There are few things that I like more than freshly baked bread, and I am especially fond of sweet, yeasted breads. So, when I saw this recipe, it immediately went on the “to make” list. Despite all of the steps, this bread isn’t difficult to put together. However, some of the steps are pretty unique, so I took pictures of the more unusual steps. I was tempted to skip that part, but I’m glad that I didn’t because chopping up the dough gives the loaf it’s cool, bakery-style appearance. I also love that it makes two loaves because we have one to eat today and one to use for French toast tomorrow.
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water, 105 – 115 degrees F
3 T. granulated sugar
1/4 cup cold milk
1/3 cup cold water
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Apple Cinnamon Filling
2 large Granny Smith, or other baking apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ½” cubes
1 large egg yolk
2 T. granulated sugar
1 T. brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. vanilla or run extract
1 T. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- Grease two 8”x4”x2 1/2” metal loaf pans. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper.
- To make the dough, pour the warm water into the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and add the sugar. Let the yeast stand until foamy, 5-10 minutes.
- Add the milk, cold water, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla. Attach the paddle attachment and stir to combine
- On low speed, add half of the flour. Add the butter in one tablespoon at a time. Add enough of the remaining flour to make a rough dough (for me, about 3 cups total). Replace the paddle attachment with the dough hook. Knead on medium-low speed, adding more flour as needed, until dough comes clear of the sides of the bowl (for me, about 3 3/4 cups total). Continue with the machine kneading until the dough is soft and smooth, about 6 minutes.
- Form the dough into a ball. It will still be slightly sticky. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and turn to coat dough with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm area. Let the dough rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Once the dough has risen, make the apple cinnamon filling.
- To make the filling, stir together the apples, egg yolk, sugars, and extract. Set aside.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface (I used a lightly floured rimmed cookie sheet that was 15”x11”). Roll the dough out into a 15”x11” rectangle.
- Spread the apple filling evenly over the dough. Roll the dough up starting at the top so you end up with a long piece of apple-filled dough.
- Using a bench scraper or sharp knife, cut the dough into 1”- thick slices (I like the my bench scraper because it has the 1″ marks on it, which makes it easier to get even slices, and I can use it to scoop up the cubes to put them in the pans).
11. Cut each slice into 1” pieces. You will have little cubes of apple and dough mixture.
12. Divide the apple and dough mixture evenly between the two pans.
13. Place both pans in a warm spot and allow the dough to rise to the top of the pan, about 1 hour.
14. Place a rack in the center of oven. Preheat oven to 350 F.
15. To make the topping, stir together the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle the top of each loaf with half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
16. Set the loaves on a half sheet pan and place the sheet pan in the oven. Bake the loaves for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops of the loaves are golden brown. Loosely cover the loaves with aluminum foil and continue to bake for another 20-25 minutes.
17. Remove the loaves from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the loaves from their pans, take off parchment paper, and place on the wire rack to finish cooling.
Adapted from Sarabeth’s Bakery – From My Hands to Yours