This is the result of Sunday's craving for a combination of apples, cinnamon and fluffy yeasted bread.
I woke up last Sunday knowing I wanted to make something of that combination but the options were endless. And off went my brain. Should it be another kuchen? Or should I do this bakealong with King Arthur Flour? Should it be a loaf? A braid? A round? Should I attempt kouign-amann (someday, soon)? Apples sliced or diced? (tbh, I didn't do the KAF version because it looked a little dry and I didn't find myself with potato flour or instant mashed potatoes on hand.)
Finally, I forced myself to decide because if I didn't, I wouldn't have enough time to photograph and go to hapkido (both are very important things). And this is how this beautiful roll came about. And why waver from something both simple and easy if you know it works? So I went back to this kuchen dough from last week.
Let me say, I thought the plfaumenkuchen was amazing. But this was way, way better. I think I did something different with the dough. I realized halfway through adding the flour that I was adding by the one-third cup rather than the half cup so the end result of the dough was soft and squishy, rather than firm and more dense. Although I took a bread hiatus over the summer and do feel a little rusty, I think you can tell whether or not you have added too much flour when kneading your bread. I remember one of the first times I made bread, I was so frustrated that my dough was sticky. But that dough resulted in one of the moistest breads of my first bread-making days. And this dough also had that similar warming effect when you take a bite and know you have made it just right.
For the filling, you want to cook the apples down until they are soft and the juices are released so that the interior of the cinnamon roll does not get soggy. No soggy bread is allowed. Ever. Unless you are doing it on purpose like making a panade. To get this cinnamon roll effect, I made two long ropes rolled with the apple filling and spiraled them around each other. Attempting to figure out if the bread was done was tricky but I went with my gut and a thermometer and pulled it out just as it was done being baked. It could have used a few more minutes but thankfully it was so wonderfully soft and moist inside.
And what is a cinnamon roll without cream cheese frosting? I was honestly just using up stuff in my fridge or else it would have just been powdered sugar and lemon juice. The first round of cream cheese frosting I made was way too sweet and oddly lumpy. I had just used cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk. So I tried again, adding some lemon zest, lemon juice instead of the milk and sifted in the powdered sugar. The end result was just what I was looking for. Drizzled over this giant roll (I am a pro at making messes so I did this in the sink), I have to say that this bread is impressive and satisfies any apple, cinnamon, yeasted bread craving you are having. I would definitely take this over a apple fritter. Actually maybe any other apple cinnamon baked good.
And if you are wondering, I did get the lens that has been on my wishlist forever. This is the first post shooting with it. So, so nice. Hello, f2.8.
Giant Apple Cinnamon Roll
Yields: one 9-inch round cinnamon roll