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SANDRA'S APPLE WALNUT BRAIDED BREAD

What a delightful presentation this
braided apple walnut bread makes,
and it's a fun to prepare,
plus a to-die-for dessert...
Yields: (1 large braided loaf, or 2 small)

Posted: by Sandra

Prep: 15 mins. |
Raising time: Overnight, plus a couple hours |
Bake: 35 to 40 mins.

INGREDIENTS:

*** Yeast Sponge
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/2 cup warm milk
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

***Dough
2 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup sugar
2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (plus a bit more if needed)
1 stick of butter, at room temp.

***Apple and Walnut filling
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup walnuts, finely chopped
2 cups of fresh granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and cubed small
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons cornstarch

***Egg Wash
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
---plus: cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling on top

METHOD:

Mix the sugar, yeast, and flour together in a small bowl. Pour in the warm milk. Beat until smooth, then cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1/2 hour.

Place the hook attachment on the stand mixer. Pour in sponge mixture into bowl of stand mixer. Add the eggs, salt, sugar, and one cup of the flour to the sponge. Beat until smooth on low speed until smooth. Then add the butter in small chunks and beat well. Add the remaining flour a handful at a time and mix in until the butter is incorporated. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, until dough forms ball and is somewhat elastic.

Place the dough in a bowl sprayed with baking spray, rub around, and then flip over. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise and room temperature until doubled in size, 45 mins. to 1 hr. Deflate the dough, recover the bowl, and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, in a small pot, combine; butter, brown sugar, and chopped walnuts. Stir until combined. Add apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, vanilla, and cornstarch. Heat while stirring until filling thickens (apples will finish baking in oven). Let filling cool completely.

Combine the egg and milk in a bowl and beat until combined, and set aside.

Once filling has cooled, take the dough out of the refrigerator and gently deflate it. Divide it into two pieces. Use a rolling pin to shape each piece into a ½” thick rectangle.

Spread your fillings in the center of the dough.


At 45-degree angle, slice the sides of the dough into tabs approximately 1 inch wide. Alternating from side to side, fold the pieces in over the filling, and gently press on the tabs to seal the folds, and then tuck under ends for a smoother finish. Glaze the braid with egg wash. Cover loosely with plastic. Set aside to rise until doubled in size, approximately 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Just before placing the braid in the oven, glaze it again with remaining egg wash, and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Bake on the center rack of the oven for approximately 35 to 40 minutes, rotating it once after 20 minutes so that it bakes evenly. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for at least half an hour before slicing.


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Variation:  Click here for recipe:  Blueberry Braided Bread Recipe

1 comment:

sandra said...

This is the most delicious bread you'll ever eat - and what fun it is to make over a long weekend...just make the dough the night before!

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