I bought a glass covered cake stand a few months ago with the idea to use it as storage for some of my baked goods. Let me just tell you, bad idea. Why did I ever think that placing irresistible cookies, muffins and bread, like this cinnamon apple twist bread, in a highly visible, easily accessible container was a good idea? Sur la table should be ashamed of themselves for even selling this sort of product. I mean, it has to be their fault I lack self-control, not mine. And while we’re discussing who to place blame on, I also want to point out that King Arthur Flour should also bow their heads down in shame for even proposing a bread recipe like this. I mean, really…apples and cinnamon, nestled into fluffy sweet bread and topped with gooey glaze…how could you, K.A., how could you?!
All I know is that this cinnamon apple twist bread has been staring at me, winking at me, curling its finger and beckoning me toward it every time I’ve passed by it, sitting in that cake stand on my counter. I keep telling it to go away, that I’ve already ate far too much of it, and that I won’t be able to wear a bikini this summer at the rate that I’m going. But like the magical sorting hat from the Harry Potter films, this bread has a sadistic side that cooes ooh, youwill be just fine with one more bite, and worst case scenario, you’ll throw on a cover-up at the beach and no one will be the wiser.
I really, really tried not to eat half this bread in one day, but I’m sorry, friends, I failed. That’s how good this cinnamon apple twist bread is. Because, let me explain this, I am not a snacker. I don’t like eating food if I’m not sitting at a table, nor do I hang around the pantry munching on this or that. I never feel satisfied in either scenario so I avoid doing such. But this bread, this bread is out to get me and has made it pretty much impossible to avoid. With it’s pillowy interior and sweet trail of cinnamon and grated apples wedged in between, who can resist? Then for an extra layer of decadence, this cinnamon-apple twist is topped with a thick, creamy glaze that’ll have you licking your fingers with absolute abandon. Damn it, I think I need another piece.
Cinnamon Apple Twist Bread
for the dough
- 3 1/2 c all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 c whole milk 105°F-110°F
for the filling
- 1/2 c granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 c peeled grated apple
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
for the glaze
- 1 c confectioners' sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp to 2 water or milk
You'll want to first start off by creating the dough. Begin by pouring the milk into a glass bowl or glass measuring cup; heat until the milk reaches 105°F to 110°F when tested with a thermometer. Add a tablespoon of the granulated sugar and the active yeast; give the mixture a stir and let it rest for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, the yeast mixture should be frothy. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, and melted butter and whisk to combine. In a separate large bowl, combine the flour, remaining 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar, and salt. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then pour the wet ingredients into this well. Use a wooden spoon to combine everything together; stir until you've created a shaggy dough. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes so that it has a chance to absorb the
liquid in the dough and, therefore, become easier to knead.
After the dough has rested, knead the dough using a stand mixer and the hook attachment for a few minutes until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Alternatively, you can knead the dough by hand for several minutes until a smooth, sticky dough is created. If your dough seems too dry, stream in a few teaspoons of water while kneading.
Grease a large bowl before placing your dough into the bowl. Roll the dough around in the bowl so that the entire surface of the dough is covered in the grease. Cover the bowl tightly with a sheet of plastic wrap, and let the dough rest for 1 to 1 1/2 hours in a warm, draft-free place (see note).
While the dough is rising, create your filling by simply mixing all the filling ingredients together; set aside. Turn out half of your dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out into a 10" by 12" rectangle. Spread half of the filling all over the rectangle of dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border clear all around the edges of the rectangle.
Grab one of the long sides of the dough rectangle and roll in a typewriter-like motion towards the opposite long side (like you would a cinnamon roll or jelly roll). Take a very sharp knife and cut the log of filled dough straight down the middle, vertically. You want to end up with two skinnier logs. Place the dough logs next to each other with the exposed filling side facing up. Begin braiding the two logs together until you've got one large twist. Pinch the ends of the twist to keep the braiding intact. Transfer the twist to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet; repeat this entire step for the remaining half of dough.
Place a light kitchen towel over the twists and let them rest on the baking sheet for 15 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350°F and bake the twists for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden. Check the twists at the 20 minute mark to make sure the edges aren't browning too much. If they are, tent a sheet of aluminum foil over the twists and let them continue to bake, covered, for the rest of the baking time.
Let the twists slightly cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to further cool (about 30 to 45 minutes). While the twists are cooling, whisk together the ingredients for the glaze; the glaze should flow like thick lava. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled twists.
To create a warm, draft-free place for your dough to rise in, turn on your oven's hold setting for 30 seconds. Then promptly turn off the oven and place your bowl of dough in the oven to rise.