Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Apple Cinnamon Swirl Bread

I think if I could marry a food, it would be this bread. WOW! Amazing. Sadly it isnt the healthiest and I do try to eat and cook and bake as healthy as I can.

I amde Anadama Bread a few weeks earlier and was somewhat disappointed in the firmness of the bread and was determined to make a nice soft loaf. Somehow, I got the idea to make an apple bread, like raisin but with apple instead, since we had piles of apples from Rosedales. I was trying to find ways to make a soft bread online, recipes, tips and then that morning, I saw a new recipe that Melany posted (a fellow Nutmegger by the way!) for a raisin swirl bread and it looked perfect! The recipe is originally from William Sonoma. I subbed the raisins for apples and used 3 cups of apples instead of the 1/5 cups of raisins the recipe calls for.

1 Tbs. active dry yeast
3 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (105° to 115°F)
1 cup warm milk (105° to 115°F)
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 Tbs. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 to 6 1/4 cups bread flour, plus more as needed
3/4 cup golden raisins i used 3 cups of peeled, cored, diced apples instead of raisins
3/4 cup dark raisins
For the filling:
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar mixed with 4 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
In a bowl, sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of the granulated sugar over 1⁄2 cup of the water and stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine the remaining 3/4 cup water, the milk, butter, the remaining granulated sugar, salt, egg and 2 cups of the flour. Beat on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the yeast mixture and 1⁄2 cup of the flour and beat for 1 minute. Add the raisins, then beat in the remaining flour, 1⁄2 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Switch to the dough hook. Knead on medium-low speed, adding flour 1 Tbs. at a time if the dough sticks, until smooth and elastic, about 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to a greased deep bowl and turn to coat it. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours.
Lightly grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Divide the dough in half and roll or pat each half into an 8-by-12-inch rectangle. TIP: using flour for my first loaf didnt really work - this is a very sticky dough. For my 2nd loaf, I sprayed the wax paper with non-stick butter spray and my hands a little on my hands and it worked like a charm. Lightly sprinkle each rectangle with half of the filling, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Beginning at a narrow end, tightly roll up each rectangle into a compact log. Pinch the ends and the long seam to seal in the filling. Place each log, seam side down, in a prepared pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until the dough is about 1 inch above the rim of each pan, 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours.
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and pull away from the sides of the pan, 35 to 40 minutes. Turn the loaves out onto wire racks and let cool completely. Makes two 9-by-5-inch loaves.

Change I would make in the future: my swirl was almost too cinnamony... I would play around wiht the swirl some for sure, and maybe mix a little cinnamon into the batter itself.

This was TRULY FABULOUS though. YUM!

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