Apple Cider Bread
I made a thick and crusty apple cider yeast bread the other day. Don’t let the yeast element scare you. This bread is prepped in five minutes and then ready to go in the oven.
It takes about an hour to bake and will fill your kitchen with a fresh baked bread smell. Just make sure you remember you have a bread baking in the oven. I was really tired when I baked this. I set my kitchen timer, then went upstairs and was watching the Olympics and completely forgot all about the bread.
Luckily I had the kitchen timer set. But being in a new place, I didn’t realize it was the kitchen timer and thought it was the neighbor’s house alarm because it sounded so far off in the distance. Oops. Luckily I came to my senses after about a minute of insistent beeping.
It tastes amazing warm. The top crust layer is thick and crunchy, with a sweet buttery finish. I may have eaten about half the loaf within a few minutes after I took these photos.
The bread itself is mildly sweet and studded with tender cooked apple chunks.
The key ingredient to the bread is a hard apple cider. If you’ve ever made beer bread, it’s the same concept, using the yeast from the beverage to create a yeast bread texture.
I was inspired to make this bread after drinking some Tieton ciders that I was recently sent some complimentary samples of. I’ve always enjoyed hard cider, but never knew there were so many varieties: semi-dry, sweet, dry. When I see cider available at a a bar, there is usually just one choice available: apple. Sometimes apple and pear. But much like champagne and beer, there are many different styles to suit different personal preferences. It was fun to sample them. My favorite was the blossom nectar which is on the sweeter side and comes in a beautiful bottle with pink blossoms (sorry I seem to have misplaced the photo for that one). You can read more about Tieton Ciders here. They are gluten-free and recently became available in the San Diego market.
For this bread, I used the Wild Washington Apple Cider, but you can use whichever one you prefer. I added fresh apples and some apple butter to bring out the apple taste. This bread tasted delicious, especially paired with the hard ciders.
Apple Cider Bread
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
6 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp apple butter (you can use applesauce but your bread will have a little less of an apple flavor)
1 1/2 cups hard apple cider (you must use hard cider for this to work)
1 cup finely diced apples
2 tbsp plus 2 tbsp melted butter
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
2. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, sugar, apple butter, and cider. Mix with a large wooden spoon until ingredients are combined. Be careful not to overmix. The batter will be sticky and not completely smooth. You want to mix until everything is incorporated and there are no flour chunks, about 20ish strokes. Stir in diced apples.
3. Add 2 tbsp of melted butter to bottom of the baking pan. Scoop the bread batter into the pan, spreading evenly across. Pour remaining 2 tbsp of melted butter evenly across top of bread batter. Bake about 60 minutes. Top of bread should turn a golden brown and toothpick inserted should come out clean.
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