For those of you looking for a holiday breakfast treat, I present for you this spin on classic cinnamon buns. They are perhaps the best breakfast rolls I have ever made. They are soft – almost cakey – and deliciously moist even after a few days in the fridge thanks to the apple pie filling and the rich caramel sauce. They are even easy to prepare: the filling can be made days in advance and the rolls themselves can proof overnight in the fridge, requiring just 30 minutes of room-temperature time to take the chill off before baking. Pair them with a big, indulgently rich French-press, and brunch is served.
I used boiled cider as both a sweetener and an acid for the apple pie filling. I like to keep a jar of it in the fridge to add to recipes or drizzle on things. Boil fresh apple cider over medium-high heat until reduced to a fourth of its original volume. It keeps quite a long time refrigerated, if necessary. I like this dough recipe as it doesn’t use as much fat as others that I’ve tried but still has that rich dairy-like flavor from the yogurt.
Apple Pie Cinnamon Buns
Adapted from King Arthur. Makes 12 big buns.
Apple Pie Filling:
- 8 Granny Smith apples, or another baking apple, peeled, cored, and diced (I used 4 Granny Smith, and 4 Northern Spy)
- 2 tbl margarine
- 3 tbl boiled cider
- 2 tbl flour
- 1 tbl cornstarch
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- pinch salt
- 1/2 c soymilk
- 1/2 c soy yogurt
- 4 tsp Ener-G egg replacer prepared with 2/3 c hot water
- 6 tbl margarine, cubed
- 4 1/2 c all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 c sugar
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 c packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 c canned coconut milk, full fat
- 4 tbl margarine
- 1 tsp salt
TO MAKE THE FILLING:
- Melt the margarine in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the diced apples and cook until fork-tender – about 5 minutes, depending on the apple variety.
- Add the flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir gently until thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, add the boiled cider, and taste for seasoning. Let cool.
TO MAKE THE DOUGH:
- Combine all dough ingredients in a standing mixer or by hand and knead until soft and elastic.
- Let rise in a greased bowl covered with a damp rag until doubled in size, about an hour.
- Deflate the dough and turn out on a lightly-greased workspace. Roll out to a large rectangle, about 16″ x 24″.
- Evenly spread the cooled filling on the dough rectangle.
- Roll the dough from the shorter end into a log.
- Cut the dough into 12 evenly sized buns with a very sharp knife using a gentle sawing motion. Don’t press straight down, as this will pinch the layers together.
- Arrange in a greased 9″ x 13″ casserole dish, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until double in size, about an hour, or overnight in the fridge (if doing this, be sure to take the chill off at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking).
- Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes, or until browned on top.
- Drizzle with caramel sauce and serve warm.
TO MAKE THE CARAMEL SAUCE:
- Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly, for 7-8 minutes. Transfer to a jar or a bowl and let cool.