Apple Pie Bread


IFBC 2017 with a Big Fat Slice of Autumn

Mutsu Apples

I asked what you wanted, and you said, A box. What for? To put things in. What things? Whatever you have, you said. Well, here’s your box. Nearly everything I have is in it, and it is not full. Pain and excitement are in it, and feeling good or bad and evil thoughts and good thoughts —the pleasure of design and some despair and the indescribable joy of creation.

East of Eden, John Steinbeck


Somewhere between SEO and avocados I lost my patience. My pen dug deeper into the paper while my heart shattered into a heap of brightly colored sprinkles. Other than the opening remarks at the International Food Bloggers Conference by Nick Papadopoulos of CropMobster, it was all about me, me, me. I found myself wedged between blogging as a business and searching for a way to nurture my creative spirit. We learned the importance of more unique sessions, better SEO, having more followers, all about making money blogging. And yes, I know we need money to live in this time and place. And yes, we all would love to have wildly popular blogs that bring in six figures from advertising. I wanted more.

I’m greedy. Instead of an empty box I’d rather have a box stuffed with treasure. Wouldn’t you? That’s my vision of a blog, it’s an empty box that is filled with the treasures from our lives. We pick and choose, sharing words and photos, lists and instructions. A big fat slice of our lives, the exceptional, the mundane. I want a place to be creative. I want to learn how to live in that place of magic. This is the work we need to do. This is the place we need to be. I’ll work on my SEO but the all the deep, intense flavors I find in my everyday life is where you’ll find me.

Apple Pie Bread Dough


At every IFBC session the freshly harvested Empire apples from Machado’s Orchards had me daydreaming about the Apple Pie Bread I had left at home. Use any type of apples for Apple Pie Bread, the more intense the flavor, the better the bread. Apple Pie Bread crosses the boundary between bread and dessert. Follow the traffic signs and cross the street into a slice of Apple Pie Bread or stop on the red light and call it dessert. Either way Apple Pie Bread is a big fat slice of autumn. With Apple Pie Bread you get all the glorious goodness of apple pie and a rich brioche style bread. Apple Pie Bread toasted and topped with apple butter is a very good thing. There just might be magic in every bite.

Apple Pie Bread Dough and Filling

Filled Apple Pie Bread

Cutting Apple Pie Bread

Making Apple Pie Bread is play time in the kitchen, it’s the most fun I’ve had baking in a very long time. With a stand mixer the dough is easy enough to make. After the second rise, the fun begins. It doesn’t really matter how the rolled dough is shaped. After covering the dough with apple pie filling, walnuts and beaten eggs it gets chopped into random sized pieces and placed in loaf pans for the final rise. More magic, my friends! The recipe makes two 9”x5” loaves of Apple Pie Bread. The most important thing about the recipe is a reminder that weighing the flour always leads to better baking outcomes. With lots of adaption, inspiration for Apple Pie Bread arrived and took root from the recipe for Chopped Apple Bread from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads. An old and forgotten, excellent bread making book.

Preparing Apple Pie Bread

Apple Pie Bread in Loaf Pans

Apple Pie Bread Ingredients
1/3C unsalted butter, melted, plus more the bowl and pans
2C whole milk, warmed to no more than 110°
2 eggs
2 pkgs/4-1/2t active dry yeast
420gr/3-1/2C all-purpose flour
420gr/3-1/2C bread flour
1/2C sugar
1T fine grain sea salt
Apple Pie Bread Filling Ingredients
3C peeled apples, cut into 1/2” pieces
1 lemon, juiced
2T unsalted butter
1T chai spice or cinnamon
1/2C brown sugar
1C chopped walnuts, toasted are best
2 eggs, beaten

Apple Pie Bread Loaves

  1. Liberally butter a very large bowl and two, 9”x5” loaf pans. For easy removal of the Apple Pie Bread from the loaf pans, line the widest side of the loaf pans with parchment. Leave a few inches of parchment extending over the wide edges of the pan. Use these parchment handles to remove the Apple Pie Bread from the pans after baking.
  2. To make the Apple Pie Bread add to the bowl of a stand mixer the butter, milk, eggs and yeast. Attach the whisk attachment to the mixer and mix until the eggs are broken up and throughly incorporated. Stop once to scrape down the yeast from the sides of the mixer, mixing the yeast into the liquid ingredients. A few, small clumps of yeast will remain on top of the liquid. Remove the whisk attachment and the bowl from the stand mixer. Add both flours, sugar and salt to the bowl. Return the bowl to the stand mixer and attach the bread dough hook attachment. Mix on low speed to thoroughly combine the wet and dry ingredients. Stop to scrape down the side and bottom of the mixer bowl. Once all the flour is mixed in and the dough comes together turn the mixer to medium-low speed and mix for five minutes. Transfer the dough to the buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to proof, until almost doubled in size, for 1-1-1/2 hours.
  3. While the dough rises, prepare the Apple Pie Bread filling. Toss the chopped apples with the lemon juice and spice. On medium heat, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the apples and stirring occasionally, cook, until the apples can be pierced with a fork. Do not overcook. Stir in the brown sugar, coating all the apples. Remove from the heat to cool.
  4. When the dough is almost doubled in size, deflate in the bowl by using a flexible bench scraper or large rubber scraper. Scrape the dough down from the outside edges of the bowl toward the center of the bowl, turning the bowl as part of the process, making sure all the dough has been deflated. (Alternately, the dough can be deflated on a lightly floured work surface.) Scrape all the dough from the bowl unto a lightly floured work surface. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the dough out in a rectangular shape, 1/3” thick, about 18” long. The shape and thickness does not need to be precise. Spread the cooled apples evenly across the surface of the dough. Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the walnuts across the apple covered dough. Then spread the beaten egg evenly across the top of the dough. Fold the long sides of the rectangle into the center of the dough. Repeat with the other long side of the rectangle. With a bench scraper or knife cut the dough into random 1-1-1/2” pieces. Place the pieces in the prepared loaf pan. Scoop up any stray pieces of Apple Pie Bread filling and add to the loaf pans. Make sure the apple pie filling is distributed throughout the loaf. For loaves of even size push the dough into the corners and edges of the loaf pans. Sprinkle the loaves with the remaining walnuts, pushing them down into the dough.
  5. While the Apple Pie Bread proofs heat the oven to 350°. Let proof for thirty to forty minutes. When ready to bake, the dough will peek over the rim of the loaf pan and have a slightly domed top.
  6. Place both of the loaf pans in the center of the oven with at least an inch between them. Bake the loaves for 25 to 30 minutes. Check the Apple Pie Bread after 20 minutes, if the edges are browning too quickly, tent with foil. When done, the Apple Pie Bread will have a toasty brown top crust, sound hollow when tapped and the internal temperature of the bread will be 190°. Let cool five minutes and remove the Apple Pie Bread from the pans by using the overhanging parchment as handles. Or loosen the loaves from the pan with a table knife or small off-set spatula. Place on a cooling rack to finish cooling. For perfect, almost crumb free slices wait until the bread has cooled completely to slice.

Apple Pie Bread with Apple Butter

This is the first of three posts I am publishing as a citizen blogger to receive the reduced conference rate for the International Food Bloggers Conference 2017.

31 Replies to “Apple Pie Bread”

  1. Deb, I completely understand where you are coming from. In the beginning, I had big aspiration for the heights my blog might reach. As it turns out, it developed to the level needed to accommodate my life. There are days when I question why I still post. Then I remind myself of the real reasons I began my blog. It was to have a creative space, a place where I could share my passion for baking, and at the same time, journal about my life as an empty nester. My life has changed in many ways over the last 6+ years, but I continue to find such joy in blogging and photography – even if I’m not making six figures.

    Apple Pie Bread is indeed an enticing way to spend time baking on a Fall day. Thanks for sharing such a fun (and obviously tasty) recipe.

    1. Thank you for the luscious comment Mary! I very much look forward to your posts! After two days packed full with conference sessions I felt empty. It took a few days to realize what I missed. We all blog for our own reasons, I wanted to share mine. Thank you for sharing yours!

  2. This looks like a fun autumn baking project! (and thanks for including weights.)

    I bet that slices would be outstanding toasted on a griddle with a good amount of butter (and maybe some sugar) spread on both sides. I recall a stellar dessert based on that concept at the ill-fated Ubuntu in Napa — being a fancy restaurant, the griddled apple bread was garnished with an interesting ice cream, various sauces, and other good things.

    1. Thank you for commenting Marc! Weighing the flour is one of the keys to better baking. Grilled apple bread sounds divine. Next time I make the recipe, I’ll give it a try. Apple Cider ice cream?

  3. John took the words right out of my mouth. I’m a hobby blogger as well and having fun. 🙂 I’m getting to share recipes that I have created over 40 years of marriage, much better idea than leaving them in a notebook that gets sold at a garage sale. You do a beautiful job Deb and I thoroughly enjoy peeking in on your life. 🙂 And when you post gorgeous dishes like this apple pie bread it just shows what a quality and creative blogger you are. Great post! Enjoy the conference.

    1. Thank you for the thoughtful comment, MJ! Your blog is a treasure of of cooking from sunny New Mexico! I am also a “hobby” blogger. I had hoped for a much richer, larger, scope in the conference sessions. I did learn a lot, but wanted more.

  4. Deb, I love your blog — your style of writing, the stories you tell, the Steinbeck quotes, the mouth-watering, beautiful photos, and the really, really delicious recipes. I struggle with all of the things you mentioned, and then some. It’s hard, but at the end of the day I think those that win are those who are truly authentic. And while I’ve never met you in person, I’m guessing this blog is you. Really you. And that’s why I love it. And this apple bread — oh my! It’s over-the-top!

  5. Dear Deb, yes we all would be happy to have 6 digit figures of everything (weight excluded) and all that comes with the territory but at the end of the day, apple pie heals it all. I am happy to have such a places like this one. Thank you dear !

  6. This is such a honest and gorgeous post Deb. There are so many other benefits than monetary ones when it comes to blogging. One of them finding new friends like you or having a creative outlet. Keep up this beautiful blog of yours.

    1. Thank you for the scrumptious comment Gerlinde! I agree, blogging has many benefits, much, much more than were covered in the conference. I suppose it’s like so many other things in life, it’s all about what we make, what we want and want we do.

    1. Hi Agness! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I haven’t tried coconut milk in any of my bread making, but I imagine it would work. The viscosity, thickness of the coconut milk and how it hydrates the flour would need to compare to regular milk.

  7. I finally opened my blog again today and you were the last to comment, so here I am. That I was fondly remembering an apple dumpling recipe I posted several years ago and happen on to this gorgeous apple pie bread has to be divine intervention. Seriously! I haven’t baked anything in months, but would happily do so just to taste this bread. As for your comments on the conference–yes. Finding a space for creativity. There has to be one and I’ve had long enough to figure out that space is within myself. I’ve created the platform for it and if I’m true to myself, have to believe that it will reach those interested. That has to be good enough for me.

    1. oh Kelly! So good to hear from you! And yes to the creativity hides in each one of us! I want to hear how to nurture that seed, to make sure it blossoms. Each day is fragile, with distractions that take us further away from our genuine selves. We all have only so much time, I want to choose wisely.

  8. That constant bug asking whether you’re taking your blogging seriously or not… Well, I go back and forth, right now it’s forth. Time will tell.
    About this amazing apple pie bread, I’m dying! Looks sooo good Deb! And I agree about that book! I have the one with no images, none, but it has some extremely good recipes.

    1. Thank you for the tasty comment Paula! There are quite a few old cookbooks without any photos, that are gems!

  9. not that this helps but i for one had no idea that those “wildly popular blogs” even existed let alone subscribe to them. Nor do i even know what a SEO is. I have been dismayed over the last couple of years by the shift in blog focus and have been reading fewer and fewer and enjoying them less. Yours is different though which is why i keep coming here. It is your vision of the blog that i enjoy reading and coming to visit. Please don’t change that.

    I’m an apple lover too – thanks for the great looking recipe.

    and keep up w/ your wonderful blog.


    1. Thank you for taking the time to leave such a gracious comment Jacquie! Your thoughts are my inspiration for the day.

  10. A gorgeous bread. Making time as soon as possible to give this a try. Follow your heart, Deb. It’s why your writing and your food warms us all — it’s real and it’s you!

    1. Thank you for the wonderful comment Carol! Your kindness brightened my day! I hope you try the recipe, it’s easy and scrumptious too. (Try it toasted, fabulous!)

  11. I used to worry about SEO and all the other stuff good bloggers are supposed to sweat. Finally decided I wasn’t a good blogger, just a hobby blogger, and things became much clearer and simpler. Anyway, loving apples at the moment, and apple pie bread? Wow, gotta try this! Thanks so much.

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