The fall has had me busy baking in the kitchen. When warm spices, sugar, and flour marry together in the oven it produces the best aroma in the world, one no candle could ever mimic. The fragrance is just so fitting, almost necessary, with the cooler weather and colorful leaves on the ground outside. We’ve definitely been benefiting from this idea anyway with warm treats frequently emerging from the oven.
With autumn here in full force, cinnamon + apple anything is the popular flavor in the house. Whether it’s in the form of pancakes, waffles, in a crisp, or galette, we’ve been enjoying the fruit thoroughly, especially in this braided honey spelt bread, layered with sweet apples, walnuts, and lots of cinnamon sugar.
This bread is dramatically beautiful, but is fairly simple to create. If you’ve ever made cinnamon rolls, this is very similar but the dough log is cut and twisted rather than sliced.
- ¾ cups warm almond milk or other milk of choice
- 3 tablespoon butter/vegan butter
- 3 tablespoon honey, coconut nectar, or sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 package (2¼ teaspoons) instant/rapid rise yeast
- 3-4 cups spelt flour, just enough to form a soft dough (can also use all-purpose flour, but amount may vary)
- Combine milk, butter, sweetener, and salt in a small saucepan or microwave-safe container. Heat on low, just until butter is melted. Cool until warm to the touch.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 1½ cups spelt flour and yeast. When milk is warm (120˚F-130˚F) slowly pour into the flour mixture and begin to stir/blend until dough is smooth well blended, about 1 minute. Change to a dough hook (if you have one) or you can use a wooden spoon and begin slowly stirring in flour, ½ cup at a time, until dough is soft and begins pulling away from the sides of the bowl, about an additional 1½–2 cups of flour, give or take.
- Continue to knead dough, until it's smooth, elastic, and soft but not sticky, about 4-5 minutes.
- Cover dough and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make your filling. Combine sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Place dough on a lightly floured surface (or if you can, a large sheet of parchment paper so you can just slide onto a baking sheet at the end) and roll into a large rectangle(ish). Slather the top with the softened butter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly across the top. Repeat with chopped apple and nuts.
- On the long edge, begin tightly rolling the dough, similar to making cinnamon rolls. Begin slicing the roll evenly in half length-wise (see photos above) leaving 2-3 inches of the roll in tact at the top to hold the bread together.
- Turn the long slices so that the cinnamon apple filling is face up. Gently overlap one of the long bread slices over the other. Continue to overlap one side over the other, making a twist, and pinch the ends together to seal.
- Carefully bring both ends together to make a wreath and tuck one end under the other.
- Preheat oven to 350F. If you made the bread on parchment paper, you just have to slide paper with the wreath onto a baking sheet to rise. If not, carefully lift the wreath and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet or onto a lightly greased baking sheet to rise. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 25-30 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
- Place bread onto the middle rack of your oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and let cool. Sprinkle with organic powdered sugar (optional).
- Best eaten same day, but reheat leftover slices in the microwave 20-45 seconds or wrapped in foil in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes.