Saturday, December 8, 2012

Spiced Applesauce Bread

 A year ago a friend and I spent a day making homemade "Apple Butter." It's been in my pantry ever since, waiting for a use. I knew if I opened it that I'd never be able to use it all before it went bad (no preservatives, of course). And we accidentally over-spiced the apple butter, so I wanted to mix it with something rather than just using it as a spread.

Luckily recently I found a recipe for Spiced Applesauce Bread that sounded perfect for my situation. Instead of using applesauce and spices I just swapped them out for my jar of apple butter.

Here's the recipe:

Spiced Applesauce Bread
1 1/4 cups applesauce
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3 Tbsp milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped pecans



Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

2. In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, sugar, oil, eggs and milk; beat well. Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt; stir until smooth. Fold in the pecans. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.


I was lucky that my jar of apple butter had almost exactly enough to make this bread (1 1/4 cups).


This was halfway through stirring in the sifted flour. It took about five minutes to add all of the flour--add, stir, add, stir, add, stir....

I didn't add any spices since my apple butter was so strong, and I didn't add the pecans because I don't usually like nuts in baked goods.

I was afraid the baking might be different since I am at a high altitude, but I didn't seem to have any real problems. I started checking for doneness after 40 minutes and I think I took it out around 55 minutes.



It was a little dipped in the middle, but it wasn't sunken very much. After it cooled for 15 minutes I ran a butter knife around the edge and it popped right out when I turned it over. I like those flexible silicone loaf pans!



The edges were nice and crispy and slice went great with milk after dinner. I prefer the fact that it didn't have any chunks of apple in the bread, but some people do. 

I wanted to follow the recipe while making the recipe the first time, but here are some suggestions by reviewers that I will probably take into account next time:

  • Use half brown sugar and half white sugar
  • Use chunky applesauce
  • Use less oil (it did seem excessive to me, but followed the recipe anyway)--try 1/3 c or 1/4 c
  • Double the spices. Many reviews said that the original recipe comes out a bit bland.
  • Make a crumb topping. I thought one like coffee cake would be great, or a reviewer suggested: 1/4 brown sugar, 1/4 cup chopped pecans, and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
  • Sprinkle brown sugar on top before baking so it makes a nice crispy sweet top.
  • Add a cup of chopped apples (if not using chunky applesauce) for added moisture
  • Cover lightly with foil to let it steam for 30 minutes. It locks in moisture and works for all loaf breads.
  • Add a tsp of vanilla extract
  • Eat with tea, hot chocolate, or coffee!
  • Grease the pan and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar
  • Add 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar to increase spiciness. 
  • Use walnuts and/or raisins
  • Use 1 cup of wheat flour and 1 cup of white flour
These are just some of the suggestions made by others who have used this recipe. I also wonder if some molasses would spice it up too. Lots of room for experimentation, anyway!




Enjoy!