The holidays are here! At least, that’s what every major retail store would like us to think. Halloween costumes were up for sale at the end of August, and I’m already seeing Christmas decorations here and there. It’s all a bit too soon for my liking. So before you begin guzzling pumpkin spice lattes and putting fake tombstones in your front yard, do yourself a favor and head to your local orchard, pick some apples, and celebrate the loveliest season of all.
Note: I used a no-knead brioche dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. This dough is wonderful because it can be mixed together and then stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The brioche master recipe will make about four pounds of dough, and this recipe only needs one and a half.)
- 2 pounds Brioche dough (see note above)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup (packed) brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- A good pinch of salt
- 1 cup peeled and grated Gala apple (about 2 small apples)
- 16 ounce jar caramel sauce, slightly warmed
- 1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted (optional)
On a lightly floured surface, fold the dough over 3-4 times and then form it into a ball. Let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes.
Roll the dough into 1/4-inch thick rectangle. Brush the entire surface with the melted butter. In a small bowl mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Spread the mixture evenly over the butter topped dough. Use your hands to make sure you have an even coat of the sugar. Sprinkle the grated apple evenly over the sugar.
Roll the dough up, starting at the short end. Using a sharp kitchen knife or a scissors, cut the log into 12 equal pieces.
Set the buns on a parchment lined sheet pan, 1 1/2 to 2-inches apart. Loosely cover the buns and let them rest between 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until they have almost doubled in size. (You can set these up the night before and let them rest overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning take them out and let them sit on the counter for about 45 minutes to an hour.)
Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, just until the centers are set when poked with your finger (they should be caramel colored).
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and immediately pour half the warm caramel sauce over the rolls and let them sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir the pecans (if using) into the remaining caramel sauce and pour over the top, covering the rolls evenly. Serve immediately.