Apple Cinnamon Scrolls

Winter: it’s the season for aromatic, slow-cooked stews and casseroles, and the fragrance of spices, cocoa and burnt butter emanating from the oven. The biggest bonus is that with the weather being so chilly; standing in front of a stove or oven is hardly a trial unlike in summer where you prefer to be away from the heat, but finding a place for your yeast to rise can be a little bit of an issue. I found the perfect warm spot in the kitchen, just on the floor under the oven; enough heat to activate the yeast, but not too direct as to kill it off. And having the perfect warm spot allowed me to create these beautiful Apple Cinnamon Scrolls, glazed with sticky golden syrup and when pulled apart, revealed chunks of apple, crunchy walnut pieces and multiple layers of soft, buttery bread lightly spiced with cinnamon.

It was the first time I’ve tried the technique set out in this recipe of repeatedly folding and rolling out the pastry, brushing it with melted butter and dusting with cinnamon sugar between each layer, but it had the fluffiest, most intricate results; both visually and texturally more stunning than if the dough had simply been rolled out once. While it’s much more time consuming, I thought it was well worth it and I won’t be going back to my old lazy ways.

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You will need:

  • 1 + 1/2 cups (375ml) warm milk;
  • 3 teaspoons dried yeast;
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar;
  • 4 cups (600g) plain flour;
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt;
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked;
  • 80g butter, melted;
  • 1/3 cup (70g) brown sugar;
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon;
  • 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored, finely chopped;
  • 1/4 cup (30g) walnuts, coarsely chopped;
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) golden syrup.

Combine the yeast, milk and sugar in a bowl. Set aside for five minutes until frothy. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl, make a well in the centre. Pour milk mixture and egg into the well, stir until well-combined. Cover with cling film and set aside for 40 minutes or so until the dough doubles in size.

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Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Brush a 22cm round cake pan with butter and line the base with baking paper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for five minutes or until smooth and elastic. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a roughly 30 x 40cm rectangle.

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Brush with 1/3 of the melted butter. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Sprinkle 1/3 of the sugar mixture over the dough. Fold a short side of dough over two-thirds of the filling, then fold the remaining 1/3 over the top to enclose the filling.

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Rotate the rectangle by 90 degrees and roll out again to a 30 x 40cm rectangle. Repeat the filling and folding process another two times; some of the melted butter might ooze a little out the sides.

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Roll the dough out to a 30 x 40cm rectangle, then sprinkle with the apple and walnuts; drizzle with half of the golden syrup.

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Roll up the dough from the long side to enclose filling.

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Cut the log crossways into eight to ten portions and arrange, cut side up, in the pan, Cover with cling film and set aside for 15 minutes to rise.

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Drizzle over the remaining golden syrup and bake in the oven for five minutes. Reduce heat to 180 degrees Celcius and bake for 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Set aside for 30 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Tear apart and enjoy while warm. Scrolls can be stored by wrapping individually in cling film and freezing.

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