Soft and chewy apple bread is studded with fresh apples mixed with all the autumn warming spices for the perfect fall breakfast bread!
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Ah, fall is in the air. Once September rolls around I’m all about all things apple and really all things bread. This bread embodies all of those things. A nice yeasty, chewy bread studded with apples and filled with spices. To really top things off, I like to slather my apple bread with a smear of honey cinnamon butter.
Let’s talk ingredients:
- Flour-two kinds: whole wheat and all-purpose. Why? The whole wheat flour adds both flavor and texture but the all-purpose has more protein (9.5%-11.5%) which when hydrated makes more gluten which gives us stretchier dough to work with. Don’t have whole wheat flour-no problem, just use 100% all-purpose (or bread flour).
- Apples-use any kind you like. If you’re lucky enough to have a food processor, we’re going to make a little bit of applesauce with 2 of the apples to give our dough a little more water and flavor throughout. If you don’t have a food processor-just cut up all the apples into small chunks and knead them into the dough.
- Spices-all the wonderful fall warming spices: cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Don’t get too carried away with the allspice and the nutmeg, a little goes a long way.
- Eggs-to enrich the dough. Enriched dough is softer and smoother than un-enriched dough. Eggs also contribute protein and water to the dough.
- Honey-a little sweetener and a little bit of yeast food. If you don’t have honey, substitute 3 tablespoons of granulated or brown sugar instead
- Yeast-I like instant yeast, there is no need to proof it and you can use less of it than active dry yeast. If you only have active dry yeast, mix 3 tablespoons active dry yeast with 1/2 cup warm water (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit) for about 10 minutes before adding it to the dough.
- Water-use warm water (but not hot) if possible (a must have if using active dry yeast) it will help the yeast.
What kind of apples are best for apple bread?
You can use whatever kind of apples are your favorite in this bread. I personally like Granny Smith apples for all of my apple treats because they are a sturdy apple that stands up well to baking and they have a little pop of pucker that I think stands out against the sugar and the spices. Since this recipe only uses three small apples, I would use whatever kind of apples your family likes to eat. This bread is sort of like banana bread-just use your leftovers up to keep the fruit from going to waste.
What is direct method bread?
This bread is direct method yeasted bread. “Direct method bread” or the “straight dough method” is bread that can be made all in one day in just a few hours. There are lots of kinds of bread like sourdough or Italian bread that require a starter dough on the first day and the final dough on the second day. This is not that kind of bread. This is the kind of bread that you can decide that morning you’re making for dinner (or a snack) that night.
How long does apple bread last?
Apple bread lasts on the counter, wrapped up in plastic wrap for 3-4 days. There aren’t any preservatives so it will be more prone to mold and staleness. It will last probably a week in the refrigerator. You can freeze uncut loaves-simply wrap them well in plastic wrap and put them in a freezer bag or other freezer safe container. Remove from the freezer 2-3 hours before you want to eat it and let it stand at room temperature.
- food processor (optional)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 small apples
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons instant yeast
- 1/2-3/4 cup water
- In your food processor, puree 2 of the 2 apples. You can peel them first, you don't have to. Dice the third apple. If you don't have a food processor, dice all the apples.
- In a medium bowl, stir together flours, spices, and yeast. Add in eggs, pureed apples, and honey. Stir to combine. Slowly add in water until dough comes together and is tacky but not too sticky.
- Turn out onto a floured surface. Knead dough until smooth and elastic. Incorporate apple chunks when kneading dough. Cover with a clean, lint free towel and allow to raise for about 1 hour.
- Punch down dough and knead for about 2 minutes. Divide dough in half and shape as desired. I shaped my dough into 2 round loaves. Place shaped dough onto baking stone covered in cornmeal or parchment. Cover with a clean, lint free towel and allow to raise for another 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If desired, beat an additional egg in a small bowl until frothy. Brush egg wash over dough. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes. Cool and enjoy!
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