On a whim, I picked up a magazine in the grocery check-out lane just because the beautiful cover photo caught my eye. Little did I know, the entire magazine was basically an ad for King Arthur Flour. On the one hand, it was kind of nice, as there were no other ads for anything, but on the other hand, the whole thing read like one giant ad. The food photography was beautifully done and a more darkly lit than the norm. I liked it. I came across a photo for cinnamon apple bread and had to try it. Good thing the recipe made two loaves, as I sort of botched the braiding of the first loaf. My MIL was in town last week and was nice enough to care for baby P while I tried out a new recipe. My first new recipe attempt in over two months, thanks gramma!
I do not consider myself much of a baker, so making bread from scratch is a daunting task. This recipe called for potato flour, which I did not find at the local Publix, so instead per the recipe’s instructions, I substituted potato flakes. Like for instant mashed potatoes kind-of-flakes. Sounds weird but it worked! (Make sure you get the non-flavored flakes. You don’t want sour cream & onion apple bread!) The recipe also calls for granular lecithin and Instant Clearjel, two things not found at the grocery. I substituted all-purpose flour for the ClearJel and omitted the granular lecithin altogether. I chatted up KAF’s on-line baking expert and asked if these were specialty items or if I should find them in a regular grocery store. She said because these ingredients were not widely sought after, KAF has them for sale on their website. Yep, of course they do! Anyway, the recipe is fairly easy to follow and turned out fine without the specialty items. Give yourself a lazy Sunday to bake this, as the bread requires a lot of resting time.
The first part of this recipe is great because you can put everything in your stand mixer’s bowl and dirty only one bowl destined for the dishwasher! Yay! Combine flour, potato flakes (or flour) sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer, off the stand. Using a whisk, combine the ingredients together. Place bowl onto mixer base fitted with the dough hook attachment and add the butter, vanilla extract, egg and milk. Mix on medium until a shaggy dough forms. Cover with a towel and let rest for 30 minutes. After the dough rests, turn it out on a lightly floured surface and start hand-kneading. Set your timer and knead for 10 minutes. My arms hurt afterwards but it’s a good workout! Place the kneaded dough into a greased bowl (same mixer bowl, anyone?) and turn so all sides are coated. I used butter to coat my bowl. Place towel overtop of bowl again and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I let mine go for 1:45. While the dough is rising, you can prep the filling.
The recipe calls for 1 cup of grated apple. One big granny smith gave me exactly one cup of grated apple. Mix the grated apple with sugar, flour, cinnamon and lemon juice. Set the apple mixture aside for the moment. After one and a half-ish hours the dough should almost double in size.
Carefully deflate the dough and turn it out onto a floured work surface. Fold the dough over itself a few times, then cut into two halves. Roll the first half into a 10″x12″ rectangle and schmear half your apple filling on the surface, leaving a 1″ border at the dough’s edge.
Roll from the 12″ long side, tucking in the ends as you go. Place the bread roll seam-side down and use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter to cut into two halves. I had greater success using the pizza cutter.
Place the two halves onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
At this point, I was like, my god, this is the biggest mess of a mistake I’ve ever attempted. Will this really twist together and work? I felt like I needed 3 more hands, and that twisting it at this point seemed impossible. Good thing this recipe made two loaves, as the first one I twisted incorrectly, meaning, I started with the ends rather than starting with an “X” formation in the middle. It was much easier to form the “X” with one filling side up and the other filling side down, and meld the two pieces working from the middle towards one end, then going back to the middle to twist from the middle to the other end. The trick is to try to keep the open filled parts twisted and smushed together so the filling doesn’t leak out all over the place. Be sure to tightly seal the ends.
Some of the filling will leak out, but it just turns into crusty sugary goodness.
Cover the loaves with greased plastic wrap (again, I used good old butter) and let rise for an hour or two longer. Preheat your oven to 350 and bake the loaves (side-by-side on the same sheet is fine as they will not expand too much) at 350 for 30-35 or until lightly browned. Check them after 20 minutes to make sure they are not prematurely browning. I tented mine after 25 minutes with tin foil because they were getting browned before the insides were fully baked. Remove the bread from the oven and let cool for about an hour before glazing. Good for breakfast coffee or afternoon tea!
Cinnamon Apple Twist Bread (recipe from King Arthur Flour‘s Sift Magazine)
Prep time: 20-30 minutes
Rest/Rise time: 3 1/2 hours – 4 1/2 hours
Bake time: 30-35 minutes
Makes: 2 bread loaves
- 3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup potato flour OR 1/2 cup dried potato flakes
- 1 heaping tablespoon granular lecithin (optional)
- 3 tablespoons cane sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted, room temperature butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour (or ClearJel)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup peeled, grated granny smith apple (1 to 2 large apples, 10 to 12 ounces whole)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup (4 ounces) glazing or confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 – 3 tablespoons 2% milk
- Mix all of the dry ingredients in the kitchen stand mixer’s bowl and give it a good whisk
- Add the butter, flavoring, egg and milk to a stand mixer bowl and mix on medium, until a shaggy dough forms.
- Let dough rest for 30 minutes, then turn it out on a floured surface. Knead by hand for 10 minutes; the dough should feel sticky and soft. If too dry or firm, add a tablespoon of water.
- Grease original mixer bowl and place dough back inside, turning to coat both sides. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise until it’s almost doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Make the filling while the dough is rising. Whisk together the sugar, flour (or ClearJel powder) and cinnamon.
- Toss the grated apples with the lemon juice and flour mixture; set aside.
- Carefully deflate the dough and turn it out onto a floured work surface. Fold the dough over itself a few times, then cut into two halves. Roll the first half into a 10″x12″ rectangle and schmear half your apple filling on the surface, leaving a 1″ border at the dough’s edge.
- Roll starting from the 12″ long side, tucking in the ends as you go. Place the bread roll seam-side down and use a pizza cutter to cut into two halves.
- Place the halves, filled side up, side by side on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Keeping the filling side up, twist the two halves together, working from the center to each end, pinching the ends together. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Cover the twists lightly, and set them aside to rise for another hour.
- Bake the loaves in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until they’re lightly browned. Tent the loaves after 20 minutes with aluminum foil if they’re browning too quickly around the edges. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool for about 1 hour before glazing and serving.
- To make the glaze, mix the ingredients together and drizzle over top of the cooled bread loaves.