Last week I made a Braided Onion Loaf that turned out very well. I thought I’d play with the fillings on this bread a little bit to see what other kinds of bread braids I could make. Since I still have way more apples than I know what to do with I wanted to incorporate them somehow. I decided on a sweet apple cinnamon filled bread. I used the same dough as last week, but to keep it simple I’m posting that info here too.
1 pkg (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 apples finely diced, about 2 cups
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened
Topping (approximate measurements here, I just threw this together):
3-4 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, butter, egg, sugar, salt, and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
In a small bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Punch dough down; turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into thirds. Roll each portion into a rectangle about 20 in X 4 in. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting from a long side.
Place ropes on a baking sheet lined with either parchment or a silicone baking mat; braid. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter/Topping above, remove from pan onto wire rack.
This was much messier coming out of the oven than the onion loaf, probably because it was a much moister filling. Definitely use something to line the pan because the butter/brown sugar does leak a little around the edges and caramelize. It was also a much heavier loaf than last week’s and a little difficult to move from the pan to the rack without it separating. But, that said, this was totally worth the effort. The bread is chewy and moist with a lot of apple cinnamon flavor. Perfect for snacking on this very chilly fall Sunday!
P.S. I couldn’t resist sharing this little picture of my kitchen “helpers”! They’re always waiting to see if I’ll drop anything, and they are loving all the apples around here. 🙂