One of the best parts about going home is having an outlet for my baking ;). More people = more baking! I love being able to bake multiple things per day. Two weekends ago, I started my marathon bake-day (aka Saturday) with these apple brioche rolls. I’ve made them multiple times but for one reason or another I was never able to get a good photo. I definitely bake more yeast breads in the fall/winter, but it’s often difficult to get the finish product baked and photographed before I lose daylight (fall/winter is NOT my favorite time for food photography). I do drag my light set out occasionally, but I much prefer natural light. I was running out of daylight again, so I snapped a quick photo on our way out the door to dinner. Luckily I wound up with an acceptable photo, despite the setting sun =).
Seriously though, these apple brioche rolls with cream cheese frosting will rock your world! They’re amazing! They’re a little different than your regular cinnamon roll, but if you like ooey, gooey homemade cinnamon rolls then you’ll love this recipe. The brioche dough is slightly sweet and buttery, pairing perfectly with the cinnamon sugar apple filling and cream cheese frosting. Despite the somewhat lengthy ingredient list and instructions, they’re not difficult to make: brioche dough, apple filling, cinnamon-sugar filling, and cream cheese frosting. Yes, there are four parts, but each part is easy and simple! If I can do it, you can do it! The hardest part is waiting for the dough to rise…and not eating the entire pan ;). Enjoy!
Apple Brioche Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting
for the brioche dough:
1/4 cup warm (~80 degrees) water
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3-1/2 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
for the apples:
3 medium baking apples (I used Granny Smith)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into 1-in pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
for the cinnamon sugar filling:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
for the cream cheese frosting:
4 oz cream cheese
1 tbsp butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
For the brioche:
1. Oil inside of a medium bowl with canola or vegetable oil. Set aside.
2. Combine water with 2 teaspoons of the sugar in bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle yeast over the surface of the water. Mix until yeast is dissolved, then let mixture stand for about 5 minutes until yeast has developed.
3. Add milk, vanilla, eggs, flour, and salt. Combine mixture with dough hook on low speed for about 3 minutes until dough has come together.
4. Increase speed to medium and continue mixing. Add butter, a couple pieces at a time, letting them combine into the dough.
5. Add the remaining sugar and mix for another 4 minutes. Check the dough: if you can stretch it out for about 3 inches without it breaking, it’s ready. If it tears, mix a couple more minutes.
6. Transfer dough to lightly floured board and form into a ball. Place into prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let proof for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until it has doubled in size. You can now use the dough, or refrigerate overnight and bring back to room temperature to use. (You could also make this dough in the bread machine.)
For the apples:
1. Peel, core, and cut apples in 1/2 inch cubes. Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the apples and sauté for about 8 minutes until the apples are semi-soft.
2. Add sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the apples and stir to combine. Cook until mixture begins to bubble, then turn heat to low and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer filling to a bowl and let cool.
For the cinnamon sugar:
1. Combine sugars, cinnamon, and vanilla in a medium bowl and set aside.
1. Spray a 9×13 pan and 9-inch round pan with non-stick spray.
2. Place brioche dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll out dough into a large rectangle (about 1/4 inch thick), with the long side towards you.
3. Spread apple filling evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the apples.
4. Roll up the dough from the far side. It will stretch as you roll, so the final length of the roll should be be about 16-18”.
5. Use a sharp knife (or dental floss) to cut roll into about 18 pieces. Place in prepared pan – about 12 in 9×13 pan and 6 in 9-inch round pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Bake rolls for 25-30 minutes until they are golden brown.
For the frosting:
1. Beat cream cheese and butter until smooth.
2. Gradually add in powdered sugar and beat until fully combined.
3. Add in vanilla and beat about 30 seconds more. Spread onto warm rolls.
Makes 18 rolls.