It seems that every day at our house is World Bread Day, mainly because I am so fond of baking our own daily bread because it really is that much better. I have a very appreciative and voracious bread monster that I am married to and we live up aways from town, so it just makes more sense to not have to run into town for what is one of our most essential foods. We love to offer what we think is a superior loaf for our bed and breakfast guests as well. Annually, on October 16, there has been an official designation for celebrating our beloved partaking of the "staff of life" that we call bread. Eight years ago a tradition of celebrating this annual event was initiated by food blogger Zorra of the "1x umrühren bitte aka kochtopf' blog. I have participated before, but not annually. When I looked to see what I had submitted before, I laughed to see that it was an apple bread as well. That delicious loaf had chestnuts in it. I love that loaf, but was looking to improve on the apple themed bread as apple season is well under way and we had many wind fall apples that were begging to be used up and I wanted a more pronounced apple presence. I went to one of most favorite bread books, simply named Bread by Jeffery Hamelman and found his reicipe to be exactly what I was looking for. His version called for dried apples and apple cider. I had some dried apple slices from last years batch and some local apple juice. I have to say that in the US apple cider where I grew up meant fresh unprocessed apple juice made form a mixture of apple varieties for a delicious beverage. It never was alcoholic unless you left it too long before drinking it. The rest of the world enjoys a bit of a kick to their cider. I didn't have any cider with a kick, but the apple juice pumped up the apple flavor and I imagine if it had been alcoholic it would have made the bread just a little bit lighter. No matter what you use, the loaves are exceptional. They are great toasted and wonderful slathered with jam or honey butter, or savory additions like goats cheese, ham and turkey. It was tempting to eat the whole loaf straight out of the oven, but we refrained. I did make it second batch shortly after the first when we fired up the wood oven and turned out an even more outstanding loaf. I dried more apples for the second batch and found that the apples cubed gave more of a flavor burst than the slices, which tended to melt into the loaf. A combination of the two turned out just fine. Do try this recipe and if you are serious about bread baking do consider buying this book. The recipes are aimed at the serious production bakers but he does have them scaled down for 2 loaves for home baking. Sadly though he didn't give the weights in grams, which for me is a much easier way to go, but fortunately I have a scale that weighs in both versions. Do have a go with making some bread at home. You will find it so satisfying on so many levels.
Happy World Bread Day 2013!
|Apple bread inside|
Normandy Apple Bread
Adapted from Bread:A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes
by Jeffrey Hamelman
Makes: 2 large loaves
The day before you plan to make this bread, make sure your starter has been fed.
Drying the Apples:
A couple of days before you plan to make the bread, dry the apples in the oven. Or, if you have dried apples, you can use them. I used some dried slices and also baked some cubed apples baked at 250 F /120 C. or in a dehydrator until they feet leathery. Drying the apples intensifies the flavor and prevents them from releasing excess moisture into the dough.
Stiff Levain Build:
5.8 oz Bread flour (1 3/8 c)3.5 oz
Water- room temp ( 3.5.oz)
1.2 oz Mature starter (2T+1 tsp)
Approximately 12 -14 hours (more if cool in the kitchen) before you start the dough, mix up this stiff levain. Mix all together and cover.
Leave to rise over night.
Final Dough Ingredients:
1 lb 7 oz cups Bread flour- ( 5 1/4 c)
3.2 oz rye four - (1 cup)
7.4 oz Water - (3/4 cup)
10.9 oz Apple cider- (1 1/3 cup)
.6 oz Salt- 1 T
.2 oz Instant yeast- (1 tsp)
9.3 oz (all) Stiff Levain- (from the night before)
4.8 oz Dried apples- (1 1/2 cup)
Mix everything together, except the apples, in your stand mixer with the dough hook. 3 minutes on low to combine, then 3 minutes on medium.
Turn out onto a table and add the apples.
Knead until they are evenly distributed.
Cover dough and let rise 2 hours.
Stretch and fold in thirds over each other like a letter after one hour.
When your 2 hours have passed and your dough has risen well, divide the dough into 2 pieces and shape into loaves. Place loaves in proofing baskets or bannetons and cover.
Let rise, covered, 1½ hours or until well risen.
Meanwhile, preheat oven, with a baking stone, to 450°F.
Mist and slash loaves.
Bake for 15 minutes at that temperature,
Turn down to 420°F and bake for about another 25 minutes.
Total baking time of about 40 minutes.
Let cool on racks.