Serious Eats: Recipes

Bread Baking: Cinnamon Apple Sweet Rolls

[Photograph: Donna Currie]

As you may have read, I recently tested a Panasonic bread machine. After trying a few recipes that came with the machine, I tried a few of my standard recipes. Then the fun really began as I started experimenting with the different kneading cycles and features.

I particularly liked the kneading function that was designed for pizza. Unlike the kneading sequence for standard bread, that has a rest-knead-rise sequence with a long final rise, the pizza dough function does a knead-rise-knead-rise that's finished in 45 minutes. I really, really, liked the texture of the dough after that process.

Since it goes through two kneads with a rest in between, it's a very elastic dough. But since it doesn't have a long warm rise at the end, it's perfect for doughs that you want to cold ferment. Or, for doughs that you want to knead now and chuck into the fridge to be ready when you're ready. Same thing, really. One just sounds better planned than the other.

The dough for these rolls isn't overly sweet. Too much sugar in a dough can result in a poor rise, so I kept the dough just slightly sweeter than usual. It was light, fluffy, and perfect for pulling off little bits to nibble on. The sweetness came from the sugar and cinnamon, while the apple added just a bit of tartness and interesting texture to the party. There were a few chewy caramelized bits of sugar around the outer edges of the rolls—a little bonus.

You certainly don't need to use a bread machine to make this bread. You can use a stand mixer, food processor, or knead by hand. You don't even have to do the long, cold rest either, but I think it enhances the flavor. If you're NOT doing the long, cold rest, I'd suggest increasing the yeast, or you'll be waiting a long time for it to rise.

About the author: Donna Currie has been cooking for fun and writing for pay since the days when typewritten articles traveled by snail mail. When she combined those talents in a food column for a newspaper in her area, she realized that writing about food is almost as much fun as eating. You can find her on her blog, Cookistry or follow her on Twitter at @dbcurrie or @cookistry.

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