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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Triple Apple Bread

Triple Apple Bread #apples #bread #twelveloaves
We've officially broken out the boots and the sweaters. Piles of blankets that were stashed in closets are now draped over sofas, chairs, and beds...and if I'm being honest, strewn across floors. I'm no longer sad that my air conditioner is broken. I just so happen to love it when there's a chill in the air, leaves changing colors, and apples and winter squash all-the-things!

So, it's only fitting that our #twelveloaves theme for this month fits the bill perfectly—it's APPLES! I toyed with making some cinnamon rolls stuffed with bits of tender, spiced apples. Then I thought maybe I'd heat up the cauldron and fry up some apple fritters. Or perhaps I'd go with some apple-filled pretzel bites drizzled in caramel sauce. Apparently my mood took a 180.

Instead of something sweet, I wound up making an unassuming, rustic loaf perfumed ever-so-faintly with the essence of an apple itself. Apple cider, fresh apples picked from a nearby tree, and the rest of the dried apple slices that I brought home with me from my recent trip to Seattle, mingle inside a thick, chewy crust.

Triple Apple Bread #apples #bread #twelveloaves
This is a loaf from My Bread. I've made several from the book so far, and I seem to have the basically the same take-away from each venture. Lahey's breads always taste good and have a great texture, crumb, and "chew"—but I can never keep them from getting almost black on the bottom. So frustrating! I don't know if it's my oven or if I'm doing something wrong. The recipes (so far) have all called for the rack to be in the bottom third of the oven. They use a Dutch Oven that is preheated along with the oven itself. Is it because my oven is older and the heating element is on the bottom, perhaps? If you have any experience with Lahey breads, I'd love to know your experience.

Anyhoo, I just wind up shaving the outside of the bottom crust off and it's fine, but I'd rather not have to do that. You know, in case I want to gift somebody with a loaf of this bread! I totally wanted to; this bread is phenomenal for the season. It's great on a cheese plate, or as the bread on a grilled cheese sammich, or go crazy and turn it into quadruple apple bread by toasting and slathering it with apple butter. That's good stuff, baby.

Triple Apple Bread
This chewy artisan loaf is studded with fresh and dried apples that, along with the addition of apple cider, lend it its sweetness.
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Triple Apple Bread
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 20 hours (mostly unattended)
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Keywords: bake bread dairy-free nut-free soy-free sugar-free vegan apple cider apples flour fall

Ingredients (1 small loaf)
  • 280 grams bread flour
  • 20 grams whole wheat flour
  • 65 grams peeled and chopped Golden Delicious apple
  • 65 grams dried apple slices, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 4 grams fine sea salt
  • 1 gram active dry yeast
  • 250 grams (1 cup) unfiltered apple cider, at room temperature
to finish:
  • wheat germ
  • thin apple slice (cut horizontally from middle of an apple), seeds removed
  • additional flour
Stir both flours, the fresh and dried apples, salt, and yeast together in a medium bowl. Add the apple cider and mix using a wooden spoon, until it comes together into a wet, sticky dough, ~30 seconds. Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature until it has more than doubled in size and the surface is dotted with bubbles, 12-18 hours.
triple apple bread ingredients include fresh apples, dried apples, apple cider
Generously dust your work surface with flour, then scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto the flour. Using lightly floured hands, lift and tuck the edges of the dough in towards the center to make a round ball.

Place a tea towel on your work surface and dust it with wheat germ. Lay a piece of parchment paper slightly larger than the apple slice in the center of the cloth (this keeps the apple from sticking to the wheat germ); place the apple slice on the paper. Gently lift the dough and place it seam side down on the towel, centered over the apple slice. Fold the sides of the towel loosely over the dough and place it in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for about 2 hours. The dough will be ready when it has almost doubled; gently poking it with your finger should leave an impression if it's ready.
triple apple bread ingredients include fresh apples, dried apples, apple cider
Thirty minutes before the end of the rise time, set a 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 quart Dutch oven with lid on a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 475° F.

Using pot holders, carefully remove the hot pot from the preheated oven and uncover it. Open the tea towel, then quickly but carefully invert the dough into the pot (the apple slice should now be on top) and remove parchment paper. Cover pot, slide back into oven, and bake for 35 minutes.

Remove the lid from the pot and continue to bake until the bread is medium golden, another 10 minutes or so.

Use pot holders or a heatproof spatula to carefully lift the bread from the pot and set on a wire rack to cool.

-ever-so-slightly adapted from My Bread by Jim Lahey
Triple Apple Bread #apples #bread #twelveloaves
#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Savoring Italy and run with the help of Heather of All Roads Lead to the Kitchen, which runs smoothly with the help of our bakers.

I'm happy to be hosting this month with the theme: Apples. For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month's mouthwatering selection of #TwelveLoaves Pear Breads!

#TwelveLoaves: Apples