It is apple season again, one of the best times of the year. In MN we are blessed with a bevy of apple choices, which makes baking so exciting. When I make a recipe with apples I like to combine them for flavor, texture and color. In HBin5 we feature apples in our Strudel Bread, which combines all the flavors of the traditional Viennese pastry, with the easy and speed of our dough. Roll the filling into almost any dough and you have a bread that shouts “autumn is here!” Anyone who loves apples will fall head over heels for this loaf.
My eldest son is going through a NO nuts or raisins phase, which I hope to break him of soon, but in the mean time, I bake without them for his sake. Usually this loaf would be made with both of those delicious additions and I highly recommend you try that version. In order to make the loaf more interesting without the nuts and raisins, I replaced them with a sharp cheddar cheese. The loaf was gone within minutes of the school day ending, so I know he appreciated the effort.
Apple Strudel Bread from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day
1 1/2 pounds dough (I used the HBin5 Master p. 54, but Brioche dough p. 275 or Challah dough p.258 will be wonderful as well, actually most dough from either book works.)
2 medium apples, skin on, sliced thin and then chopped. (I used a McIntosh and a Cortland, pick your favorites)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)*
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)*
1/4 cup raw sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for the top of the loaf
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Egg wash for brushing on top (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
* I replaced the raisins and nuts with 4 ounces grated cheddar.
To make the Apple Strudel Bread:
Generously grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch Loaf Pan with butter.
Form the dough into a ball.
Mix together the apples, raisins, nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Roll out the dough to an 1/8-inch thick rectangle. Cover the top with the filling, without any of the juice that may have settled to the bottom of the bowl.
Roll the filled dough into a log, starting with the long end of the rectangle.
Pinch the seam shut.
Fold the two ends in to meet in the middle.
Place the dough into the prepared pan, with the folded ends on the bottom.
Let the loaf rest, covered loosely with plastic wrap, for 90 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Paint the top of the loaf with the egg wash, then slash the top with a knife.
Sprinkle the cut loaf with the sugar.
Bake in the center of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until brown and firm to the touch.
Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool onto a wire rack for about 1 hour. If you cut into this loaf too soon it may seem under cooked.