Nothing makes you more eager to get out of bed than the promise of a good breakfast. These warm, fluffy scrolls are filled with juicy apples and crunchy walnuts, and are dripping with sticky icing…they had us all grinning on Christmas morning as we handed out presents. They need to be refrigerated for 8 hours, or overnight, before being baked, so were perfect to whip up on Christmas Eve, and I swear they taste better than anything you can buy from the bakery. I’m not a maker of breads, so was a bit sceptical about the dough, but it was really easy and they turned out to be delicious. Perfect for a special breakfast, brunch or afternoon tea, I hope you’re tempted to give them a try!
Apple, Cinnamon and Walnut Scrolls
Preparation Time: 1 1/2 hours
Total Time: 3 1/2 hours the day before, refrigerate overnight, 1 1/2 hours before serving
Adapted from this basic recipe
For the dough
- 6 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 whole large egg, or 2 medium eggs, at room temperature
- 85 g white sugar
- 125 g unsalted butter, melted
- 250 g buttermilk (I find it more accurate to weigh the buttermilk, rather than measure out a volume of it)
- 840 g plain flour
- 3 1/2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- vegetable or rice bran oil
For the filling
- 3 large Granny Smith green apples
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup dark brown sugar, densely packed
- 125 g walnuts, roughly chopped
- 30 g unsalted butter, melted
For the icing
- 300 g pure icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoons milk
- 60 g unsalted butter, melted
- hot water
For the filling
- Peel and finely dice the apples into 1 cm cube pieces. Combine in a medium bowl with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.
For the dough
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk egg yolks, eggs, sugar, melted butter and buttermilk to combine. Add about 3 cups of the flour with the yeast and salt, and whisk until dry ingredients are moistened and combined.
- Remove whisk attachment and attach the dough hook. Add all of the remaining flour, except for 1 cup, and knead on low speed for 5 minutes. The dough should be moist and soft, but not sticky. If it is too wet, add some of the last cup of flour, bit by bit, until the dough is no longer sticky. You will most likely not need all of the flour.
- Continue kneading on low speed for another 5 minutes, until the dough starts to come together and leave the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead it by hand for a couple of minutes.
- Lightly oil a large bowl, then place the dough in the bowl and cover tightly with glad wrap. Leave the dough to rise in a warm place for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
- Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 18 x 22 inches, with the 18 inch side facing you. Slice the dough in half lengthways, to form two 18 x 11 inch rectangles.
- To fill, brush the dough to the edges with melted butter, leaving a 2 cm gap along the far end where the roll will be sealed. Evenly spread the apple filling across the dough, again going right to the edges but leaving a 2 cm gap along the far end. Use a slotted spoon if necessary to scoop the apple onto the dough, avoiding the excess liquid. Too much liquid will stop the dough from baking into a fluffy bread.
- Sprinkle the chopped walnuts evenly over the apples. Use your hands to slightly press the filling into the dough.
- Tightly roll the first piece of dough up lengthways, starting with the 18 inch side closest to you. If possible, have someone help you so you can easily access the whole length of the dough at once. Seal the end by giving the length of the roll a squeeze, then gently massage the roll to ensure the filling is evenly distributed.
- Cut the roll into 1 1/2 inch scrolls with a sharp serrated knife. Repeat the whole process with the second piece of dough.
- Grease a 25 cm/10 inch round cake tin with butter. Arrange the rolls closely together in the tin, swirly side up, then press down gently with your hands to pack them together as needed.
- Cover with glad wrap, leaving room for the scrolls to expand, and refrigerate overnight (or for up to 16 hours).
- Fill a shallow baking dish 2/3 full of boiling water, and place on the lowest rack of the oven. Place the scrolls on the middle rack, then close the oven and leave scrolls to rise until slightly puffy. This should take about 30-40 minutes.
- Remove the scrolls from the oven, then preheat oven to 175°C/350°F fan forced. Once this temperature has been reached, place the scrolls back in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown and crisp on top. To test, gently pry apart some of the central rolls and feel to see if the dough is sticky. It should be very soft and moist, but not wet. Taste a little piece if you’re unsure. Bake for a few more minutes if needed, but check constantly to avoid burning. If the scrolls brown too quickly, cover with foil as they bake.
- Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Once slightly cooled, loosen the edges with a butter knife and turn the scrolls out onto a serving plate. While the scrolls are cooling, prepare the icing.
For the icing
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the icing sugar, vanilla, lemon, milk and melted butter. Add hot water 1 teaspoon at a time until your icing reaches a desired consistency. It should be relatively thick and glossy, but still pourable. It will set hard once cooled, so pour quickly over the slightly cooled scrolls and serve immediately.
Store covered in glad wrap and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. Warm before serving.