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Friday, November 22, 2013

Apple Of My Eye

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I've been baking with apples lately. A lot.

Ask my kids and husband. Or my friends. They've all tried my apple experiments.

And I feel that as a stay-at-home mom, it's my job to have lovely loaves of freshly baked bread on my counters at all time.

No, not really, but I do love cooking and baking and having delicious homemade treats for my family. Try as I may, I can't get away from my cooking blog roots I guess. And we're all about real food in this house these days. So it makes my heart happy to see my kids enjoying homemade food.

I was determined to make a bread that is similar to cinnamon raisin bread but with an apple flavor. Apples have a lot of water in them so it was quite the challenge, but I managed to come up with a few things.

1. Find an apple flavored yeast based bread. 

This took more work than you think. I scoured the internet for ideas and recipes. Finally, I came up with one that worked!

4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tbsp. sugar 
1 1/2 c warm water
1/2 c apple cider
1/2 c unsweetened apple sauce
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 c. butter, melted
2 tbsp. honey
1 1/2 tbsp. salt
3 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2-2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour- I prefer unbleached.
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. water

It's an easy switch to make this dairy free by using coconut butter instead of butter. You can also skip the egg at the end.

Combine yeast, sugar and 1/2 c warm water in large mixing bowl. Let sit until it gets frothy.

Combine the rest of the water, apple cider, applesauce, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, honey, salt in mixing bowl. Slowly add sugar, 1 cup at a time, until bread is barely sticky. Only add as much all-purpose flour as needed to get a good dough. On a floured surface, knead until smooth.

 Place in a greased bowl with a moist towel over to for 1-2 hours until bread doubles in size.

Punch hole in bread, split into 2 and spread out into a large rectangle to spread filling over top.


2. Make a filling that won't make the bread a soggy mess. Not so hard, I added a good amount of corn starch and tried cooking the apple first.

1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped into small pieces.
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp flour (wheat or white)
1 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp butter (again, coconut butter would totally work)

Put apple in microwave safe bowl, sprinkle cinnamon over top and microwave for about 2 minute until apple becomes soft.

Melt butter, add sugars, apple pieces (leaving out the liquid at the bottom), flour, cornstarch, and stir well until combined.

3. Mix the 2 together to make the ultimate bread.
Spread half of mixture over each piece of bread. Roll it up and make sure to pinch all the edges closed. Place into 2 greased loaf pans, cover with moist towel in warm area and let sit and rise for 1 hour until dough starts to go over the edges of the pan.


Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

The result:

French toast lovers of the world, feel free to swoon, because this bread makes a mean french toast. Topped with more cooked apples? Great idea!

p.s. you can totally make this without the filling! We made it fillingless and it makes for a delicious sandwich with almond butter and apple butter. Or I put eggs on top of a slice and it was delic. There's nothing like fresh, yeasty bread to make any meal taste a little better.

My next task will be making it gluten free. Ughhh. Why does gluten have to upset tummies? It makes such a lovely bread.

Now I'm off to bake apples. I have a problem. I'll go to counseling in my free time. Ha.

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