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Delicious apple breads for a sweet new year

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For some, the lead-up to the High Holidays is a mad scramble to find the most unusual, delicious and – dare I say it – superior apple recipes. I’ve seen apples added to salads, soups, main courses and, of course, desserts. There are apple challahs, baked apples and even taffy apples included on menus.

I’ve decided that this year, in addition to the sweet and tart Granny Smiths that I slice to accompany the three different types of honey I bought, I’m going to make apple breads – dense loafs that are moist, sweet and perfect with your morning coffee, just before you head off to shul or when you just need a little nibble before you head off to bed.

Two of the following recipes are for “quick breads,” which use baking powder or soda instead of yeast. The last recipe is for a decadent yeast bread that is sure to become a year-round family favourite.

 

Maple Apple Pie Bread

ο 500 ml (2 cups) flour

ο 125 ml (1/2 cup) oatmeal

ο 175 ml (3/4 cup) brown sugar

ο 70 ml (1/4 cup) sugar

ο 15 ml (1 tbsp) baking powder

ο 5 ml (1 tsp) cinnamon

ο 5 ml (1 tsp) pumpkin pie spice

ο 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt

ο 2 eggs

ο 125 ml (1/2 cup) vanilla yogurt or sour cream

ο 150 ml (2/3 cup) milk or half and half

ο 75 ml (1/3 cup) oil

ο 5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract

ο 5 ml (1 tsp) maple extract

ο 2 large apples, cut into small chunks

Crumble topping

ο 125 ml (1/2 cup) flour

ο 60 ml (1/4 cup) brown sugar

ο 1 stick soft butter

ο 60 ml (1/4 cup) oatmeal

ο 1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) pumpkin pie spice

Maple glaze

ο 250-plus ml (1 heaping cup) powdered sugar, sifted

ο 45 ml (3 tbsp) maple syrup

ο 5 ml (1 tsp) maple extract

ο 7.5-15 ml (1/2-1 tbsp) hot water

 

Preheat oven to 190 C (375 F) and really grease a 23×12-cm (9×5-inch) loaf pan.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, oats, brown and white sugars, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Set it aside.

In another large bowl, combine the eggs, sour cream or yogurt, milk, oil and maple and vanilla extracts. Gently mix in the flour mixture and then fold in the apple chunks.

To make the crumble topping, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the topping over the top. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely on a cooling rack.

To make the maple glaze, combine the powdered sugar, maple syrup, maple extract and 7.5 ml (1/2 tbsp) hot water in a small bowl. If the glaze is too thick, add 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) of water at a time to reach desired consistency.

Drizzle the glaze over the top of the loaf and let set for 15-25 minutes before slicing.

Serves 8.

Apple Bite Bread

ο 75 ml (1/3 cup) brown sugar

ο 5 ml (1 tsp) cinnamon

ο 150 ml (2/3 cup) sugar

ο 125 ml (1/2 cup) salted butter, softened (or add 1.25 ml salt to unsalted butter)

ο 2 eggs

ο 7.5 ml (1½ tsp) vanilla

ο 375 ml (1½ cups) flour

ο 8.75 ml (1¾ tsp) baking powder

ο 125 ml (1/2 cup) milk

ο 1-2 apples, peeled and diced
(I use Granny Smith or Honey Crisp)

ο 125 ml (1/2 cup) dried cherries or raisins

 

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Grease and flour a 23×12-cm (9×5-inch) loaf pan. In a bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the white sugar and butter and mix until creamy and combined. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

In another bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and then add it to the butter mixture. Mix to just combine, then add the milk and mix to combine. Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle half the apples, half the brown sugar cinnamon mixture and half the cherries or raisins over the batter. Gently push the mixture into the batter. Spoon the remaining batter over the apple cherry mixture. Sprinkle the remaining apples and cherries on top and add more of the brown sugar cinnamon mixture.

Lightly push the apples into the batter, then, with a knife, swirl brown sugar and apple mixtures gently through the batter (do not overdo, it takes just 2 or 3 swirls to make the layers undulate). Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly from the centre.

Serves 8.

READ: SWEET EATS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Whiskey Glazed Apple Bread

ο 175 ml (3/4 cup) warm milk

ο 15 ml (1 tbsp) instant yeast

ο 15 ml (1 tbsp) sugar

ο 7.5 ml (1½ tsp) kosher salt

ο 3 eggs

ο 1½ sticks (3/4 cup) butter, melted

ο 875 ml-1 l (3½-4 cups) flour

Filling

ο 90 ml (6 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened

ο 125 ml (1/2 cup) packed brown sugar

ο 15 ml (1 tbsp) cinnamon

ο 2 Granny Smith or Honeycrisp apples, diced

Glaze

ο 45 ml (3 tbsp) maple syrup

ο 500 ml (2 cups) powdered sugar

ο 30 ml (2 tbsp) blended whiskey or bourbon

ο 5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract

 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the milk, yeast and sugar. Mix to combine. Add the salt, eggs and melted butter and mix to combine. Gradually mix in the flour until the dough comes together. It will be sticky.

Remove the dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Kneed for 3-5 minutes, or until you can form it into a smooth ball. Grease a large bowl and place the dough in it. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let sit until the dough doubles in size (35-45 minutes, but no more than 1 hour).

While the dough is rising, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and mix to combine. Set aside. Place sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and set aside. Grease 2 loaf pans and set aside.

Lightly flour a surface. Punch the dough down and roll it into a rectangle to fit the pan, using a little more flour to make sure that it doesn’t stick. Brush half the butter over the top of the dough. Sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar over the butter. Spoon the chopped apples over the cinnamon sugar, then sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar on top of the apples and brush the remaining butter over the top. Roll the dough up into a log, starting with the long side closest to you, making sure it’s fairly tight as you roll it. When you reach the end of the roll, pinch it closed on the seam and the ends.

Place the log, seam side down, on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With a sharp knife, cut diagonal slices. Arrange the cut sections so that they overlap each other. Use your hands to gently push the dough together, into the shape of the loaf pan. The dough will be messy, but that’s a good thing. Using the parchment paper to hold the loaf together, lift the dough up and into the bread pan (keep it on the parchment paper in the pan). Cover and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F). Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Watch carefully, as you do not want to over bake the bread. Remove the pan from oven and let cool, in the pan, for 10 minutes, then remove from pan.

For the glaze, combine the maple syrup, powdered sugar, whiskey and vanilla in a bowl. If the glaze is too thick, add a few drops of water. Drizzle the glaze over the warm bread.

This bread is most delicious served warm, but also good at room temperature the next day, if there’s any left.

Serves 8.

Share and enjoy !