Do I dare say this is the best bread I’ve ever had? It’s a big claim! If it is, I owe my dear friend a lot for the suggestion. She had an apple butter bread at her local bakery, and told me I should try to make some. Lots of quick bread recipes containing apple butter can be found on the interwebs, but not many yeast breads swirled with apple butter. But, I found it! And made one loaf and then immediately another because we just couldn’t get enough.
(And if you find yourself wanting to make your own apple butter, here’s your recipe — practically makes itself in the crockpot overnight.)
The bread is light and super soft, and because it’s such a great base recipe, I will be using this same base for my cinnamon bread from now on. If you haven’t made yeast bread before, try this. It couldn’t be an easier starter recipe. You’ll see what I mean.
To begin, in a small bowl measure out 1 cup of water that is quite warm. You want it just on the edge of hot. To it, add 2 1/4 tsp. yeast and 2 T. honey and give it a little stir and then let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it’s foamy. If it doesn’t foam your yeast was too old (inactive) or your water too hot.
To a stand mixer bowl (you can also use a hand mixer) with the dough hook attachment add:
3 1/2 c. flour,
1 1/2 tsp. salt
and 4 T. room temperature butter.
Add the foamy yeast mixture in and let the mixer mix for about five minutes. The dough will form a ball and become smooth and elastic. If you’re kneading the dough by hand, knead for up to ten minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.
Grease a large bowl with butter and roll the dough in it until coated. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and put it in a warm place until it rises and doubles in size — at least an hour.
Squish that poofy dough down and set it on a lightly floured, super clean surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it out into a roughly rectangular shape maybe 9 x 13-ish inches. The size isn’t too crucial, but you’re looking for a big enough surface on which to spread the apple butter, but not too wide to fit into a loaf pan.
Spread 1 c. of apple butter over the dough leaving an inch or so un-apple buttered around the edges, and then gently roll it up starting at the short end. Just kind of lift a little and roll, don’t press as you go, but also don’t worry if some apple butter squishes out — it’s pretty forgiving.
Make it fit Gently place it seam-side down in a buttered 9.x 5″ loaf pan that you generously sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Brush on melted butter and sprinkle the loaf with cinnamon sugar.
Cover this beauty with a kitchen towel and let it rise until doubled — at least a half an hour.
Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. I test it by giving a little knock on top – it should sound hollow inside when you knock. Let it cool in the loaf pan for at least 15 minutes and then turn it out onto a cooling rack until completely cool.
See! That wasn’t hard at all! And you get a warm, perfect loaf of bread that makes any other toast hard to imagine.
Adapted from this recipe at seriouseats.com. Many thanks for this perfect bread.
- 1 c. water
- 2 T. honey
- 2¼ tsp. instant yeast
- 3½ c. flour
- 1½ tsp. salt (I use Real Salt)
- 4 T. butter
- 1 c. apple butter
- butter and cinnamon sugar
- Measure 1 cup of warm water (110-115 degrees) and to it, add 2¼ tsp. yeast and 2 T. honey. Give it a little stir and let is sit a few minutes until foamy.
- To a mixer bowl with a dough hook attachment, add flour, salt and room temperature butter.
- Add the foamy yeast mixture and let the mixer work on low for 5 minutes until the dough has formed a ball and is smooth and elastic.
- If you knead the dough by hand, knead of up to ten minutes.
- Grease a large bowl with butter and roll the dough in it to coat all sides. Cover, put it in a warm place and let it rise until doubled in size -- at least an hour.
- Punch the dough down and set it on a lightly floured, super clean surface. Use a rolling pin and roll the dough into a roughly rectangular shape about 9x13" in size.
- Spread 1 c. of apple butter over the dough leaving an inch or so dry.
- Gently roll it up starting at the short end. Place it seam-side down in a buttered 9 x 5" loaf pan that has been generously sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle the load with cinnamon sugar.
- Cover and let it rise again until doubled.
- Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until it sounds hollow inside when knocked on..
- Let it cool in the loaf pan for at least 15 minutes and then turn it out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.