Autumn has finally arrived, and I am just loving the cooler air and lower humidity! Having the windows open and the A/C off is wonderful! Apples and cinnamon are two of my absolute favorites when autumn comes. This recipe uses both and is delicious! I can take no credit for this recipe…none at all! I got it from Lisa over at http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/. She got it from the King Arthur Flour website. For the most part, I followed Lisa’s adaptation, but made just a few changes of my own. Since it is low on sugar, it makes a great breakfast bread…served warm with butter and a drizzle of honey.
1/2 c. very warm water
1 tbsp. yeast
1/8 tsp. sugar
6 tbsp. vegetable oil (I used melted butter)
1/4 c. honey (can substitute 5 tbsp. brown sugar + 1 tbsp. water)
2 large eggs
4 c. all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. salt (I used 1 tsp.)
2 medium to large apples, NOT peeled, but cored and chunked
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (I used 1 tsp.)
1/4 c. sugar
1 large egg + 1 tbsp. water for egg wash
In a large mixing bowl combine the water, yeast and 1/8 tsp. sugar. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the oil, honey, and eggs and mix thoroughly. Add the flour and continue to mix until dough doesn’t stick to the bottom of the bowl. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. I used my standing mixer and the bread hook for this! Place the dough in a greased bowl and turn to coat the dough. Cover and let rise for about 2 hours or nearly double in bulk. Since I placed it in a warm oven to rise, it took only about an hour.
Lightly grease a 9″ springform pan. Toss the apple chunks with the sugar and cinnamon. *I cooked my apples for about 15-20 minutes to make them tender.*
Gently punch dough down and turn it out onto a lightly greased work surface. Flatten it into a rectangle, about 8×10 inches. *I made mine a little bit bigger than that.* Spread half the apple chunks in the center of the dough and fold the short side of the dough over the apples to cover it, patting firmly to seal the apples and spread the dough a bit.
Spread remaining apples on top of the folded-over dough. Cover the apples with the other side of the dough, again patting firmly and sealing the apples inside.
Using a sharp knife, cut the apple-filled dough into 16 pieces. This is a very messy step in the process of making this bread, but just keep on cutting, tucking the apples back inside. Lay the chunks of dough in the pan, crowding them in and keeping them all in just one single layer. Keep tucking the apples back inside the dough. Let rise for about an hour or until about 2″ high. Mine rose to almost 3 inches!!
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Whisk the egg and water together and brush it on top of the dough very gently. Bake for about 55 minutes or until the top is a nice golden brown. Let cool for about 5 minutes before loosening the side of the pan. Carefully transfer bread to a cooling rack.
I served mine warm with a dab of butter and a drizzle of honey.