Bread Machine Love: Spiced Applesauce Bread

So while you all know I love the banana bread, the boy is not such a big fan of it. He believes bananas should only be eaten in their original unaltered state. So in an attempt to introduce another form of sweet breakfast bread into the repertoire, I made up some spiced applesauce bread the other day. He tried a bit of it and didn’t mind it, which is at least a better reaction than what I get when I even suggest banana bread. Still not what I was hoping for, though. All the same, I found the applesauce bread pretty nice so am sharing it here.

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Adapted from this applesauce bread recipe with just a few tweaks, and stuck in the bread machine instead of the oven just because I could, darnit. That and the amount of ingredients happened to be just right for a loaf of machine bread.

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Because I was using a machine, I started with my dry ingredients first. The original recipe called for 2 cups of all-purpose flour, but I find better results in sweet breads made with a machine when I use half bread flour to help with the rising. So in went 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 1 cup of bread flour.

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1 teaspoon of baking soda sprinkled over the flour.

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1/2 a teaspoon of baking powder sprinkled evenly.

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And then we get to the spices. As many commentators noted in the original recipe, something called “spiced bread” should be pretty spicy. I took a look at the amount of spices noted in the original recipe and automatically decided that I needed to double everything. I later found that this was a common tweak, and the result was much better for it. So in went 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

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Next came half a teaspoon of nutmeg and half a teaspoon of allspice.

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One fat cup of white sugar. After trying out this load, I will probably added another half cup of brown sugar to the next loaf because I could do with it being a bit sweeter and the brown has a stronger taste to it that complements the spices.

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And finally, a quarter teaspoon of salt to pull it all together.

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Next up, wet ingredients. I use soy milk instead of real milk whenever possible because Lactaid milk is so expensive. Three tablespoons of soy milk or regular milk.

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Two large eggs. I actually used jumbos, which are pretty huge, because I like eggy bread. Make sure to pop the yolks if you’re using a machine, otherwise they often stay intact for far too long and don’t always disperse evenly if you’re not doing the full mixing cycle.

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Half a cup of vegetable oil.

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Finally, 1 and 1/4 cups of applesauce. I used unsweetened organic stuff, and might actually try mashing the apples myself next time, if I have any on hand. After all, the label says that it’s just mashed apples and water. What’s so hard about that?

At this point, there’s also the option to add in nuts or other things of that nature. I hate nuts in my bread, but will probably add chopped apples into my next loaf to give it a bit more texture. Baked apples are so yummy.

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I set the machine on dough cycle and let it do its thing for 10 minutes. As you can see, a full mixing cycle with my machine is over an hour and really unnecessary, so I keep my own time and stop it when it’s looking good. Keep an eye on how the dough is looking, and scrape down stuff that ends up climbing up the sides of the pot with a spatula. I ended up popping in an additional 1/2 cup of flour in the middle of the mixing process because my dough was looking far too liquid for my tastes, for example.

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My dough after mixing. It still looks pretty moist, but that’s good because it’s supposed to be a really moist bread. However, notice that you can still see the ripples left behind from mixing, which shows that it has some solidity to it, as opposed to a real liquid batter that would settle into a smooth surface once motion stopped. This is about the consistency you want your mixture at.

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Next, set it to bake for 1 hour and go about your merry business.

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Come back to your bread and check on it at the end of that hour. Poke a chopstick or something else wooden into the middle. If it comes out as wet as this one did, bake for additional 10 minute increments. I ended up baking my loaf a total of 1 hour and 20 minutes before the middle came out clean enough for my liking, but baking times always vary according to individual machines, altitudes and ingredients.

Slice and enjoy! Very good with peanut butter or soft cream cheese, goes great with a cup of morning tea. Some people also put a crumbled brown sugar topping over the top during baking to give it a crunchy crust. That sounds good enough for me to try next time as well.

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