These are the perfect elevated cinnamon rolls, brimming with apples and a cinnamon glaze.
In a glass measuring cup mix warm water and yeast, stir with a spoon and set aside.
Transfer milk mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add 1 cup of flour and mix until well combined. Add yeast mixture and additional flour, cup by cup, mixing until it comes together to form a soft dough (3 ½ - 4 cups of flour total). The dough should be slightly tacky, but hold together in a ball.
Transfer to a large greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for approximately 2 hours, or until dough has doubled. (Best to put your dough in a warmish, non-drafty place-I use my oven (turned off) with the oven light turned on)
When dough is doubled, remove to a clean, lightly floured surface. Punch down a few times. Roll dough out into a large rectangle approximately 9 x 15. Spread the filling onto the dough, sparing a ½ rim around the rectangle. Roll up along the long side of the dough (this forms a long snake of dough filled with apple cinnamon filling). Cut the dough into 12 slices (each a little more than 1 inch wide). Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan with butter. Lie the slices down in the pan tucking them close together.
If you are planning on baking these today, cover with a towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes. If you are going to bake these rolls the following day, cover with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator.
While rolls are rising, make glaze by placing powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and 2 tablespoons of hot water into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix adding water tablespoon by tablespoon until desired consistency is reached (this can be done in the morning if you are leaving rolls in the refrigerator overnight).
When you are ready to bake the rolls, preheat the oven to 350°F. (If the rolls have been in the refrigerator overnight, allow apple cinnamon rolls to come to room temperature and rise for 1 hour before baking)
When you transfer the milk mixture to the stand mixer you want it to be warm to the touch, but not hot. Too hot and you will kill your yeast-then your dough won’t rise. If you have a thermometer, 105°F is what you are aiming for. Otherwise if you are going by feel, “warm” is what you want.