A warm and soft, airy bread with strips of cinnamon apple twisted throughout making this loaf a showstopper!
Breads of all kind, especially yeast breads, are surprisingly one of my least favorite foods. Shocking, I know! For the most part, it’s as though the world around me loves it, wants it, yet they avoid it mainly for dietary reasons. Lucky for me, never having a loaf on the kitchen counter has gone unnoticed.
It wasn’t until I came across this beauty in a double-page spread and said to myself, “I need to try that!” Mind you, I’ve only made recipes with yeast a mere handful of times. Looking at the length of time invested to make this loaf, 4 hours that is, I could have backed out. But something about this gem touched my soul and so, I went for it.
Thankful I did, I can proudly add this to my archive and move forward onto my next challenge. And if you are anything like myself when it comes to yeast bread making, I highly encourage you to take on this challenge. Grab the bull by the horns and prove to yourself, you can do it. You’d be amazed at how simple this really is.
Now don’t be discourage by the number of steps laid out here. I record the instructions in the way I see myself execute the tasks and in hopes it can help others understand the process of bread making.
So I challenge you to give this a go. And some tips to remember when baking with apples in this recipe:
- Use a variety of firm apples such as Granny Smith, Honeycrisp or Cripps Pink (Pink Lady) to get a mixture of tart and sweet flavors.
- Leave the skin on for added fiber and color.
- Try using Boiled Cider rather than vanilla extract for the glaze to give an enhanced but subtle sweet apple flavor.
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup mashed potato flakes or 1/4 cup potato flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of Pie Filling Enhancer or Instant Clearjel or 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour*
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 to 2 large apples
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon boiled cider or pure vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons water or 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- In stand mixer bowl, whisk together flour, potato flakes or potato flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Place bowl on stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, add butter, vanilla, egg and milk. Allow mixer to run for 5 to 7 minutes or until a shaggy dough forms.
- Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, spray a large bowl with cooking oil; set aside. Remove dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Note: it should feel soft and slightly sticky. If the dough is dry, sprinkle 1 or 2 tablespoons of water; continue kneading.
- Place the dough into the greased bowl, turning the dough to allow all sides to be lightly oiled. Lightly cover bowl and allow dough to rise to about double in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together ¼ cup sugar, Pie Filling Enhancer. Note: if using Clearjel or all-purpose flour, add an additional ¼ cup sugar, and cinnamon; set aside.
- Grate apples (discard stem and core) and place in a separate medium bowl. Toss with lemon juice. Then, toss with the filling enhancer-cinnamon-sugar mixture; set aside.
- Using a bench scraper, divide dough in half over a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll each half into a 10” x 12” rectangle. Spread apple filling over the rolled out doughs, leaving a 1-inch margin on all sides.
- Starting with the long side, roll the dough into a log and seal the edge with a light pinch. Using the bench scraper, cut the logs lengthwise to create 2 thinner (half) logs; total of 4 (half) logs. Transfer logs onto a parchment-lined baking sheet; keep the filling side up.
- Place 2 logs side-by-side, start from the center, twist or “braid” the logs to each end. Tuck ends under and pinch to seal. Allow to rest until oven is ready.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Check at the 20-minute mark to ensure bread has not browned too quickly. If so, tent aluminum foil to cover.
- Remove bread from over and allow to cool for about an hour before glazing and serving.
- In a small bowl, whisk powdered sugar, boiled cider or vanilla and heavy cream or water until smooth. Drizzle glaze over bread loaves, slice and enjoy!