Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Recipe: Apple cider quick bread

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I am a girl who is really and truly addicted to carbs. Nothing on this earth makes me happier than french fries. Give me pasta and I'll love you forever. And bread, my love, mon amour, cara mia - is there any form in which you don't send me? Nope. Bread, I'm yours, forever and ever.

A few months ago I saw a recipe for beer bread, and I started experimenting. Now I don't drink beer - never really have understood the yeasty, foamy fuss - but the refrigerator had a bottle or two left over from a party, so I baked one bottle up into this really lovely whole wheat beer bread with wheat germ. If you ignore the melted butter poured over the top of the dough, it's actually a fairly healthy bread option - you know, whole grain and all. Nice toasted, slathered with more butter, or maybe spread with peanut butter and a little jam. Oh, baby. Now that's breakfast.

But then we had another party, and this time, in addition to leftover beer, we had leftover hard cider. And I got to thinking: hard cider. Some grated apple. The same whole wheat and wheat germ base. That might be nice, eh?

And so it was. I like this one toasted and topped with a beautiful slice of cheese - a riff on the old apple-pie-and-cheddar motif. Peanut butter and jam worked also. Plain, still pretty good. I'm a fan.

Apple cider quick bread
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored, and grated
  • 1 12-oz bottle hard apple cider (the alcoholic kind)
  • 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, melted
 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, wheat germ, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add the grated apples and toss so the apples are coated with the flour mixture. Add the hard cider and stir with a spatula just until the ingredients are combined; do not overmix.

Pour the dough into the loaf pan, smooth the top, and pour the melted butter over the dough. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown on top and a tester comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in the pan, then turn the loaf out onto a rack to rest.

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