Impress your guests this fall season with these soft, sweet and smoky Maple Bacon Twists. Easily adapted to complement a comforting dinner or enjoy as a sweet breakfast pastry.
Autumn has set in completely here in London since Chris and I returned from our Italian holiday. As I write this, rain is streaking down the window and orange and yellow leaves are cascading to the ground, torn from their trees by the blustery breeze. There’s a slight chill in the flat that I’ve tried to combat by baking a batch of apple crumble cookies (recipe coming next week!). My plans for the evening involve wrapping up in a cosy blanket with a cup of tea and a new book. Yup, I’m loving being home.
If you read my August newsletter (join the Crew here!), you’ll know that I set out to become more comfortable baking with yeast in September. I don’t really know when my anxiety around baking with yeast started. Considering cinnamon rolls are one of my all-time favourite things to eat, you’d think I’d be all over yeast! Not so. Yeast and I have merely been acquaintances up to this point. I’ve baked a few loaves of bread, I’ve rolled out the occasional cinnamon bun, but for the most part, I prefer to stick to trusty soda and powder. They’re what I’m used to. Safe.
However, a true baker cannot wander through life afraid of a microorganism, so I tied on my big girl apron and got to work.
I could have taken it easy on myself. You know, made a hearty loaf of bread or perhaps a few brioche buns, but no. I had to go and get all ambitious and tackle twisted bread rolls. But, honestly, this is me. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to go all in. And once you taste these Maple Bacon Twists will you be so freakin’ glad that I did.
How I Made these Maple Bacon Twists
I think I built up the difficulty of yeast-risen bakes in my head because these twists were actually remarkably easy to make… the fourth time. Yeast was not my issue for the first three trial runs; it was the fact that I used a butter-based sweet dough meant for cinnamon rolls. I figured I would be clever and try and make two recipes in one go by doubling the dough I used for a roll recipe. This was my fatal mistake. The roll dough didn’t have enough moisture in it to hold up on its own, and once overworked from all the twist practice, the Maple Bacon Twists baked up dry, tough, and inedible. Lesson learned.
The second round I had trouble with the glaze. I overboiled the maple syrup and a few of the twists ended up with a matte glaze akin to a glazed doughnut. Tasty, but not the look I was going for. I also didn’t use enough bacon in this round of rolls, and as a Canadian, I am slightly ashamed to admit this.
We won’t speak about the third round, but suffice it to say that one should always remember to click ‘go’ on their timer.
The fourth and final round produced these beauties before you. Sweet, fluffy, perfect Maple Bacon Twists that would be at home on any Thanksgiving dinner table. Or any table.
How to Twist Bread Rolls
The twist looks fancy, but I promise it’s easy to do.
Simply roll out your bit of dough into a long snake, about the length of a standard ruler. Then fold the snake in half so the ends meet in a long ‘U’. Slide your index finger under the bend and hold it with your thumb. Lift the upper half of the snake over the lower half of the snake and then twist it around the underside. Keep twisting in this fashion until the entire piece of dough is twisted together with a hole at the top where your finger is. Pull the ends of the twist through the hole and press to secure them on the other side of the bend.
Voila! A twisted bread roll to amaze all of your friends.
While I think these Maple Bacon Twists would be an incredible addition to your Thanksgiving dinner, they’re also insanely adaptable and would suit any fall meal.
The glossy maple glaze is optional. It adds sweetness and a pastry-like quality to the roll that makes these perfect for a Sunday brunch with a cup of coffee. But if you leave the glaze off, the Maple Bacon Twists become a delicious savoury option: a lovely, soft twisted bread roll that pairs wonderfully with soups, harvest dinners, and even cold dips. They still retain a subtle sweetness from the maple syrup and cinnamon, but it’s not overpowering and allows the texture of the bread and the salty, smoky flavour of the bacon to shine.
I hope you show off your skills and make these Maple Bacon Twists this season for your friends and family. Don’t forget to snap a picture and tag me on Instagram (@naturallysweet_kitchen) – I love to see your baking!
And a joyous Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends!
Maple Bacon Twists
Impress your guests this fall season with these soft, sweet and smoky Maple Bacon Twists. Easily adapts to complement a comforting dinner or enjoyed as a sweet breakfast pastry.
- 575 g strong unbleached white bread flour divided
- 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
- 180 ml warm water 43-46°C
- 180 ml plain Greek yogurt room temperature
- 60 ml pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ tsp fine sea salt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 10 slices smoked streaky bacon cooked crisp and diced
- 1 large egg
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
Optional Maple Glaze
- 120 ml pure maple syrup
- 2 slices smoked streaky bacon cooked crisp and finely diced
- Stir together 130 grams of the flour, the yeast and the warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, maple syrup, oil, sea salt, cinnamon, and egg. Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine.
- Using the dough hook attachment for the stand mixer, knead the dough on medium speed for 5-6 minutes, gradually adding the remaining flour until it begins to form a dough. You may not need all of the flour.
- After 6 minutes, the dough should be smooth and spring back slightly when poked with a finger. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and place in a warm spot to rise for 60-90 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Once the dough has doubled, punch out the air and tip onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in the diced bacon until well incorporated.
- Divide the dough evenly into 16 pieces. Roll each piece out into a thin log about 35cm long. Fold the log in half so the tips are touching and place your index finger inside the bend. Twist the strands together and then pull the ends up through the bend. Secure the ends to the underside of the bend by pressing gently.
- Space the twists evenly apart on a large baking tray lined with a silicone mat or non-stick paper. Cover the twists with a tea towel and place in a warm spot to rise for 45 minutes.
Egg Wash & Bake
- Preheat the oven to 220°C and beat together the egg and maple syrup.
Once the twists have puffed up nicely, brush them with the sweet egg wash and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown and baked through. Check them at the 10-minute mark, and if they are browning too much, cover them with a layer of foil.
- Cool slightly before serving, or cool completely before glazing.
Optional Maple Glaze
- Once the twists are cool, make the glaze. Pour the maple syrup into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until it begins to boil. Reduce to a simmer for 2-3 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Carefully brush the maple glaze over the twists and top with the extra crispy bacon.
These Maple Bacon Twists are best consumed the day they are made but will keep for up to 2 days sealed in an airtight container at room temperature.