07 December 2013

Amazing Apple Spice Bread

I've just finished the last week of the semester at school; finals are next week. Due to some scheduling confusion with the finals schedule, I rearranged the last three days of my Psychology of Prejudice class, necessitating that we start class 30 minutes early on Thursday (my students were giving presentations on their semester-long research projects; research is awesome!). Because they are college students and I know full well that most of them roll out of bed to come to my class (and, let's be honest, because I love them), I told them I would make them treats since I was starting class earlier than usual.

Class was going to run from 10-12 on Thursday, so I needed mostly breakfast-y stuff for them to eat. I opted for a lot of fruit (pineapple, strawberries, kiwis, and blueberries), a pretzel/chocolate/pecan thing, as well as some baked items. Actually, lots of baked items. I made my grape nut bars, two sets of banana muffins (with nuts and without), and this amazing apple bread. While cooking on Wednesday night, I worried that I wasn't going to have enough food, so I started some creative googling. Eventually, I stumbled on a non-vegan recipe for a bread that looked good, made some adjustments, and ended up not even getting a piece to try while in class! I asked a couple of students about the bread after class (one student said she liked it so much she had two pieces - excellent!), and with the rave reviews, I figured I had to make it again. I am SO glad I did, because this bread is AMAZING! It's full of a subtle blend of apple/cinnamon/molasses flavors, it's sweet but not cloying, it's dense without being heavy, and it's moist with a wonderful mouth feel. For those of you who like my family recipe zucchini bread, make this bread! You'll love it!

Apple Spice Bread
This recipe is adapted from this Apple Spice Bread recipe found through creative googling.
2 1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. Ener-G Egg Replacer powder (see Helpful Hints)
1/2 c. melted Earth Balance spread (see Helpful Hints)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce (see Helpful Hints)
2 tsp. molasses
1 large apple, peeled, cored, and grated, then pressed between paper towels

Preheat oven to 350.
1. Whisk all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. Whisk all wet ingredients, except for the grated apple, together in a smaller bowl.
3. Add grated apple to wet ingredients, stir to combine.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring until just mixed. This will be a thick batter. Do not overmix.
5. Pour/spoon batter into a lightly greased loaf pan. Bake for at least 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
6. Let the loaf cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan, then take out of the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.

Helpful Hints
  • I used the egg replacer powder in this recipe because the original called for two eggs. Given that I added more apples (which have pectin in them) and since the recipe also has applesauce, I did NOT replace the full two eggs called for (I didn't even replace one, really). My bet is that the egg replacer can simply be omitted from this recipe without any detrimental effects. If you don't have any on hand, I really don't think there is any need to go out a buy it for this recipe. 
  • I used melted "butter" in keeping with the original recipe. I'm sure you could use 1/2 c. of a liquid fat, such as canola oil or something similar. If you do, make sure you keep it to a neutral flavor and you may want to add a bit of salt (1/2 tsp. or so, perhaps). Depending on what you use, this bread could also be soy-free.
  • Applesauce is a great baking ingredient! Plus, the single-serve cups you can buy at the grocery store are 1/2 c. each! We don't eat applesauce around here often enough to have a large jar in the fridge, so I buy a pack of 6 single-serve cups just to have on hand for baking (or my occasional urge to eat applesauce). 
  • Both times I made this recipe I used a Braeburn apple. The shreds of apple don't really exist after the loaf is cooked (the liquid in them gets leached out into the surrounding dough), so it doesn't really matter which variety of apple you use. I like Braeburns a lot, as they are crisp and have a lovely and quirky sweet taste. But I also have an apple problem
  • I used regular molasses (not blackstrap) in this recipe. My guess is that you could use blackstrap molasses, but it might overpower the other flavors. With the regular molasses in this recipe, there's a lovely roundness to the flavor; you can taste the molasses if you're thinking about it, but otherwise it just blends in to the overall taste. I think that the taste of blackstrap molasses would jump out more. 
  • To prepare my loaf pan for baking, I actually used "Pam for Baking." If you don't use something like that, you may want to lightly flour the loaf pan as well as greasing it. 
  • Make sure you use a serrated knife for cutting this loaf. It's got a lovely crisp top, so the serrated knife  is the way to go. 
  • I bet this would be delicious toasted and then smeared with apple butter. Mind blown. 
The post "Amazing Apple Spice Bread" originally appeared on Maggie's LesVegan Kitchen.

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