Bread Baking: Apple Butter Swirl Bread Recipe

recipe image

[Photograph: Donna Currie]

Last fall, I got a little carried away with buying apples from the farmers’ market. I used some right away, froze more, then made applesauce. There were still apples left, and storage space was getting tight, so I made apple butter. Despite the name, there’s no actual butter involved; just apples cooked down much further than applesauce.

kneading-bug.jpgTips on Making this Recipe…
by hand-kneading »
in a stand mixer »
with a food processor »

You don’t need to start with a homemade apple butter—you’ll probably find some at the grocery store. Some commercial apple butters include cinnamon and other spices, so choose one you like. If you can only find are plain sauces, add spices to taste. (I left it plain to let the apples shine through.)

Most swirled bread recipes call for the dough to be rolled flat with a rolling pin before covering the dough with the swirl filling, but lately I haven’t been happy with the texture of breads made that way. Sure, it works and it looks all precise and flat and square, but why mash it so violently when this dough stretches so willingly?

The resulting bread had a nice soft crumb, even between the closest swirls, with none of the typical smashed flat sections. I’m pretty pleased with this method. This is a great breakfast bread and makes an interesting grilled cheese sandwich, as well.

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