Now that November has arrived it is finally starting to feel a tiny bit like fall here in Phoenix with a few days having highs below 80. In order to celebrate the "cool" weather I wanted to make something fall-y (that's a word right?), and we had a bag of apples that needed using. Enter this delicious apple braid bread.
It has a warm apple and cinnamon filling, soft bread like a danish and a sweet glaze on top. This stuff was seriously awesome...so awesome that we may or may not have eaten the whole thing in 24 hours, but shhhh don't tell my thighs! If you want to make this fall treat, here is what you need:
- 3 medium sized apples of your choice
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour
- 1 packet instant yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar - sifted
- 5 teaspoons whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- pinch of nutmeg
Make the filling: Preheat your oven to 350. Core, peel and slice your apples into thin slices and toss the slices with the sugar and cinnamon. Bake the filling in a pan for 15 minutes. When done, set apples aside but leave the oven on.
Make the bread (while apples are baking): Mix dry ingredients together in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the water and oil and mix on medium-high speed for 6 minutes (it may work best to use a dough hook, but isn't necessary). Spray a smooth (and clean!) surface with cooking spray and knead the bread a few times to get it to smooth out (left picture above). Spray a rolling pin with a little cooking spray and flatten out the dough into a rectangle that is roughly 12 by 16 inches. Carefully move the dough onto a baking sheet covered with foil and with your fingers or the blunt en of a knife draw lines on the dough dividing it into thirds lengthwise. Next, cut 1 inch strips on each long edge until they meet the lines you drew (when it is done the center third should be untouched). Spread your apple filling down the center of the dough. Start at one end and begin braiding the bread by alternating strips from each side; each strip should cross over the apple filling and meet the base of a strip on the other side. Pinch the ends closed with your fingers and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. When finished, carefully transfer to a cooling rack setup over some foil or wax paper.
Make the glaze (once bread is removed): Whisk all glaze ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Brush glaze over the apple loaf while it is still warm. Slice and enjoy!! :)