Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Baking better bread.

Maybe I'll alliterate all through fall. Can't stop, won't stop. 

Anyway. I really wanted to go pick apples this year. Actually, I've really wanted to go apple picking for many years. This year, though, I made active steps in achieving that goal: I picked and weekend and searched "places to pick your own apples" on Google. I even called a farm for their hours. All to have my hopes shattered with the line, "it's late in the season for apple picking, so all the trees are pretty well picked over." Dagger. I thought late September would be perfect, but apparently for Northern Virginia, I have to get into the apple-picking mindset while I'm still holding onto summer. This sort of ruins my picturesque apple-picking in boots dream. Oh well, there's always next year.

In the meantime, I'd just make it work. Pun intended.

I've been drooling over this recipe found via Pinterest for many moons. I'd say a solid year. The time had come, with or without my hand-picked apples.

I started with three Fiji apples, diced, and mixed in three tablespoons of suger, 1 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon, and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. The original recipe called for Granny Smith apples, but I don't really like those, unless there's salt to combat their tanginess. 

I then baked the apples in the oven for a bit (15 minutes at 350, to be precise), because I felt that mostly following the recipe that day. 

I made the bread with this recipe, which I've done a few times before to great success. I'm not going to repeat the recipe here again. Just know that it's time consuming. It's the only bread I've ever made, so it may be quick, but to me, a solid two-hours does not qualify as super fast. 

I then split the bread in half (one to make a rosemary loaf, one for the apples), sprinkled some cornstarch down on the counter, and rolled out the dough into a rectangle.

I then took a knife and cut slits in the dough, leaving a middle rectangle space in the center for the apples.

The apples fit perfect in the middle rectangle.

I could have dug into it right there. I then braided the slits that I had cut over the apples in the middle, tucking in the edges. I had to call in assistance in moving the apple bread onto the cooking stone. I would recommend flopping the sliced-up dough onto the cooking pan before adding the apples and braiding. It would be much simpler. 

Ready for the oven! I popped it in for about 30 minutes at 350, until it was golden brown on the top.

Then I popped it out and cut it open immediately. Like burn my tongue because I needed a taste right then and there. Worth it. 

A close-up shot of the glaze spooned on top. I made a powdered sugar, milk and vanilla paste and spooned it on. I was over the recipe thing at that time and just making it work. Another pun, likely intended. 

So although I was thwarted on my apple picking, the fall treat parade much continue. Well, at least for my Pinterest curiosities. 

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