Store-bought apple butter pulls double duty in these marvelous morning buns: it's spread onto the dough before rolling, and it's simmered with brown sugar and butter for the sticky-sweet glaze. Toasted pecans and dried currants scattered throughout add just the right amount of texture.

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Ingredients

Dough
Filling
Glaze

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Dough: Brush a large bowl with butter; set aside. Place potato in a small pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook until fork-tender, 10 to 12 minutes; drain. Pass through a ricer or mash with a fork until smooth (to yield 2/3 cup); let cool slightly.

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  • Heat milk until warm to the touch (110 degrees on a thermometer). Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer; add yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in butter, granulated sugar, potato, egg, flour, and salt until a ragged dough forms. Place bowl on mixer fitted with the dough-hook attachment; mix on medium-low speed, scraping sides and removing dough from hook a few times, until soft and pliable, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a lightly floured surface; knead into a ball. Transfer to buttered bowl (dough will be very soft) and cover with plastic wrap. (Dough can be covered and refrigerated at this point up to 2 days). Let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. Brush two 8-inch cake pans with butter; set aside.

  • Filling: In a bowl, stir together butter and apple butter. In another bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Punch down dough; transfer to a lightly floured surface. Roll out to a 14-by-18-inch rectangle. Spread evenly with butter mixture, leaving a 1/2-inch border on far long edge; top with brown-sugar mixture, pecans, and currants. Starting at long edge closest to you, roll dough away from you into a tight jelly-roll shape. Transfer, seam-side down, to a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Trim ends, then cut roll crosswise into twelve 1 1/2-inch-thick rounds with a serrated knife. Arrange, cut-sides up, in prepared pans; cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 8 hours, or overnight.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove rolls from refrigerator and place in a warm spot until almost doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove plastic and bake until browned on top and a thermometer inserted registers about 210 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pans on a wire rack, 10 minutes.

  • Glaze: Meanwhile, heat brown sugar, butter, apple butter, and 1 tablespoon water in a saucepan over medium, stirring, until simmering; cook 1 minute. Drizzle over rolls; let cool at least 20 minutes. Serve.

Cook's Notes

Rolls can be made, sliced, and frozen up to 3 months ahead. Freeze them in their baking dish, tightly wrapped in plastic, at the end of step 3. When ready to proceed, defrost them in the refrigerator overnight before continuing with step 4.

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