Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Cheddar Apple Bread

     Every now and then I come across a recipe that doesn't seem right. I mean, it looks good in theory, but something is off about it. This bread recipe was a perfect example. It looked great on paper. I followed most of the instructions. Then I was staring at a mixing bowl full of what amounted to dust. There was no liquid to turn it into dough. I figured maybe because I used dried apples instead of fresh. Then I realized grated apples still wouldn't produce enough liquid to make a dough. I called over The Wife for a consult. She agreed the recipe was wonky. We made an executive decision, and based on other recipes, added some yogurt and milk. The end result was fantastic. A bread that's good and crusty on the outside, but soft on the inside. Toast up a big slab of this and slather it with butter and you've got yourself a winner. I suggest making it using my suggestions, but feel free to try the original recipe. Let me know if you have any success. As always, notes and changes are in blue.

Cheddar Apple Bread
originally Old English Cheese & Apple Loaf
via The Art of Bread
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon oil, to grease pan (we just used nonstick cooking spray)
  • 3-1/2 cups unbleached flour (regular white flour, right?)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and grated (we used about 2 cups dried apples, chopped)
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • rolled oats, to sprinkle (totally forgot about this)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C, Gasmark), grease a 9x5x3" baking pan.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Rub butter into the flour mixture quickly with your fingertips until the mixture resembles the texture of coarse breadcrumbs (using your fingertips? How about one of those dough cutters? Why make things harder and messier than it needs to be?)
  3. Stir in the apples and cheese into the flour mixture. Add the beaten eggs until evenly blended (ok, if you have skipped my optional steps, you may find yourself staring at a bowl of clumpy and mostly dry flour. This was my WTF moment. Something very important seemed to be missing from the recipe. Like something to make it into a dough. The fact that the next step refers to "spooning the batter" indicates something the consistency of dried Play-Doh was not what I was looking for. Just go ahead and mix in that milk and yogurt now.) Mix until evenly blended.
  4. Spoon the batter into the pan (see? I told you. "Spoon." You'd be better off with a broom and dustpan if you don't add some liquid) Sprinkle with oats (I was so pissed about this recipe seemingly missing ingredients that I totally forgot about the oats.)
  5. Bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hours (we went for about 1-3/4 hours) until golden brown and well-risen. Turn out on a wire rack to cool.
Good Times!

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