What does a freezing cold day like today need? Why, warm bread of course and not just any bread, homemade apple cinnamon bread.
I could have easily looked one up but I was feeling the need to be a bit creative. It seems pretty basic anyway when you look at it: bread + apples + cinnamon = apple cinnamon bread. Then, of course, sugar is involved and voila, you have bread. Now, I didn’t write down the exact amounts, but I’ll do my best to recount it all.
Start off with your basic bread set up: yeast, sugar, a drop of honey (because I happen to like it), milk and water and set to foam up. My yeast is on the last batch of being good so it didn’t rise like it usually does but it was enough to get through this experiment.
The next part is making the flavor. I put together a mixture of sugar and cinnamon so that it equals about 1/4 cup or so (like I said, I didn’t actually measure this out). In another bowl, I peeled and chopped three medium to small sized granny smith apples (they are the best for baking really) into very small bits like if you were dicing up some onions. To the apples I added a healthy spoonful of white sugar, a couple of soft brown sugar and a good sized pinch or two of cinnamon. The cinnamon ratio for both the sugar mix and the apples all depends on your love of cinnamon. I happen to like cinnamon and it smells up the house wonderfully.
When that’s all done and the yeast has foamed up, add in your butter and egg like you usually do and the usual pinch of salt. Mix that together, then add the sugar/cinnamon mix. I added at least 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of flour to thicken it before I added in the apples. Note that this is A LOT of apples to dough ratio so if you don’t want that many, just use two. In our house, we love our apples and my mother insisted on adding a third apple.
Then proceed as usual to make the dough, let it rise, punch it down, put it into pans and let it rise again before baking. This bakes up a little slower and a bit thicker so watch your oven temp and the timing. In retrospect, I wish I had made little roll/muffins in the cupcake tin because these would be great for breakfast.
To top it off, I made an apple icing for the large loaf (I left the smaller alone). This I made using powdered sugar, apple juice instead of milk, a pinch of cinnamon and a drop of butter all whisked together. I actually like this much better than a sugar and milk combo for a glaze.
Happily, the result was delicious with just the right amount of sugar and lots of very tart and sweet apple chunks. I give all the credit to the type of apples. Granny Smith really are the way for baking…eating raw however, my heart belongs to Macintosh.