My brother often says that a man who doesn’t eat bread is an unhappy man. True or not (in my opinion absolutely true) it is a phrase that indicates the importance of bread not only in our diet but mostly in our soul. Nothing feels more like home than the smell that overflows the kitchen when bread is in the oven. Everything about bread (kneading, baking, smelling, tasting) is a journey to beautiful childhood memories, to nostalgic “pictures” from the past, to warm and peaceful feelings. One of my beautiful childhood memories is my grandmother making bread. It is a special memory because my grandmother didn’t have an electric oven but a wood oven in the garden and all the procedure was spectacular for me. She was kneading not one, not two but five big loaves. It was not easy to burn the wood oven every day to bake bread so it was a necessity to bake as many as you can every time. It was sourdough bread so it could last for a long time you see. Of course the best part was when bread was ready and my grandmother was taking it out of the oven with a big wooden spatula like a shovel. Golden, smelling like heaven loaves and us (my cousins, my brother and me) ready to “attack” and make at least one of them disappear in a second easily. A big piece of warm bread in one hand, a big piece of feta cheese in the other and a big smile οn our lips! Sweet memory!
However the recipe I am giving you today is not for my grandmother’s sourdough bread (I will write about it in the future) but for a sweet and fluffy apple bread. As I have told you before dough is my favorite “ingredient” if I can say so. Not only to work with but to taste as well. So every time I come across with a new recipe for a bread, a brioche or a pie I have to try it. That is what happened with this apple bread. I have never made a bread like that before so it was my chance to try it. And I was right to do so. It is very tasty, fluffy and perfect for breakfast topped with butter, jam, honey or even plain.
Making bread in home is easy and only two things are necessary as my mother says: kneading and love. Kneading makes a fluffy bread and love makes you want to knead. Everything else are simple and easy. For this apple bread you have to put together all the ingredients in a big bowl (except the apple) and knead until you get a smooth dough. It may be a little firm but that is how it should be. The apple will be added in the dough, grated (after the first rise) so there will be some juice which will make the dough soft eventually. Apple gives not only tastiness to this bread but because of its acidity makes it also soft and airy. It is definitely a really good bread and as all breads it is better eaten the same day. I hope you like it!
- 500 gr bread flour, sifted
- 1 package instant dry yeast (9 gr)
- 25 gr sugar
- 5 gr salt
- 150 gr heavy cream
- 50 gr margarine, melted
- 125 gr milk, lukewarm
- 1 apple, medium size
- black and white sesame seeds for topping
In a large bowl put the sifted flour and the yeast and mix.
Add sugar, salt, heavy cream,margarine and milk.
Knead until you get a smooth but firm dough, about 5-10 minutes.
Transfer the dough in a lightly greased bowl.
Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise at a warm place until doubled in size. It will take about 1-1/2 hours.
Punch down the dough and knead it a little more.
Peel the apple, cut it in four and remove the seeds.
Grate the apple using the coarse surface of a box grater.
Add the grated apple to the dough and knead until you get a smooth and very soft dough. If it is sticky you may add a little flour.
Line a 26cm round baking pan with parchment paper.
Divide the dough to 4 equal pieces and shape each to a ball.
Put the 4 pieces of the dough to the pan, brush with milk and sprinkle with black and white sesame seeds.
Cover with a towel and let rise for about half an hour at a warm place. It may need a little longer.
Preheat the oven at 200°C.
Bake for 40-45 minutes.