Who doesn’t love an incredibly moist, sweet and delicious bread loaded with freshness disguised in the form of apple chunks? Can anyone say no to a combination of tart and sweet flavor seasoned with some cinnamon spiciness as the final touch? NO! We can vouch for that, as we can for all of the below-presented tips on how to prepare the best apple bread ever!
Choose The Apples for the Apple Bread Carefully
One important thing to bear in mind when choosing the apple type for your apple bread is that “All apples are equal, but some apples are more equal than others”, at least when it comes to baking them. Ideally, the best baking apple would offer a balance of sweet and tart flavors, be able to retain those flavors and last, but not least, they need to stay intact in the process of baking, because hey, no one wants a mushy instead of a crispy bite :).
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Honeycrisp: This aptly named apple variety came to be very recently, in 1960 to be more precise, and since then it has found its way in many recipes, apple cakes, strudel muffins and apple bread among others. It is sweet and juicy, but crispy as well, making it all the more appropriate for oven baked goods. These apples with beautiful blushed red color over hues of yellow are definitely every baker’s favorite!
Cortland: Remember the red apple Snow White ate? Well, it is precisely the color that this variety can boast of, and what’s more, it will stay the same even after baking. Being just the right amount of sweet and tart, Cortland apples are perfect for breads, cakes and crisps(btw have you checked our post on Apple Crisp the Dessert You Don’t Want to Miss yet?)
Granny Smith: If the Cortland is the quintessential red apple, then Granny sweet is the same representative of the green apple lot. Firm and with a lemon tartness this incredibly juicy variety will give your bread the much-desired freshness.
Winesap: With a firm texture, and an aroma like no other apple variety, these spicy flavored apples are easily combined with sugar and cinnamon for the best apple-based baked desserts.
Apple varieties to Avoid
Some apple varieties are incredibly tasty and delicious but are better eaten fresh. To avoid a mushy apple bread, avoid using Red Delicious and McIntosh. If, however, you find particular characteristics of these apples so inviting that you just need to implement them into your apple bread, then go for a combination of them with other baking apples.
Apple Bread Recipe With Yeast
As you have probably guessed it by the title, there are two types of apple breads, one makes use of yeast, and the other one uses other leavening agents. The yeast apple bread is way quicker to prepare and here’s how you can make it with ease.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the baking pan. (Prior to using it make sure it has reached room temperature).
Get the cinnamon sugar ready. You will need half a cup of sugar and a tablespoon of cinnamon in a small mixing bowl and as soon as they blend together, feel free to sprinkle the sugar mixture over the baking pan.
Once you have made up your mind about the apple variety you are to use, go ahead and cut one apple into very thin slices. You can either peel the apples or leave the skins intact. Arrange them in rows on top of the sugar and butter mixture and add raisins over them if you want.
In a large bowl place a package of active dry yeast and then stir it with 3/4 cup of water andproceed to add 1/4 cup of sugar, a cup of flour and a teaspoon of salt. Whisk everything together for two minutes then add an egg, a 1/4 cup of shortening and 1-1/4 cups of flour. Whisk everything together until smooth.
Pour the batter over the apples and raisins, but make sure you don’t do it all at once, everything should get equally covered. Cover the pan and place it in a warm place in order for it to rise until double its size (this should take around an hour).
Heat the oven to 375 °F and bake for around 35 minutes or until brown. As soon as it is done, remove the cake from the pan by turning it upside down onto a serving plate.
Note: This recipe will be fit for a 9’ by 9’ by 2’ deep baking pan.
Apple Bread Recipe Without Yeast
If it doesn’t call for yeast, then a bread recipe is actually a quick bread recipe. Quick breads call for leavening agents like baking soda (which is a weak base) combined with cream of tartar, lemon juice, or cultured buttermilk (a weak acid)or baking powder(which contains a base and an acid) and thus only calls for a liquid medium so that it can react with it. The bread will rise because of an acid—base reaction that releases carbon dioxide, which in fact leavens the bread. In laymen’s words, these leavening agents give the “quick” part of the quick bread, because the bread will get the wanted height without having to wait for hours. To get the best sweet, light, fluffy and tasty apple bread with the slightest of efforts, follow these easy steps.
First things first, your oven should be ready for the bread to be baked in it. So, go ahead and preheat it to 350 °F.
Get the loaf pan ready by lining it with parchment paper cut to fit neatly in the corners of the pan. If it isn’t evenly cut, it will crease the bread during baking. An alternative would be to grease it and sprinkle with flour.
Again, choose the baking apple variety you like the most and peel it. This time, instead of slicing, you should chop the apples into fine pieces.
Place half a cup of brown sugar and one and a half teaspoons of cinnamon into a medium large bowl and mix them until well combined.
In a larger bowl, put 2/3 cup of white sugar and half a cup of butter and blend them together with an electric mixer using medium speed.
Go ahead and add the eggs one by one followed by 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and one and a half cups of all-purpose flour and the same amount of baking powder. Stir half a cup of milk into it and voila, you have yourselves an apple bread batter.
Pour one half of the apple bread batter into the pan, layer half of the cut apples across the surface by gently pushing them down. Cover them with the other half of the batter and then add the rest of the chopped apples. Sprinkle everything with some extra cinnamon and put it in the oven for 50 minutes.
Leave the apple bread be for around 10 minutes and then transfer it to a wire cooling rack to cool until firm, serve with butter or jam any time of day.
Apple Bread Tips
Now that we’ve covered the basic steps for preparing a great apple bread, it is time to share some of the tips and tricks we have acquired over the years.
- Make a vegan apple
replace the dairy milk with a non-dairy substitute (coconut or almond milk work best).
replace the dairy butter with a non-dairy substitute.
replace the eggs with an egg substitute. You can use a tablespoon of either chia or flax seed, with 3 tablespoons of water, leave it be in the fridge for 15 minutes and then use it.
- Make the apple bread way more awesome
Apart from the usual apple bread add-in, raisins, you can also go for other add-ins like bananas, or nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds). If you do want to make the apple bread stand out by adding nuts, then be sure to roast them prior to folding them into the batter. You can further experiment by adding coconut, and of course, you can prepare your own glaze to top the apple bread with it.
- Make the apple bread ahead
wrap the apple bread well using a plastic wrap and don’t worry. It will be just as good as the day you’ve baked it for at least a few days. You can also refrigerate it, or even freeze it.
- Master the preparation of apple bread
prepare small batches of apple bread using different apple bread recipes, ingredients and apple varieties to see whether you are combining them right, and whether your family and friends will love the outcome or not.
We hope we have inspired you to prepare a fragrant bread that will fill your kitchen with the sweetest aroma and surely get the family together!