Harvard Apple Scroll

Many, many years ago when my girls were very young, we decided to vacation in Massachusetts….Cape Cod…….While there we would take day trips in and around the cape…..my grandmother was from Boston so we spent the day there and I so enjoyed it….it must be in my blood….. We also spent the day in Plymouth where we happened upon a great little restaurant that served “Harvard Apple Scroll”….its a delicious bread that has nothing to do with Harvard University, but is named for Harvard, Mass. a little town surrounded by orchards.  The reason for the name? When you roll it up it looks like a scroll……….

harvard scroll bread

This recipe makes two loaves…..


1/3 c milk

1/3 c sugar

3 tbs. unsalted, softened butter

3/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup warm water (about 115 degrees)

1 pkge. active dry yeast

2 large eggs

about 3 c unbleached flour


3 tbs. unsalted butter, melted

1 c sugar

2 teasp cinnamon

1/2 teasp ground nutmeg

1/4 teasp ground cloves

2 lge tart cooking apples ( preferably Rhode Island Greenings or Macouns)


………To make the bread: In a heavy-bottomed 1-quart saucepan, scald the milk.  Stir in the sugar, butter, and salt.  Cool to lukewarm.

Place the water in a large bowl and test the yeast …….

(place the warm water in a small bowl or cup and sprinkle the yeast on top.  Stir lightly with a teaspoon and let rest for five minutes or so. The mixture should begin to bubble and rise a little.  If it doesn’t, wait another five minutes.  If there is no change, try another packet of yeast)


Add the milk mixture and the eggs.  Stir in half of the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Add enough of the remaining flour to make a nice, soft, but kneadable, dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board or counter and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Butter a large bowl and put in the dough, turning it to coat all sides.  Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.  Punch down and turn out on a lightly floured surface.

Divide the roll in half and roll each piece into an 8″ x 12″ rectangle..

To make the filling: Brush the pieces with about 2 tablespoons of butter.

In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.  Sprinkle each piece of dough with 1/3 of the mixture.  Form each piece into a scroll by tightly rolling up the 8″ edges to meet in the center.   Make 7 slashes (an inch or so apart) in each half of the scrolls, going about halfway down into the dough.

Butter 2 9″ x 5″ loaf pans.  Add the dough, cut sides facing up.  Pare and  core the apples.  Cut each into 14 slices. Press the slices, thin edges down, into the slashes.  Brush the loaves lightly with the remaining tablespoon of butter.  Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/3 of the spice mixture.

Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.  Bake at 375 for 35 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and the sides begin to pull away from the pans.  Gently remove it from the pan and place it on a wire rack.  You can serve it warm for breakfast or tea.  If you want to store the remainder, allow the bread to cool completely before wrapping, storing, or freezing.  Reheat before serving.























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