A delicious cheddar apple bread, with a delicious, subtle note of apples. Absolutely perfect toasted with butter or try it as a sandwich bread.
I absolutely had to share the bread. It was so delicious and just about the perfect thing to enjoy toasted and buttered on these cool Fall days. In fact, it was so great toasted, that I decided I needed to call it toasting bread. There was just something about the warm bread, with both the taste and aroma of warm apple, mixing with the cheddar cheese was utterly addicting. We couldn’t stop eating it.
You can start with any kind of apple for this one. Simply peel and shred. As some apples are quite moist, you’ll want to dry them as much as you can, by pressing the shredded apple between paper towel before spreading on the dough. I used simple Fall Macintosh apples for my bread.
As for the cheese, use any cheddar you like. The only thing to watch is that you don’t add so much that it over-powers the apples. I kept it a little lighter, since Macintosh apples are lighter in taste. If you were to use something like a Granny Smith, you could probably use a bit more cheese. I found about a packed cup of an old cheddar to be about right.
- 14 oz / 3 1/4 cups unbleached bread or all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. fine salt or 1 1/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. white or brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water, about 95° F.
- 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. lukewarm buttermilk or milk
- 2 Tbsp. melted, unsalted butter or vegetable oil
- For the filling:
- 2 medium apples, peeled and shredded
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, packed
- In a large bowl of the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a kneading hook, combine 2 cups of the flour, the salt, sugar and instant yeast. Mix to combine. Add the lukewarm water, milk and melted butter or oil. Mix to combine. Begin adding the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until you have a soft and smooth dough that is moist, but not tacky. Remove dough to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled, 45-60 minutes.
- Remove dough to a floured surface. Roll in to a rectangle, approximately 12 inches wide by 18 inches long. (*Note: If you shredded apples are really moist, spread onto some paper towel and top with more paper towel to blot up excess moisture, before putting on the dough). Spread the shredded apples over surface, in a single layer, leaving a 1-inch margin on the longest sides (apple should cover dough well in a single layer. You may need to add a bit more). Top with shredded cheese. Starting with the long sides, roll the dough jelly-roll style (the best technique here is to lift gently and flop forward), until you reach the end. Pinch seams and ends together.
- Using a sharp knife, cut down the centre of the roll from one end to the other. Carefully place the two pieces side by side, with the cut side facing up. Pinch together the two pieces of dough at one end. Proceed to braid the two pieces together, by lifting on piece over the other and then repeating a couple of times. Pinch together the other end.
- Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Using a spatula or a bench scraper, carefully lift the braided dough in to the pan. Spray a piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place over top of pan. Allow to rise until dough has risen about an inch above the pan in the centre.
- Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Once bread has risen, remove plastic wrap. Bake for 30 minutes. Check at 30 minutes and rotate the pan front to back. If bread is already well browned, cover loosely with a piece of aluminum foil and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. (Or about 200° F. when tested with a thermometer). Allow bread to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and remove bread from loaf pan and cool on a cooling rack.
- Allow bread to cool completely before slicing.