Montana continues to torment me with gorgeous days in the 40s before it kicks back up to nearly 70 again. I am ready for soup and sweaters, dangit. Fortunately this recipe is delicious independent of outdoor temps, so we can enjoy it all year round.
I’ve been making whole wheat beer bread for years, largely as way to use up beer taking up space since I don’t care for it in beverage form. Last year while planning my April grilled cheese series, I debated an apple and cheese combination but ultimately went in another direction. (I may revisit this series next April, stay tuned.) However, it reminded me of the perfect pairing of apple and brie, and it stuck in my mind as something to work in another area. With a garage overwhelmed with hard ciders (I am really bad at drinking, guys) and no reason any beer-esque beverage shouldn’t work, I modified it to utilize some of those bottles.
My test batch I made exactly as one would with regular beer (well, with less sugar), and was surprised at how much I loved it. With a much more subtle taste than a beer bread, it makes a great side dish for anything where you are looking for a more neutral flavor. Goes great with chicken soup, tomato soup, or anything you’d normally pair with beer bread. If I’m honest, I make this version a lot more often than the beer version, just because it’s so much more versatile in its complements.
However I felt I could improve the individual bread experience, and set out to do just that. With the addition of grated apple and diced Brie, it turns the bread into something to enjoy all by itself. It’s a wonderful breakfast or afternoon snack, and is delicious toasted and plain, or with a light spread of tart jam or peanut butter. Unlike beer bread, this version also pairs well with tea, which is nice for those of us that don’t drink coffee late in the day (or at all…weirdos).
So whether autumn has truly arrived or not, comfort yourself with a tasty batch of cider bread, and toast (wink wink) to the new season.
Apple Cider Brie Bread
Adapted from Whole Wheat Beer Bread
Makes one 9×5″ loaf
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 (12 oz) can or bottle hard cider
1 medium apple, grated (no need to core or peel; just pick out the seeds while you’re grating)
4 oz Brie cheese, diced (leave out to keep vegan)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a 9×5″ loaf pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
- Pour in the cider and stir until completely combined.
- Gently fold in apple and cheese.
- Scrape into the prepared pan, smoothing the top as best you can.
- Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out crumb-free.
- Let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing. Excellent solo or lightly toasted and spread with a tart jam.