Hi Sugar Plum! Are you having a good week? I hope so. Or are you hustling and bustling getting your holiday chores done in a frenzy? Not me. I am not in a panic.....yet. Ha!
It is overcast and feels like snow here in Georgia so I am staying in and making bread today.
Although I adapted this recipe from Bernard Clayton's recipe in his book, I also found the recipe online here.
CHOPPED APPLE BREAD
Yield: 2 medium loaves; 12 servings
About 6 to 7 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour, divided
2 envelopes active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon salt
2 1/2 cups hot milk (120 to 130 degrees)
3 tablespoons shortening
2 cups apples, cut in 3/4-inch cubes
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
Grated zest of one orange
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Step 1: Grease 2 medium (8-by-4-inch) loaf pans. (If using nonstick pans, line the bottom of the pans with buttered waxed paper or parchment paper.)
Step 2: In a mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour, yeast, salt and dry milk. Pour in hot water, and stir in shortening. Using a wooden spoon and strong strokes,
beat the batter 100 times. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough can be lifted from the bowl and placed on a work surface.
(Alternately, beat with the dough hook of an electric stand mixer for 2 minutes, then add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough forms a ball around the dough hook as it revolves. The dough should rise along with the dough hook when the head of the mixer is lifted.)
Step 3: Turn the dough onto the work surface; knead with a push-turn-fold rhythm. The dough will become elastic and smooth. If it is sticky, add sprinkles of flour.
(Or knead with the electric mixer for 10 minutes. If soft dough clings to the bottom third of the bowl, add flour. Ideally, a spot of dough about the size of a 50-cent piece should adhere to the bottom, indicating that the dough is
neither too wet nor too dry.)
Step 4: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside to double in volume, about 1 hour.
Step 5: Punch down the dough; place it on the floured work surface. Roll and press the dough into an 18-inch square, about 1/2 inch thick. Let the dough rest for a few moments. Transfer to a cutting board.
Step 6: Spread chopped apples uniformly over the surface of the dough. Pour beaten eggs over the apples. Add nuts and orange zest.
Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
Fold the dough into a package.
Step 7: Using a dough scraper , chop the dough mixture randomly into pieces about 1 inch in size. Uniformity is of no great consequence.
When the dough has been well chopped, toss or scoop the pieces into the prepared loaf pans, filling each two-thirds full.
Step 8: Cover the pans with waxed paper or parchment paper; let rise until the dough reaches slightly above the edge, about 40 minutes.
Step 9: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (325 degrees if using a convection oven). Bake until loaves are a rich golden brown, about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and dry. (If necessary, shield the loaves with foil in last 10 minutes to prevent over browning.)
Step 10: Carefully turn out the hot bread onto a wire rack to cool. (It will be somewhat fragile while hot.) Slice and serve. It goes fast!
Remember the reason for the season!
May the peace of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, be with you today and always!