Baking on Friday: Roasted Apple Bread

Yesterday, I started on a Thursday edition of Baking on Friday, which would have been this Roasted Apple Bread I found on the King Arthur Flour website.

I neglected to read the entire recipe first, however, and it ended up taking me most of the day and into the night because it required an 8-hour (or overnight, if you prefer) rise.  That will teach me.  So, I managed to finish the bread, but it was late into the evening last night. You'll see as my images progress that I'm starting during the daylight hours and ending after dark.  Of course, I wasn't working on it that whole time, but it did end up baking off much later than I anticipated.

Before I start on that, however, I wanted to address something from a previous blog post. Some of you were very observant when I wrote my post about making plum chutney and you noticed my odd-sized measuring spoons.

Also, I have odd-sized measuring cups.

Now there's no reason why you should want these. I just happen to like them, and they are convenient to have around. But the biggest reason I have them is because "odd" is my watchword. It defines me. And, honestly, where would we be without odd people? I mean, who would run for public office and serve as our elected government officials? And who would speak for cats, if not me? But odd people aside, if you're interested in having some of these for your very own, you can find them at Sur La Table. The measuring cups are right here (and I must say, I really like that 2-cup size) and the measuring spoons are right here. And just to be clear, I'm not shilling for Sur La Table.  You asked, so I answered.

Getting back to the bread, here's how it's done.  Don't do it like I did it though.  Start it the evening before and let it rise overnight.  Then bake it off the next day.

Start with two large Granny Smith apples.  I only used one and half of another, but then I ate the remaining half, so it was a win-win.

Your going to chop those up into smallish pieces so that you have 2 to 2 1/2 cups of apple pieces.

Toss those with 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.  (Yes, I had to measure that the old-fashioned way.)

Spread it all out on a baking sheet lined with foil (or parchment, or whatever you like) and roast them in a preheated oven at 425°F. for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, your furry friends will have become very interested in what you're doing in the kitchen, so pause here to give them some treats.  Incidentally, Gracie is now willing to eat her treats side by side with Smitty without grrrrrring.  That furry thing you see on a stick is Smitty's little drag-it-everywhere toy.  He loves it.  It's his little security blanket.

With your furry friends taken care of, you can go back to baking.  Next you'll need a large bowl.  To that, you will add 3 1/4 cups of unbleached bread flour (or unbleached all-purpose flour is fine too...I had bread flour on hand).  Also, you'll want 1 cup of whole wheat flour,

1 1/2 teaspoons of table salt,

1/2 teaspoon of instant yeast, and

1 3/4 cups of water.

Now, here's where the recipe got really annoying.  I was supposed to use a dough whisk to mix that all together.  In all my years of baking, including bread baking, I've never been asked to use a dough whisk before.  I didn't even know what one looks like.  Do you?  Here's a picture:

I really hate specialty items, although my review of dough whisks on the internet tells me that I would love using one of these.  But since I've never needed one before this day, I think I'll just continue on with the many tools already in my drawer.  I decided that this didn't look so different from this flat whisk I have, and so I used that.

But before I got started on that, my apples were ready to come out of the oven.  You want them fork tender and you want the juices to begin to concentrate, but you do not want them to be mushy.  You will need to work them into the dough later.  I took mine out of the oven after 10 minutes, and they were just right.

So that brought me back to my dough.  I added the water and whisked away, but I was having difficulty getting the flour all incorporated.  

For one thing, it was very dry, although the recipe described it as "sticky".  I decided to add a little more water...maybe a quarter cup.  Maybe a dough whisk would have helped, but I decided to use the whisks God gave me.

They worked handily (Ha! Sometimes I just crack myself up.)  The dough came together.  I covered the bowl in plastic and left it to rise at room temperature for the next 8 hours...in other words, until after dinner.  When it was finished rising, it had more than doubled in size and it had little bubbles on its surface.

After that, I dumped it out on a lightly floured surface and began kneading it while gradually adding the roasted apples and 1 cup of coarsely chopped walnuts.  This took a little doing, but I was persistent, and eventually got it all worked in.

This bread is all about the crust that forms when it is baked.  The King Arthur folks would have you use a ceramic bread crock, or a covered clay baker, of which I have neither.  I ended up using a lidded 9 x 12-inch Pyrex oval baking dish.  Now that I had the apples and walnuts mixed in, I put it in the lightly oiled dish and let it rise for another two hours.

For this rise, you'll want the dish covered.

After two hours, place the lidded dish in a cold oven and turn it on to 425°F.  Bake it for 40-45 minutes.  Then remove the lid and bake it another 5-15 minutes.  In my oven the final baking time was 10 minutes.  The bread was golden brown on top and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf read 205°F.

After that, I removed it from the baking dish and let it cool on a wire rack.

But I only let it cool for a few minutes before cutting into it to give it a try.  The crust is nice and, well, crusty.

The bread inside is soft and chewy and the apples and walnuts are very nice.

It's very nice for breakfast.

This isn't a difficult bread to make, and it doesn't require a lot of time on your part.  But plan ahead because it does require ten total hours of rise time.  Better yet, let it rise overnight and get an early start in the morning for the remaining two hours of rise time.  Once you have that going, head back to bed for a couple of hours, and when you get up again, pop it in the oven.  You'll be able to have warm bread right from the oven with your morning coffee. And yes, it's true.  Only a masochist would do this, but you can't blame me for trying, can you?  Do it if you dare.

If you're interested in trying this, you can find the recipe right here on the King Arthur Flour website.  I will definitely make it again, only next time, I will plan better.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Snoodles said...

Your photos have me drooling....the hardest thing to live without on a locarb diet is yeast breads, I swear! LOL Sure looks yummy, even tho it took a great deal of time. :)

Judy1522 said...

That looks so good but I am with you I would just use what I have in my house and not buy a bread whisk. In fact I would probably use my dough hook on my mixer to mix it up. I will probably try it sometime it looks like a good bread to have on a cold fall morning.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

I'm waiting for my slice to be air lifted to Texas. Like you whisk...:))

Cassandra said...

This bread looks really, really good. I think I might have to make some. :)

Debbie said...

Going to KA for the recipe....love their stuff. I will figure out the bread machine method. This looks too good.

quiltzyx said...

I can practically smell the apple bread thru' my laptop. Oh, to have that new computer with Smell-O-Vision!!!

I recently saw/read about using an electric hot pad under the dough to make it rise faster. Since I'm not a bread maker, I didn't click thru' to the story though.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

I'll bet that is very, very good!

Junebug613 said...

MMMMMM!!! That looks yummy! I may have to try it sometime.

Margaret said...

I love people who actually bake. Your bread looks awesome. I don't bake but thankfully we have bake sales for charities at my local grocery store just about every weekend so I just go make my donation and bring home really awesome baked goods. In fact, I havve to take cookies to church tomorrow so I will be heading out to the store. They are having a sale to support Christian Education this week.

SewLisa :o) said...

That looks delicious. We are always looking for good recipes to try and perfect for the 4H fairs. The recipes that show healthy choices always do especially well. With the apples, walnuts, and perhaps some whole grain flour added in place of some of the bread flour I think this recipe qualifies. Thanks!

Mary Ann said...

Great looking tute and bread!! BTW....check out the Pyrex site...they do not recommend putting their dishes in a cold oven. Apparently some of them have ( or people said they have ) exploded !...I do have an old clay pot but think the bread might taste like roasted chicken !!!...
Mary Ann in VT

sf said...

You said the recipe was from King Arthur? I think that's where I've see the dough whisk they wanted you to use. I believe it's a Scandinavian kitchen tool.