Do I dare say this is the best bread I’ve ever had? It’s a big claim! Lots of quick bread recipes containing apple butter can be found on the interwebs, but not many soft yeast breads swirled with ribbons of spicy apple butter.
The contest for the best toast lives between THE Cheese Bread and this Apple Butter Bread.
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. 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.
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