The Fresh Loaf

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First Attempt at Apple Buns (vegan)

rockaday's picture

First Attempt at Apple Buns (vegan)

I was happy with the crumb, the rise, and the flavor. I clearly had problems with filling, shaping, and presentation. Two mistakes I made were cutting the apple pieces too large, and trying to bake both sheets at once with one on the bottom rack (slightly burnt bottoms). So next time: smaller apple pieces and middle rack only. Any further suggestions to improve this recipe?


A convenient way to start: fill a 2 cup measure with 1 cup water and 1 cup vegan milk. Warm. Pour about ½ cup in the proofing sponge. Add 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar to the remainder, to use when making the dough.


Proofing Sponge


½ cup warm water (110 F)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon yeast

½ cup flour


Pour water in large mixing bowl. Stir in sugar, yeast, and flour. Let grow for 10-15 minutes.




½ cup warm water

1 cup warm vegan milk, “curdled” with 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

⅔ cup sugar

⅓ to ½ cup oil, such as olive oil, coconut oil, or plant butter

1-2 teaspoon salt; skip completely if using salted plant butter

4 ½ cups flour; up to 1 cup more during kneading if dough is wet

2 tablespoons soluble fiber supplement (optional)


Apple Filling


2-3 cortland apples

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp allspice

¼ tsp cloves

¼ tsp nutmeg

1-2 tsp oil

drizzle of maple syrup


Once the yeast is working, stir in the warm water and milk, and the salt, oil, and sugar. Add the flour and apples and soluble fiber and stir until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.


Flour a surface and knead for at least five minutes, adding small amounts of flour as needed. Then let the dough rest while you clean out the bowl and coat it with oil. Return to kneading for at least five minutes. It’s not possible to overknead.


When ready to stop, pull the edges and tuck them to the center to form a ball with some surface tension. Drop the tense side into the bowl and roll it over (thinly coating most of it with oil) so the tucked side is at the bottom. Cover with a damp cloth, put someplace warmish, and let rise until almost doubled, roughly 30-40 minutes if warm or up to 1.5 hours if colder. Prepare the apple filling while waiting.


Cut apples into small pieces in medium bowl, add apple cider vinegar and stir to coat. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg. Stir in oil, and then a drizzle of maple syrup.


If you poke the dough and it doesn’t spring back it’s more than ready, but you don’t need to wait that long. Punch the air out of the dough and knead out any bubbles. Now roll or spread the dough in a floured surface until about 10” by 14”. Using a slotted spoon, lift the apple pieces out of any liquid in the bowl and place them on the dough (save the liquid to add to oatmeal or applesauce). Roll the dough with filling up into a cylinder, then cut into slices with a chef’s knife, placing each slice on its side on a parchment or oiled sheet to bake. Top with apple pieces that fell out. Cover with damp cloths and let rise 20-30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 F.


Mix oil and some sugar in a pyrex dish, and brush it over the buns before baking. Bake (middle rack only) for about 40 minutes.


Sabina's picture

I fairly often make cinnamon roll-style apple buns. In one version, the filling is cooked first, so like a premade apple pie filling. In the other version, they are just regular cinnamon rolls with the cinnamon filling spread over the rolled-out dough first, and then cut apple pieces sprinkled over that before the dough is rolled up. In both cases, the buns are put in high-sided pans very close to each other so that they rise into each other as they cook.

I think placing the buns closer together and tight in the pan helps them rise up instead of out and maintain their shape better, but you might also get that same effect by using muffin tins if you don't want the buns touching each other. (I've never done this, so it's just a guess.)

Cutting the apples smaller would be a good idea too, I think, but the filling could also probably use some flour or cornstarch to help the apples gel up and not leak as much juice into the dough. Cooking it might help too. I use the filling from this recipe when I want that style of bun:

Apple buns are the best buns.


rockaday's picture

Thanks Sabina!

I didn't think of flour or cornstarch, that's a good idea. I got my dough unintentionally wet in this first attempt.

Yes, the best! I really enjoyed the flavor of these, and they filled my apartment with a great aroma.