Apple Butter Bread is a fantastic bread but it almost NEVER happened! This marvelous bread for the breadmaker is seasoned with apple butter, allspice and a dab of honey and it is quite tasty. The nice thing about breadmaker bread is you just layer the ingredients into the bread canister and allow the bread to bake. Poof! In about two to four hours you have a wonderful loaf of homemade bread. Uh, … normally!
I’m sharing the following story with those of you who don’t cook a lot, or bake a lot of bread to encourage you to persevere in your cooking. Sometimes the first try is a flop (see below), but if you keep at it a lot of times a recipe can be made over and will work out nicely. It took me four tries to get this bread right (and it was my BAD, not the recipe!), but it really turned out great and I’m so glad I didn’t give up after the first failure.
I was bound and determined to make Apple Butter Bread happen. But first, let me tell you the drama surrounding the making of this loaf of bread. We had company last weekend for dinner and I planned New England Clam Chowder, Spinach Artichoke Hummus with veggie dippers, and Mississippi Mud Pie along with a loaf of Apple Butter Bread.
I had everything planned out well. I made the chowder, hummus, dessert and bread (I thought) the day before so I could take pictures and then planned to heat up the chowder in the crockpot on Sunday morning (which I did). The Bread was supposed to be ready around one or two in the afternoon.
I was so busy making the other stuff that I didn’t realize I didn’t smell bread baking until I went to check it and realized even though I’d pressed the button nothing happened! It turned out after John looked at it that one of the pieces on the bottom of the bread canister that makes the bread paddle turn had frozen in place so it wasn’t working.
John spent a few hours fixing the breadmaker and I thought I’d try again with a new loaf. Loaf #2 – no go! It didn’t raise properly. What???? I said to myself, okay, I’ll add additional yeast and vital wheat gluten and see if that works. Loaf #3 – no go! What???? Not again!
It was then (duh) that I looked at my yeast and realized it was two years old! I couldn’t believe it. I always keep track of my yeast and throw it out after it gets old (I usually use it up way before expiration dates). So my husband took another of his late night escapades to the grocery store for me and picked up some fresh yeast. By that time it was late at night and I didn’t want to try again Saturday night, so I thought I would give it one last try and try to make a loaf in the morning. I saved the old loaves and you will see some of their pictures.
The next morning I placed the ingredients in the breadmaker again hoping and praying the bread would raise so I didn’t have another catastrophe on my hands (bad bread loaf #4!!!!). I made the bread, went ahead and added vital wheat gluten for good measure and came home from church to find the bread had risen properly.
Good yeast has a way of doing that, you know?!?! Well, the long and short of it was that I didn’t have time to get any really good pictures of this bread because, as I was cutting it down, the young kids who were having lunch with us were starving and gulping it down before I could get any. I figured, no worries, there’ll be plenty left over after everyone’s eaten. Wrong! There were two measly pieces left that I made John grab up quickly and stash away so I could get a couple of pictures but those pieces were the dregs!–the ones that are marked by the paddle on the bottom.
Well, on the positive side, EVERYBODY loved the bread! Even the really dense loaves that didn’t raise well actually tasted fine. I ate some of them for toast. But most of the pictures are not taken with my good camera and are a little meager. But hopefully you’ll realize that the bread itself isn’t meager! It’s really wonderful.
If you’re looking for a great bread recipe that’s different from most but still has terrific taste and a great texture, then please give this Apple Butter Bread recipe from Better Homes and Gardens, The Complete Guide to Bread Machine Baking, a try. You will be so glad you did. Ahem, but make sure you check your yeast first so you don’t end up with drama like Teresa’s Kitchen had last week!
I was quite indulgent here. I slathered more apple butter on top of my bread giving me double the taste! Yum.
The last couple of pieces leftover were served with my Slow Cooker Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup. Did they ever hit the spot! I’m not actually gluten intolerant, but I do have to moderate the kinds of foods I eat with wheat because it has a tendency to spike my blood sugar and then I need to take a long nap! Apple Butter Bread was wolfed down by adults and kids alike when we served this for lunch a few weeks ago.
Serve Apple Butter Bread with butter, apple butter, honey, and/or jellies of your choice.
Here’s what I did.
Here are the ingredients I used for the first batch. 🙁 I failed to check the expiration date on the yeast and couldn’t believe it had expired two YEARS ago!!! For batch #4 in the pictures I also added vital wheat gluten and honey.
Layer ingredients in bread canister and bake on regular bread setting. Mine takes 3 hours and 50 minutes.
Allow bread to cool 15 minutes after done before removing from bread pan. Butter tops and sides of bread to prevent the crusts from hardening. Cool an additional 15 minutes before slicing bread down into individual slices. I use an electric knife which makes each piece really clean and doesn’t hack up the bread like some serrated knives will do to fresh bread.
Here’s a piece for your inspection. Loaf #4 finally came out right. It does help when the cook uses fresh, up-to-date ingredients!
Serve Apple Butter Bread with apple butter if you get the chance! Unless it’s grabbed up so swiftly you don’t even get a chance to set it out!
This is a picture of loaf #3. It was still really heavy because the yeast was SO old. My bad.
Here’s the recipe.
APPLE BUTTER BREAD
- 2/3 cup milk
- ½ cup apple butter
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 4 cups King Arthur bread flour (don’t use all-purpose flour)
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¾ tsp. allspice or apple pie spice
- 2 tsp. bread machine yeast
- 4 tsp. vital wheat gluten
- Layer in bread canister in order given.
- Place on normal bread setting.
- Mine takes 3 hours 50 minutes.
- Allow bread to sit in canister 15 minutes before removing.
- Butter tops and sides of bread to prevent crust from hardening.
- Cool bread 15 minutes longer.
- Slice down into 20 half slices or 10 large slices.
Here’s the texture of this tasty bread.
You can see I was down to the dregs with the pieces available to use for pictures.
Apple Butter Bread tastes great with just butter, too.
Here’s a sample for you!
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