For the dough:
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 1/4 teaspoons granulated yeast (1 package)
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted (12 tablespoons)
3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
egg wash (1 beaten egg + 1 tablespoon water)
caramel sauce for topping, optional
For the apple filling (this will fill 1/2 the dough and make one pan of rolls):
4 apples, peeled and diced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
4 tablespoons butter
In a 5-quart bucket with a lid (though not airtight), mix together the yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter. Stir in the flour with a spoon or dough whisk. Cover loosely and place in a warm area to rise for two hours. Once risen, transfer to the refrigerator until ready to use.
When ready to bake, line a square baking pan with parchment and prepare the filling. Mix together the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom in a bowl. Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add in the apple mixture and cook until apples soften and a thick sauce is formed, about 10 minutes.
Remove half the dough from the container, using a knife to cut the two pieces apart. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a long rectangle about 1/4″ thick. Spread the apples over the rough and roll the dough lengthwise to create a tube of spiraled dough. Slice nine 1 1/2″ pieces. Place the sliced dough spiral side up on the parchment-lined pan. Set in a warm place and allow to rise for 1 hour.
When the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 350º F. Brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash, and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven. Serve warm with warm caramel sauce.
Makes 9 rolls.
For the dough: