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Apple Cinnamon Bread

My exceptionally dense bread – you can tell it really didn’t rise at all.

Fall is officially here and as far as I’m concerned that means it’s time for apples. So, in my excitement about cooler weather and apples, I decided it was definitely time to make some Apple Cinnamon Bread! Now, as you all know following recipes isn’t my calling in life… But with breads and baking it’s pretty important to stick close to the original if you want it to turn out ok. Also, with bread… you have to be patient, a skill I am also lacking. However I was thoroughly determined to make some cinnamon bread and thus my most recent baking adventure began.

The adventure ended with two loaves of bread that vaguely resembled bricks and were similarly dense. Now, in my defense the bread is delicious. The hubs and I have both eaten and enjoyed it. But seriously… rising fail. There was no doubling in volume, or really any rising at all! Maybe I should have left the dough alone longer and it would of risen some; or maybe the water was too hot when I mixed it with the yeast; or maybe it was just a cruddy batch of yeast… I really don’t know, but what I do know is there was no rising.

So… I’m still sharing the recipe because I definitely enjoyed the flavors. However, I think better yeast and possibly longer rising times would help create lighter, fluffier bread. And if you know where I can score some reliable yeast, let me know!

Adapted from Taste of Home

1 package (¼ oz) active dry yeast
¼ c warm water (110° to 115°)
2 c warm milk (110° to 115°)
1/3 c plus ½ c sugar, divided
¼ c vegtable oil
2 tps salt
5-3/4 to 6-1/4 c all-purpose flour
2 c apple, cut into small cubes
2 Tbs ground cinnamon
1 tsp water
¼ c chopped walnuts

Caramel Glaze
2 Tbs butter
1/2 c packed brown sugar
2 Tbs milk
1 tablespoon milk

Dissolve yeast in warm water, in a mixing bowl. Add milk, 1/3 c sugar, oil, salt and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Slowly add the apples and as much of the remaining flour necessary to form a soft dough.

Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1.25 hours.

Punch dough down and drop onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half and roll each into a 15” x 7” rectangle. Combine cinnamon, remaining sugar, and walnuts; sprinkle over dough and then sprinkle with water. Starting at a short side, roll up tightly, pinch seams and ends to seal. Place, seam side down, in two greased 9” x 5” loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

While the bread cools melt the butter in a small sauce pot over medium heat. Once melted add the brown sugar, stirring regularly. Once it starts to boil, carefully add the milk. Bring back to a boil and cook for one minute. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then pour over still warm bread (a baking sheet underneath the cooling rack will keep the sugar off your counters).