Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Babes Bake Apple Bread

I missed making the Bread Baking Babes bread last month, but this month I finished the loaf yesterday, just in time to post today. Not only that, but it's also World Bread Day so there is likely to be lots of great bread around the blogosphere today.

Our Kitchen of the Month Kelly of A Messy Kitchen gave us a wonderful recipe for October; Apple Bread. You start with a poolish and the next day make the dough, let it rise, work the sauteed apples into the dough and shape it and then bake it at a pretty high temperature to begin with, then at a lower temperature to finish. The result is an absolutely delicious bread, flavored with apple, faintly sweet and perfect for eating plain, toasted, or as a sandwich bread.

In making this, I followed the poolish part exactly, altered the dough part by using Irish whole meal wheat flour instead of the rye flour. I also worked the sauteed and cooled diced apples into the dough before the first rise because I needed to go to bed, then let it all rise slowly in the cool night air in the sunspace overnight, then shaped it, let it rise and baked it today. Sweetie was quite taken with this bread so I know I'll make it again. I used Gravenstein apples from our trees for the apple part and brandy instead of Calvados. See the little apple pieces in the bread?

Do give this one a'll be glad you did. To be a Buddy, bake the bread, take a photo and email Kelly with a brief description of your bake and be sure to include the photo and she will send you a Buddy badge and include you in the roundup.

Check out the apple breads that the other Babes have made, too. Sure to be inventive!

I used this recipe which makes 1 good sized loaf.

Apple Bread with Cider and Calvados
makes 1 loaf
This is from  Artisan Breads: Practical Recipes and Detailed Instructions for Baking the World's Finest Loaves, by Jan Hedh.

150 g strong white flour (bread flour), preferably stoneground (I used all purpose)
0.7 g (¼ tsp) instant yeast
150 g dry cider (I used apple juice)

Add the flour and yeast to a bowl and mix thoroughly.  Whisk the cider into the flour/yeast mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and leave at cool room temperature overnight, 12-16 hours.  Poolish will be bubbly and should have risen and fallen slightly in the center when ready.
Final dough:
300 g strong white flour (bread flour), preferably stoneground
50 g whole meal (dark) rye flour, preferably stoneground (I used 50g Irish wholemeal wheat flour)
0.9 g (¼+ tsp) instant yeast
150 g water (I added an additional 10g water because it seemed dry)
9 g (1½ tsp) sea salt

Mix the yeast and flours thoroughly in the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Heat the water to lukewarm (approximately 35°C/95°F).  Add the water and poolish to the flour/yeast mixture and knead on low for 13 minutes.  Add the sea salt and knead for 7 more minutes at med/low speed.

Cover with plastic wrap or a shower cap and leave in a warm place (ideally at 24ºC, 75ºF) for about 90 minutes, until doubled in size. Meanwhile, prepare the apple mixture to give the apples time to cool before you need to use them.

Filling and baking:

Apple Mixture:
5 g (1 tsp) unsalted butter
150 g cored, peeled and diced eating apple
5 g (1 tsp) soft dark brown sugar
25 g calvados (I used brandy)
Heat up the butter in a pan, add the diced apple and then sprinkle over the sugar.  Saute until golden brown, stirring occasionally.  Pour over the calvados and continue cooking until the pan is dry.  Set aside to cool.

Tip the dough on to a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly. Add the cooled diced apple and fold it into the dough.  Do this in stages to ensure that the apple is mixed in as evenly as possible.  Shape the dough into an oblong loaf round and place it in a lightly floured lined proving basket or floured cloth.  Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place for 75-90 minutes until doubled in size.

Add a baking stone to an oven and preheat to 250ºC (475ºF) for at least 30 minutes.  Cut up a thin apple slice for the top of the bread.  Gently turn the loaf onto a parchment lined baking sheet or peel and gently press the apple slice in the middle.  Slide the loaf onto the baking stone.  Heavily spritz your oven with a water spray or cover the loaf with an inverted roasting pan sprayed with water. (I skipped the spritz and the covering, although I did bake on a baking stone.) Bake for 15 minutes, turning down the temperature to 200ºC (400ºF) after 5 minutes.  Remove roasting pan and continue to bake for another 25-30 minutes until the bread is golden and hollow sounding when thumped on the bottom and has reached an internal temperature of about 205ºF.  Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.


  1. Ooo, gravensteins, yummy! Love your crumb and all the apples peeking out, beautiful loaf!

  2. You used apples from your trees?! How fabulous is that?

    Your bread looks wonderful!

  3. Beautiful bread.
    Apples from your own tree? How nice..

  4. Lucky you with your very own apples! Lovely bread!

  5. Your loaf looks beautiful! Love the color. That is pretty cool that you can pick apples from your own tree. Nice!

  6. Gorgeous loaf and color! Amazing using the Irish flour, I love that also. Picking from your own apple tree...that beautifully over the top wonderful.