This bread is made using Kogyoku or Johnathan apples. I formed the dough into cute apple shaped buns too. I think kids and adults alike will love these. The sweet-sour taste of the simmered apples is highlighted in these rolls.
Ingredients: 10 buns (the baker's percentage is listed in parentheses)
Apple (Kogyoku or Jonathan, crisp baking apples are best)
5 g (1/2 tablespoon)
a small amount (less than 1 teaspoon)
to taste (15 g)
Thin pretzel sticks
Use half an apple. Wash the apple well, cut into half, remove the core, and without peeling, cut the half into 4 pieces (each will be 1/8 of a whole apple).
Put the apple and raisins in a heatproof plate with the sugar and lemon juice. Cover with a plastic wrap and microwave for 5 to 6 minutes. Steam in residual heat for 5 minutes.
The simmered apple is done. It will be red and translucent. (The photo shows 1 apple worth.) If you are adding cinnamon, you can sprinkle it on before or after simmering.
Knead the dough (in a bread machine or any way you like). Since we're only using a small amount yeast even though this is a sweet dough, it will take some extra time for the dough to rise. Leave the dough for the 1st rising.
You can use about 3.5 g of yeast, but if you add a lot of yeast the dough will be too light and fluffy and harder to form, so each bun will not proof evenly.
After the 1st rising is done, divide the dough into 10 portions and round off each. Cover the dough so it doesn't dry out, and rest for 30 minutes. Since they will be formed, let rest for a while.
Form the dough. Dust the work surface with flour, place each ball of dough seam side up, and press down lightly to flatten the dough.
Place the flattened dough on your palm, put some of the simmered apple in the middle, cup your palm and wrap the dough around the filling. Pinch the dough closed.
If the dough feels too tight and inflexible to form properly, let it rest for a bit longer. If you force the dough at this stage the finished buns will not look neat.
Place the formed and filled dough in greased brioche tins seam side down. If you don't have any brioche tins, place the dough seam side down on a baking tray.
Leave the dough for the 2nd rising. If they rise up above the rims of the tins they are done. Brush with some milk to glaze (not listed) and top with pumpkin seeds.
Bake the buns, 200°C in a gas oven for 11 minutes. If you have an electric oven, it's probably 12-13 minutes at 210°C.
When the buns are nicely browned they are done. Hit the cups on your countertop to shock them before taking the buns out. Let cool.
Decorate the buns. Use 2cm of just the ends of each pretzel stick. Make a hole in the top of each bun with a chopstick or something similar, and insert the pretzel stick. Done.
This is how the bun looks split in half. It's not too sweet, so enjoy the flavors of the season.
I used these milk cocoa flavored pretzel sticks this time. Use any kind of hard pretzel sticks you like.
Story Behind this Recipe
I wanted to enjoy Kogyoku apples, which are in season, in a simple way, so I thought up a bread dough recipe that enhances the flavor of the apple.
Make sure that the dough bakes into as round a shape as possible. Add the pumpkin seeds where you intend to put the pretzel sticks later on. I definitely recommend fresh tasting green raisins. I used Lys d'Or semi-strong flour.