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Apple and cinnamon Rolls

If you have a garden with an apple tree in it then it is more than likely that one year you’ll have no apples at all and the next, more than you really need. I cobbled together an apple press made from some bits of wood, kitchen worktop and a car jack, all in readiness for the overwhelming glut…maybe next year. At this time of year it isn’t too hard to get hold of a bag of locally grown apples from a friend trying to get through their glut. Give them a try; the variety of flavours and textures is amazing. I think my favourites are the russets that are ready at the end of the year but I enjoy them all.

I asked Vanessa for a semi-sweet bread roll recipe that uses apples. She has come up with an excellent recipe as usual – it won’t shift your apple glut but every little helps!

Apple and cinnamon sourdough rolls

We’re going all out English with this recipe, using a combination of Stoate’s stoneground flour to maximise flavour and texture of these rolls. The rye gives them an extra fruity layer adding to the depth of flavour,. The wholemeal adds moisture and texture and the white contributes to a lighter finish. It’s best to chop the apples up reasonably small so they cook easily in the Muscovado and cinnamon butter. The cinnamon really brings out the sweetness of the apples and sultanas – and your kitchen will be filled with the smell of buttery, delicious, cinnamon-spiced bread. I love using my cloche, not just because it bakes things beautifully but because in this recipe it stops the apples from catching and burning and it means that the rolls are thoroughly and evenly cooked in a constant mellow heat which accentuates the natural sweetness.


Mix – the night before

• In a bowl whisk your water and starter together well. Combine all the flours and salt and mix until all the ingredients come together into a large ball with your dough whisk.

• Cover with clingfilm or a damp tea-towel and leave to prove in a cool, ambient temperature for 8 – 12 hours, ideally overnight.

Bake - the following morning

• Make the cinnamon butter by mixing the cinnamon, butter and sugar together to form a paste.

• Gently turn your dough out on to a dusted work surface, it is important not to stretch and manipulate the dough too much as this will knock all the precious air from the dough.

• Spread the cinnamon butter gently and evenly over the surface of the dough, then place the apple cubes and sultanas on top, with your hands gently roll your dough like a Swiss roll. Turn so the seam side faces down and cut your dough into 7 equal pieces and shape into rolls, pinching at the base so they hold together during cooking. Try to handle the dough lightly while you shape to ensure that the contents remain inside the roll. It doesn’t matter if pieces of apple slightly poke out of the rolls, but try to lightly pinch any exposed sultanas into the dough so they don’t catch while cooking.

• Place the rolls in the base of your cloche that has been liberally dusted with semolina – put one in the centre and the other six around the central roll to form a flower shape.

• Finish with a dusting of flour and cinnamon powder and then replace the lid of the cloche and leave on the side to rise a little more while you preheat the oven to 220C.

• Once the oven is at temperature, place the rolls in the cloche into the oven and bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 190C, and bake for a further 30-35 minutes.

• Once baked (sounding hollow when the base is tapped), remove from the cloche and cool on a wire rack. Once cooled store your rolls in a cotton bread bag – or, if you prefer your rolls soft, put them into the bread bag while still warm

Makes 7 rolls


325g water at 28 degrees 50g 1:1 fresh sourdough starter (in a cold kitchen in winter you may want to increase this to 100g) 400g Stoates white flour, plus extra for dusting 75g Stoates wholemeal 25g Stoates rye 10g sea salt 1 tsp cinnamon, extra for dusting 40g soft butter 40g Muscavado sugar 1 medium apple, peeled and diced 50g sultanas Semolina, for dusting


Large mixing bowl Dough scraper Dough cutter La Cloche baking dome Dough whisk Cooling rack

Do you have a sourdough question for Vanessa? Send it to us and the best ones will appear in our next postbag edition and receive a dough whisk.

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Stoate's Mill Flour

The last 65 years has seen the business based at Cann Mills near the historic Saxon town of Shaftesbury prosper and now supplies stoneground flour to bakers throughout the South-West and beyond. The river Sturkel (a tributary to the Stour) is the primary source of power driving a 19th century overshot waterwheel.

Cotton Bread Bag, 40x50cm

Stop your bread getting sweaty by keeping it in our attractive and washable bag rather than in a plastic one. High-grade natural cotton bag 40x50cm, made for us with a draw-cord perfect for keeping your artisan bake fresh.

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