Apple Cinnamon Twisted Danish Bread

I love making bread – I always have.  I used to make it all the time before my husband passed away 2 years ago, but when he died… I stopped doing a lot of things that I loved to do for a very long time. Making bread was one of them. Before Mike passed away, I would crank out 2-3 loaves a week like it was nothing. Sweet bread, savory bread – any bread really. My favorite was cinnamon rolls. I just loved the whole process.

Recently, I dug out one of my bread machine (yes I have two!) to make a new bread recipe I had found. I had totally forgotten how much I really did love making bread! The next day, I dug out my other bread machine & cranked out 5 more loaves of bread that day… then gave away half of it because I’d made entirely too much bread. I probably could have given away more than half of it… but um… I really love carbs & it’s fresh baked bread soooooo. Yeah. You understand. 😉

It is such a great feeling to rediscover something that I once loved so much. I’m such a different person than who I was before… but reclaiming a part of ‘me’ feels so great. I haven’t put either of my bread machines back in my storage shed either. I think I’m going to keep them out & start making bread regularly again.

Some people may call me a bread making cheater when they hear that not only do I use, but I love, my bread machines. I rarely ever use them to bake bread from start to finish though – like I’ve maybe done it 3 times in my whole life. What I do use it for, however, is the dough feature. I love, love, love the dough feature on my bread machine. I said earlier than I owned two bread machines… the ones I have is a Sunbeam that I bought for under $50 from Amazon and a Williams Sonoma that I found for $12 at Goodwill. Both work great for me… but my favorite is my little Sunbeam. I’ve had it for several years now.

Oh yeah… I was going to share a recipe with y’all today…

Apple Cinnamon Twisted Danish Bread

This Apple Cinnamon Twisted Danish Bread is one of the recipes that I made the other day when I finally dusted off my bread machines. I found it on the King Arthur flour website and it instantly intrigued me. I recently was in the North Georgia mountains and I picked up a bushel of apples from an apple farm in Ellijay…. and they really needed to be used – so this was perfect.

I made the recipe as is the first time and it was really good… but then I adapted a thing or two for my own tastes and made it again…and I was seriously WOWED by it. I mean, this stuff is addictive. Like, really addictive. I may or may not be going into my kitchen after I publish this post and making another batch. I seriously am so impressed by how delicious this recipe is. The dough is spot on. My only issue with the original recipe was that there wasn’t near enough apple for mine & my family’s flavor… and I wasn’t so much for the pureeing of the apples either. I found that when I finely diced the apples (and increased them!), the finished product had way more of the apple flavor that I was craving.

Apple Cinnamon Twisted Danish Bread

This is quite frankly the best apple danish bread that my tastebuds have ever had the pleasure of coming across. So scrumptiously good!

This is one that you definitely need to add to your recipe boxes… It’s always going to be in mine!

Apple Cinnamon Twisted Danish Bread

Ingredients:

DOUGH

  • 3 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon dry instant mashed potatoes, unflavored
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons soft butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons room-temperature or lukewarm milk

FILLING

  • 1 3/4 cups peeled, finely diced apple (about 2 large apples)
  • the juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

GLAZE

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions:

To make the dough: Whisk together all of the dry ingredients, then add the butter, vanilla, egg, and milk, mixing until a shaggy dough forms. If your schedule permits, let the dough rest for 30 minutes; this resting period allows the flour to absorb the liquid fully, making it easier to knead.

Knead the dough — by hand, using a mixer, or in a bread machine set on the dough cycle — until it’s smooth and soft, though still slightly sticky. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise until it’s almost doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The amount of time this takes will depend on the temperature of your kitchen; yeast works the fastest at about 85°F, but we prefer the flavor the bread gets from a longer, cooler (about 70°F) rise. If you’re using a bread machine set on the dough cycle, simply allow it to complete its cycle.

While the dough is rising, make the filling.

Toss the grated apple with the lemon juice in a saucepan. Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and cinnamon, and add to the pan, stirring to combine. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the apple starts to release its juice. Increase the heat to medium, and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring, until the mixture thickens, 1 to 2 minutes; drawing a spatula across the bottom of the pan should leave a track that doesn’t readily fill in. Remove from the heat, and set aside to cool to room temperature; if you want to hasten the process, place in the refrigerator.

To assemble the loaf: Gently deflate the risen dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured or greased work surface. Divide the dough in half. Roll the first half into a 10″ x 12″ rectangle. Spread half the filling over the rolled-out dough, leaving a 1/2″ margin clear of filling along all sides. If adding chopped nuts, sprinkle them evenly over the filling.

Starting with a long side, roll the dough into a log, sealing the edge. Use a bench knife, pizza cutter, or sharp knife to cut the log in half lengthwise. Place the half-logs, filled side up, side by side on a well-greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Keeping the filling side up, twist or “braid” the two logs together, working from the center to each end. Pinch the ends together. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Cover the twists lightly, and set them aside to rise for 1 to 2 hours; they should be puffy but not doubled in bulk.

To bake the bread: Bake the loaves in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until they’re lightly browned. Check the loaves after 20 minutes and tent with aluminum foil if they’re browning too quickly. When the loaves are fully baked, a digital thermometer inserted into a loaf (be sure to position the thermometer in the bread, not the filling) should register about 190°F. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool for about 1 hour before glazing and serving.

To make the glaze: Mix together all of the glaze ingredients. Drizzle over the loaves once they’re cool.

Store leftover bread, loosely covered, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage. If you know ahead of time you’re going to freeze one or both of the loaves, don’t glaze; wrap completely cooled, unglazed bread tightly in plastic, and freeze for up to a month. When ready to serve, remove from the freezer, unwrap, cover loosely with plastic, and let thaw at room temperature. Glaze and serve.

Adapted slightly from King Arthur Flour

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