I have been baking bread for 9 years now. Mostly I make sourdough bread, near German style. Sometimes it is nice to make a sweet bread though. When I say sweet bread, I mean a yeasted sweet bread, not one with baking soda. The German bakery down the street from our house makes some very tasty fruit breads, which inspired me to give it a try.
After searching around for a number of recipes, I wasn’t very satisfied with any of them. Most of the recipes I found were either not yeasted, or were designed for bread machines. So I picked the recipe I liked best, and then improvised from there.
- 5 tsp active dry yeast (2 packages)
- 1 1/2 cups wheat flour
- 3 cups white flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1/8 cup canola oil
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup peach butter
- 1/2 cup diced dried apricots
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted almonds
I made up the dough, starting with the water and yeast, then adding the applesauce and spices, and then adding the flour gradually, with the salt near the end. Once I couldn’t stir any more flour in, I kneaded the dough until it was fairly stiff (until it doesn’t collapse when I hold it in my hand).
I let the dough rise in a greased, covered bowl for about 60-90 minutes, then I punched down the dough, divided it into 2 pieces, rolled it out (I just use my hands instead of a rolling pin). Then I spread out half of the filling onto each loaf, and rolled them up, sealing the sides and and the bottom.
I let the loaves rise for another hour or so, then baked them. I started the oven at 400 with the convection on, and turned it down to 375 after 30 minutes, and baked for an additional 30 minutes.
The loaves came out fairly well for a first try. Next time I plan to make several changes:
- Use about twice as much filling (as my wife Clare suggested to begin with)
- Use twice as much cinnamon, and put it in the filling instead of in the dough
- Roll out the dough much thinner, so that rolling it up gives it more of a swirl (and hopefully prevents the top from creating a bubble like it did