Caramel rolls with apples and walnuts

Recipe found on:

3¼ cups all-purpose flour (more or less depending on dough consistency)
¼ cup sugar
2¼ teaspoons dry active yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk, lukewarm
1 egg, room temperature
¼ cup butter, room temperature
3 apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced
¼ cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

  1. In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add the lukewarm milk, egg, and butter. Mix with a bread mixing attachment until moist ingredients are incorporated and mixture is beginning to clump together. Scrape down the sides and add the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, mixing again until dough is sticking together. Use your hands to knead the dough together – it should be workable and have some elasticity.
  2. Place the dough in a large buttered or greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm spot for one hour. When dough has rested for one hour and risen to about double it’s original size, punch it down and fold the corners back into the middle, making it a compact ball once again. Cover again, with corner side down, and let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. While dough is rising, saute the apples, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla together in a saucepan over low heat. Let the mixture gently simmer together for about 10-15 minutes, until apples are tender and mixture has thickened slightly. Add chopped walnuts and set aside.
  4. Roll the dough into a 9×15 rectangle. Pour ⅓ of the apple mixture onto the dough and spread it evenly. Starting at the wide end, roll up the dough with the apple mixture inside. When the dough has been rolled up, use a large knife to cut the dough into 12-15 spiraled rolls and place each of them in a large buttered ovenproof skillet. Leave some room between each roll for the dough to rise.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover the rolls and let rise again for 30 minutes. When risen, pour ⅓ of apple mixture over the top. Bake for 15-25 minutes, or until lightly browned and baked through. Pour remaining ⅓ of sauce over the hot rolls before serving.

To make these ahead of time, go through all the steps, stopping after you cut the rolls and place them in the pan. Cover them and store in the fridge. Leave some extra time for them to come back to room temperature and rise again on the day that you want to bake them (it took me at least 2 hours to get them warm and risen again after refrigerating). As you make the dough, adjust the consistency with a tablespoon of flour to thicken or a tablespoon of milk to soften if necessary. You can also use a 9×13 baking dish.