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Apple Browned Butter Bread

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I love cooking with traditional, seasonal ingredients and there is just something about the fall and winter season that makes me feel as warm and toasty as the food I cook. I find winter cooking is simpler and homier in the fall and winter and instinctively I reach for winter squashes, potatoes, grains, warming spices and other ingredients to make rich stews and soups.
 
There is also something about winter that brings out the bread maker in me. I make all kinds of bread. Crusty loaves to serve with my soups and stews, focaccia and ciabatta for sandwich plates for visitors, and sweet quick breads for lazy breakfasts and snacks over coffee in the afternoon.
 
I always have organic apples on hand all through the winter for baking pies, making baked apples, stewing, and just satisfying my need for something crisp and juicy. Last month I was reading one of my favorite blogs “Mental Chew”  and came across her recipe for Brown Butter Apple Bread. I tried the recipe and even my husband, who is not a sweet bread lover, asked for seconds.  In her recipe, she browns 3 tablespoons of the butter to sauteé the apples. I decided to improve on that and brown the entire cup of butter to make a “beurre noisette” and the result was much added depth and richness.
 
I also added a dash of cloves and nutmeg to bring out the taste of the apples.
 
Apple Browned Butter Bread 
Ingredients:
 
2 cups whole-wheat flour (sprouted if possible)
2 cups unbleached organic plain flour *
1/4 cup flax meal (you can omit but it gives it a nice texture)
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. organic cinnamon (and a pinch of cloves and/or nutmeg if you like)
4 cups organic apple (peeled, cored, and chopped into small chunks.) **
1 cup organic butter (raw if you can get it and cultured if you can find it)
1 cup organic granulated sugar (raspadura is a really good choice)
1/2 cup dark brown or muscovado sugar (more for sprinkling)
2 large organic eggs
1 cup organic yogurt or buttermilk (Greek yogurt gives a richness to the bread)
1 cup organic sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
 

  • I use a combination of oat flour and all-purpose to give it a more cake like texture.
    • Apples, as a thin-skinned fruit are top of the “dirty dozen” list of produce you should always buy organic.  Organic apples also taste miles better than their conventional counterparts.
       
      Directions:
      Preheat oven to 450º F (232ºC) and place rack in the center of the oven.
      Grease two 9 × 4 loaf pans and set aside.
      Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, flax meal, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
      Peel, core, and chop into small chunks, 4-6 organic apples. Sprinkle with a bit of lemon juice to prevent from browning.
      To brown the butter, place butter into medium sauce pan. Over medium heat to melt.
      The butter gets very foamy and golden before it starts to brown. Swirl it around in pan every minute or so as it browns, about fifteen to twenty minutes.
      Butter is done when it is nicely browned, the color of hazelnuts with the butter fragrant and toasted.
      Using a small strainer and a double layer of paper towel lining the strainer, pour carefully into the towel and let drain in small batches.
      You now have perfectly browned butter ready to go into your bread.
      Using about three tablespoons of the already browned butter in a warm skillet. Add the apples and sauteé about two minutes, gently browning the apples until soft and fragrant.
      I a mixing bowl combine browned butter, sugars, and vanilla and beat until fluffy.
      Add in eggs and beat until smooth.
      Add dry ingredients and mix well.
      Mix in yogurt and sour cream and blend well.
      Fold in sauteéd apples, incorporating thoroughly into the batter.
      Divide batter among the two loaf pans evenly.
      Sprinkle a little brown sugar or muscovado sugar on the top if desired.
      Bake for 20 minutes at 450º F for 20 minutes. Lower heat to 375º F (190º C) and bake for another thirty to forty minutes until toothpick, inserted into center of loaf, comes out clean.
       
      Bon Appétit!
       
      Read the original recipe on The Organic Blonde
       

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