Since 2011, this Apple-Cinnamon Pull-Apart Loaf, which uses Rhodes frozen dough balls filled with an apple/brown sugar/cinnamon mixture then sealed and tossed into a baking dish together, has become my most popular blog post, accounting for nearly 25% of my total blog traffic. (Thank you, Pinterest.)
So when the kind folks from Rhodes bread contacted me and asked me to repost it, I gladly obliged. In fact, I even remade the bread actually using their frozen white dinner rolls. (When I first blogged about it in 2011, I made my own dough).
While this recipe takes a bit of time to prepare (thawing dough, letting it rise, etc.), it is SO WORTH IT. I have prepared the loaf the night before and simply warmed it in the oven before serving the next morning for breakfast.
Please note: choosing a baking pan is very important in this recipe. If you use a 9" x 5" loaf pan, just be aware that this dough will rise to great heights. I like it as such because I think it's gorgeous when turned out on a serving platter. However, PLACE THE LOAF ON A BAKING SHEET WHILE IT'S IN THE OVEN, otherwise it will spill over and make your oven smokey and your kitchen stinky. Some of my fabulous readers have suggested using a Bundt or tube cake pan. Both of these were great options; you will just need to adjust the baking time (remember: smaller pan = increased baking time; larger pan = slightly decreased baking time.)
Rhodes frozen rolls. (At room temperature, this takes about 4-5 hours, although there is a "quick-thaw method" on the package instructions...).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place loaf pan ON A BAKING SHEET, remove plastic wrap, and bake for 40-50 minutes (again, the baking time depends on the pan you decided to use). Cover with foil for the last 10 minutes to prevent over-browning.
Remember: to bake this loaf, you can use either a 9 x 5" loaf pan or a well-greased Bundt pan. This bread will rise to a lovely height in a loaf pan, so please be sure to set a baking sheet beneath the loaf pan to prevent apple and pecan bits from landing on the floor of your oven.
Apple-Cinnamon Pull-Apart Loaf
Makes 1 loaf* (use either 9" x 5" loaf pan or bundt pan)
16 Rhodes™ Dinner Rolls, thawed (or use your own dough recipe)
3 medium-size Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Zest and juice from half a lemon (about 2 teaspoons of juice)
1 cup powdered sugar
3-4 teaspoons water or milk (use more for icing with a thinner consistency)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cut thawed rolls in half. Combine apples, sugar, nuts, cinnamon, and lemon juice and zest. Flatten each roll half into a 2-3-inch circle. Place 1 teaspoon apple mixture in center of each dough circle. Pinch edges together to seal, forming a ball. Place filled balls in a sprayed 9x5-inch loaf pan (or use greased Bundt pan). Spoon remaining apple mixture evenly over the top. Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and let rise until double. Remove wrap, place loaf pan on a baking sheet to catch any spill-over, and bake at 350°F 40-50 minutes. Cover loaf with foil last 10 minutes of baking to prevent over-browning. Cool for 10-20 minutes. Use a knife to gently loosen bread from the edge of the pan, then remove loaf from pan transfer bread to a serving platter. Combine icing ingredients, and drizzle over warm loaf. Serve warm, if desired.
Recipe slightly modified from Deborah of the Taste and Tell blog.