This recipe uses a biga it's a pre-fermented dough that the French call a pate fermentee. It's started with a bit of yeast, and allowed to work for several hours. The advantage of making a biga is that because it ferments for a long time, which adds flavor and character to the bread. These are best eaten when fresh, although a few minutes in the oven the next day will bring them back almost to their freshness. Go ahead and use your favorite nuts or skip them. I leave some skin on my apple for the fiber and extra nutrients.
- 7 ounces water
- 3 ounces pumpernickel flour or 3 ounces rye flour
- 5 ounces bread flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon bread machine yeast
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces water
- 1 ounce nonfat dry milk powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 1⁄4 teaspoons salt
- 4 -4 1⁄2 cups bread flour
- 6 granny smith apples, peeled and diced
- 1 1⁄2 cups almonds, sliced
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 3⁄4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1⁄3 cup almond liqueur or 1⁄3 cup walnut liqueur
- Place all of the biga ingredients in bread machine set on dough cycle, When cycle is finished unplug, close, and set aside 8 hours (overnight).
- Place all of the dough ingredients in the bucket of your machine over the biga, program for Dough or Manual, and press Start.
- Keep an eye on the dough; scrape down the sides of the bucket, and add flour and/or water if necessary. When the kneading cycle is done, remove the dough and place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let it rest/rise for about 45 minutes.
- Take out the dough, gently deflate it by folding it in onto itself, turn it over, and place it back in the bowl. Let it continue to rise for a further 45 minutes to an hour.
- For a softer apple precook apples in a hot pan with melted butter till apple are softened about 8 minutes.
- Mix the filling ingredients together, set aside.
- When the dough has finished rising, take it out of the bowl and place it on floured surface.
- Roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin, until it's a rectangle of approximately 15 x 22 inches.
- Spread 6 tablespoons of butter gently over the surface of the dough, leaving a good half-inch around the outside edge. Sprinkle a half a cup of brown sugar over the buttered dough, Distribute two-thirds of the apples and nut mixture on top, and gently roll up the dough, starting with a long edge. Pinch the ends and edge tightly together, to seal.
- Rub the remaining butter generously onto the bottom and up the sides of a 12 x 12-inch sticky bun pan (or a 9 x 13-inch rectangular pan).
- Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar, then layer in the remaining apples and nut mixture on the brown sugar; drizzle almond liqueur over apples.
- Using a serrated knife, cut the rolled-up dough into 16 pieces, and place them over the apples in the pan. For even cuts I start my first cut right down the middle then cut the middle of the cuts and so on.
- Cover and let rise until they're quite puffy and very tight in the pan.
- Preheated 350°F oven.
- Bake the buns for 35 to 45 minutes.
- When they're done, you can either leave them as is in the pan, or carefully flip them out. Either side as up!
- Pull apart and enjoy these finger licking good treats!
The dough for this was just beautiful to work with. Making a biga the day before really adds great flaver to the bread! If you have time this is definately the way to go! I had to play with the filling, a couple of times. The apples weren't as done as I wanted them to be. So I finally cooked the apples first. Over all a great recipe which I will be making again!!