Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Apple bread with Cider and Calvados #BBB

It's apple season!  All around us, farms are having festivals and cider pressing and u-pick days.  We just spent yesterday at a little festival having fun pressing some of the 1800+ pounds of apples brought back from a nearby mission farm.  Next year I will have to go on that trip!

(We also got to thresh wheat by hand that had been grown in our very own community church garden.  How cool is that!  I got to take some home to mill and use for baking!)

So in honor of apple season, I have chosen a fantastically flavored apple bread as host kitchen for this month.  I am posting a single loaf batch for you but the recipe is usually doubled and I will be doubling it when I make this again.  It's not a sweet bread, but the flavor is a wonderfully complex blend of wheat and apple, with a tiny hint of rye.  When I tried my first piece, I understood why my youngest has been eating slice after slice of toast and requesting it for snacks and breakfast and taking to functions!  It tastes great.  Find some fresh local apples, nice and tart and/or firm, so they won't fall apart.  I used simple fresh Fuji apples.  If you do not wish to use hard cider or calvados, I would suggest a tart apple cider or juicing some tart apples like granny smith for the cider.  Using fresh cider will yield a sweeter loaf as the sugars are largely consumed by the yeast in the fermentation of dry hard cider.  So a 50% blend of cider and water may be a closer approximation.  (I haven't tried it!)  Regular brandy or plain apple cider may be used instead of the Calvados in the apple saute filling.  Flavored brandies and liqueurs may have a more artificial apple flavor.  I found local dry hard cider and a local apple brandy fermented in the Normandy tradition of French Calvados, to use in my loaf.

We would love for you to try out this flavorful and seasonal recipe and join in as a buddy baker this month!  You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do. Just send a picture or your post of your finished loaf to me at eleyana (AT) aol (DOT) com by the 31st of this month. Be sure to put BBBuddy in the subject line. You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month.  New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.

Apple Bread with Cider and Calvados
makes 1 loaf 

150 g strong white flour (bread flour), preferably stoneground (I used all purpose)
0.7 g (¼ tsp) instant yeast
150 g dry cider

Add the flour and yeast to a bowl and mix thoroughly.  Whisk the cider into the flour/yeast mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and leave at cool room temperature overnight, 12-16 hours.  Poolish will be bubbly and should have risen and fallen slightly in the center when ready.

Final dough:
300 g strong white flour (bread flour), preferably stoneground (I used 150g bread flour and 155g fresh ground sifted sprouted white wheat)
50 g whole meal (dark) rye flour, preferably stoneground (I used 55g fresh ground sifted rye)
0.9 g (¼+ tsp) instant yeast
150 g water (I added an additional 20g water to make up for the extra bit of flour)
9 g (1½ tsp) sea salt

Mix the yeast and flours thoroughly in the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Heat the water to lukewarm (approximately 35°C/95°F).  Add the water and poolish to the flour/yeast mixture and knead on low for 13 minutes.  Add the sea salt and knead for 7 more minutes at med/low speed.

Cover with plastic wrap or a shower cap and leave in a warm place (ideally at 24ºC, 75ºF) for about 90 minutes, until doubled in size. Meanwhile, prepare the apple mixture to give the apples time to cool before you need to use them.

Filling and baking:

Apple Mixture:
5 g (1 tsp) unsalted butter
150 g cored, peeled and diced eating apple*
5 g (1 tsp) soft dark brown sugar
25 g calvados

*Choose a more tart, firm variety, such as a Cox (I used 2 Fuji apples, delivered that morning in my CSA box)

Heat up the butter in a pan, add the diced apple and then sprinkle over the sugar.  Saute until golden brown, stirring occasionally.  Pour over the calvados and continue cooking until the pan is dry.  Set aside to cool.

Tip the dough on to a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly. Add the cooled diced apple and fold it into the dough.  Do this in stages to ensure that the apple is mixed in as evenly as possible.  Shape the dough into an oblong loaf round and place it in a lightly floured lined proving basket or floured cloth.  Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place for 75-90 minutes until doubled in size.

Add a baking stone to an oven and preheat to 250ºC (475ºF) for at least 30 minutes.  Cut up a thin apple slice for the top of the bread.  Gently turn the loaf onto a parchment lined baking sheet or peel and gently press the apple slice in the middle.  Slide the loaf onto the baking stone.  Heavily spritz your oven with a water spray or cover the loaf with an inverted roasting pan sprayed with water.  Bake for 15 minutes, turning down the temperature to 200ºC (400ºF) after 5 minutes.  Remove roasting pan and continue to bake for another 25-30 minutes until the bread is golden and hollow sounding when thumped on the bottom and has reached an internal temperature of about 205ºF.  Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes

Approximate nutrition for 1slice of this bread:


  1. LOVE your loaf! Those directions gave me fits and it was only after I put the apples into the dough did I figure out they were suppose to go in that hole in the middle of the loaf. Kelly we are really enjoying these loaves, thank you for a great pick. The cider in this is terrific and cooking the apples like that has made me crave apple cakes. Lucky it 'tis the season.
    I am trying very hard to get my post up but I know I'm still hours away. Hope for before the stroke of midnight!

  2. What a fun bread Kelly! Thank you for choosing it. I went to a local farm to get my apples as well. I love that your church grew wheat in the community garden. I've been trying to get my community garden to do that as well. So far, I've only grown wheat in my yard. I didn't thresh it. I have it on display.

  3. Look how perfect the crust is AND how evenly distributed the apples are in the crumb! Your bread looks almost exactly like the photo in the book.

    We really loved this bread, Kelly. Many thanks for choosing it.

    (You threshed your own wheat? And you pressed apples? J'adore the smell of pressing apples for cider.... I am suitably envious!)

  4. Your bread looks beautiful. Thank you for a great pick.
    I made mine without the cider and the Calvados but it was really good.

  5. Lovely fall bread. I finally was able to use my boiled cider. Thanks for the delicious choice.

  6. What a wonderful bread for fall! I can smell the toast....
    And how fun to go to the local farms!

  7. This looks so good! I love the complexity of it. I've made a version of this, including the apple slice on top, but without the poolish or the cooking of the apples, which totally makes this bread. Brilliant.


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