I wasn't intending to post again before we go away, but then something happened in the kitchen and I just had to tell you about it.
It's been a while since I posted a recipe. Mostly because the only thing happening in my kitchen at the moment are mountains of jam, and partly because everything I've made recently that hasn't been jam hasn't really been post-worthy. We've been eating pretty simply, with bread and cheese with tomatoes being our usual evening meal. Occasionally with the odd addition of couscous salad or potatoes instead of bread.
But with one day left in my kitchen before heading off I wanted to make something a bit special. I wanted something to keep us going through car journeys, airport check-in, train rides, bus rides, and lugging suitcases around. Because much as I enjoy going away, there is all the hassle before you actually get anywhere of note, and I knew we'd need sustenance somewhere in the midst of the chaos.
I initially thought I would make my usual cinnamon rolls, but then I remembered a bag of amazing new flour from Wessex Mill that I picked up last week. It's apple and cinnamon bread flour. Oh yes! The smell alone is enough to make you swoon. Although it's designed for bread it's great mixed with plain flour to add depth to cakes, and so I decided to go ahead and use it for my cinnamon rolls.
Then, when it came to rolling out and filling the dough I had another brain wave. Why fill something already apply and cinnamony with more cinnamon...why not fill it with maple syrup and butter and pecans.
And thus the maple and pecan apple cinnamon roll was born! I cannot even begin to describe how amazing the kitchen smelt while I was baking these. I also must admit to immediately having to try one fresh from the oven. All I can say is...You. Have. To. Make. These.
Don't worry if you can't get the flour, just add a healthy dash of cinnamon and some chunks of dried apple to your flour mix. About a tablespoon of cinnamon and a 1/4 cup of apple should do it. Go on...you know these will taste amazing on Sunday morning. You can knock them out on Saturday, leave them to rest in the fridge overnight and then bake in the morning while you make the coffee. Perfect.
Maple and Pecan Apple Cinnamon Rolls - Makes around 8
1/8 oz Active yeast
1/2 cup of warm milk (just warm to the touch)
1/4 cup soft brown sugar
1 tbsp melted butter
2 cups of flour (either apple and cinnamon if you can get it, or just add 1 tbsp cinnamon and 1/4 cup dried apple pieces)
2tbsp maple syrup
1/4 soft brown sugar
large handful of pecans.
Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk and leave to bloom for five minutes. In the meantime melt the butter, and add the sugar and egg, beating in together. Then add this to the yeast mixture. Add all of this to the flour and either knead with a dough hook in a mixture for ten minutes, or by hand until the dough is still a little sticky, but glossy. Cover, and leave to rise for a hour.
Melt together the butter and maple syrup. Combine the pecans and sugar either by pestle and mortar or in a food processor.
Knock back the dough and roll out on a floured surface to aprox. 1/4 inch thick. Brush the dough with the maple/butter mixture, making sure to cover the surface, but leaving some for glazing. Then sprinkle over the pecans and sugar. Gently roll the dough like a Swiss roll and cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths. Transfer to a baking tray, upending them and slightly squishing them down to hold them together. Leave to rise until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200C. Glaze the risen rolls with the leftover maple/butter mix and then bake for 10 minutes, or until golden.
Remove from the oven and try and resist eating them until they are at least a little bit cooler!
p.s. I think the only way these might be better is with a smudge of cream cheese icing...