  11. Place the buns into your pan, cut side up! So you get a nice, smooth finish on top. Position them so they are nearly touching, so they still have space to expand in their second prove. 
  12. Cover them again with oiled cling wrap or a tea towel and place in a warm place to rise until they have doubled in size. This can take an hour sometimes. While they are rising, preheat your oven to 180c/350f. 
  13. When the rolls have doubled in side and the sides of them are touching, they are ready for baking. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes. If the top starts to brown earlier, cover with tin foil. Then remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly on the side. 
  14. To make the icing, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar together until smooth. Then spread over the tops of your rolls. It doesn't matter if you spread the icing on when the rolls are slightly warm. If anything, you want to serve the buns when they are warm, because they are delicious hot! 

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