Rosemary Almond Cider Bread

Is it fall where you are yet? Montana got snow on Sunday, so I guess that means it’s fall now. Hopefully the 60s of this week are not just a fluke and we have some crisp weather the rest of the month. Perfect weather for baking and soups and reading a good book. Typically October means two things: Oktoberfest and Halloween. Not being much of a fan of either, usually I ignore most of the month’s festivities in favor of prime running season. This year I’m doing both, with a half marathon this coming Sunday and a new Oktobeerbreadfest series starting today.

Rosemary Almond Cider Bread {{Baking Bytes}}

 

Despite my failure to find a beer I’ll drink solo (granted, I’ve not tried very hard), the hard cider scene is definitely my thing. We only have one cidery here in Bozeman, but there’s a few throughout the state and with Montana Cider Week slowly catching on, I decided to celebrate the first of the series with a cider bread instead of a beer bread. (For you beer bread lovers, the remaining weeks will be more your thing.)

Rosemary Almond Cider Bread {{Baking Bytes}}

You may remember some previous iterations of cider bread, as a standalone and part of my grilled cheese series this spring. This particular recipe is closer to the latter, in that I wanted to keep it as savory as possible. With the seasons usually revolving around plenty of sugar, an easy and relevant but still savory bread is perfect to start your day or accompany your favorite soups. If rosemary isn’t your thing, thyme or sage would be delicious substitutions.

Rosemary Almond Cider Bread {{Baking Bytes}}

A dry cider and little to no added sugar keeps this bread pretty neutral. For a twist, I used almond flour instead of white flour. This adds a slightly nutty note and results in a vaguely more moist bread, but pairs beautifully with the apple flavor. Stirring in a grated apple and a bit of rosemary adds a little something without being overpowering. The flavors are prominent enough to stand on their own yet also delicious alongside any number of fall soups and stews, especially those with an apple note. An apple pumpkin butternut squash soup and this bread would be a match made in delicious, delicious heaven.

Rosemary Almond Cider Bread {{Baking Bytes}}

Sweet-adjacent from the almonds and apples but definitely not a sweet bread, I’m sure this one will be a fairly regular appearance in my bread adventures. Excellent as toast with butter and/or your favorite jam, or bust out some Brie for a grown-up grilled cheese. Cream cheese or chèvre with apple and turkey would also be a lovely sandwich, cold or hot.

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Sprinkled with sliced almonds and extra rosemary, this bread is as pretty as it is delicious. Celebrate cider week from the comfort of your own home with this easy and delicious bread. And check back each week this month for a brand new recipe for your fall bread needs.

Rosemary Almond Cider Bread

Makes one standard loaf

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups superfine almond flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 – 2 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)
2 tsp dried (whole) rosemary, plus more for garnish
1 1/2 tsp salt

1 medium apple, grated, and excess moisture squeezed out1
12 oz dry hard cider

1 Tbsp sliced almonds, to garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×5″ loaf pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together dry ingredients until the flours are no longer lumpy.
  3. Add remaining ingredients, and stir until well combined.
  4. Spread evenly into prepared pan, then top with almonds and an extra pinch of rosemary, if desired.
  5. Bake 55-60 minutes.
  6. Let cool about ten minutes in the pan, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Excellent solo or with your favorite soup. Store leftovers on the counter in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap.

Notes

I never peel/core my apple but you can if you want. Otherwise, just wash it well and ensure there are no seeds in the pile after grating. Use a thin cloth or a couple of paper towels to squeeze out the excess moisture before adding to your bowl.

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Apple Cider Brie Bread

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

Ingredients

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)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a 9×5″ loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
  3. Pour in the cider and stir until completely combined.
  4. Gently fold in apple and cheese.
  5. Scrape into the prepared pan, smoothing the top as best you can.
  6. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out crumb-free.
  7. Let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing. Excellent solo or lightly toasted and spread with a tart jam.

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Hi everyone, hope you’ve had an awesome last couple weeks! My mom came to visit which was awesome not only because it’s great to hang out with my mom, but we repainted my bathroom. It has transformed from a gross lemon yellow into a delightful warm light-medium brown. HUGE difference. No longer do I look kind of sickly when I look in the mirror. No longer do I cringe every time I walk by. No longer do I stare at the walls wondering why someone would pick that color and why they did such a crap job of painting it. It’s magical. I’d post a picture but my bathroom is pretty small and it’s hard to get a reasonable one.

In any case, November has flown by and I can’t believe next week is already December. While pretty soon I’ll be making batches of almond roca and heading back to Alaska for Christmas, right now I’m still in full on fall flavor mode: apple and pumpkin. I’ll be making a pumpkin cheesecake for Thanksgiving but this weekend I was feeling apple-y.Baked Apple Cider Donuts {{Baking Bytes}}

I actually came across this recipe a few months ago when it was crazy hot outside, so I filed it away to use at a later date. Fortunately, it comes together very quickly assuming you have all the ingredients on hand which makes it great for making on a whim.

Baked Apple Cider Donuts {{Baking Bytes}}

These donuts are not overwhelmingly apple flavored but it’s definitely there along with the spices. A cinnamon sugar coating pairs nicely for a cozy experience – kick it up a notch by having some hot cider on the side. They are denser than a fried donut, as the bake variety tends to be, but they are definitely lighter than a typical cake. If you don’t have a donut pan, you can bake them in a mini muffin tin as knockoff donut holes.

Run that Thanksgiving 5k (or go for a walk, or whatever) then come home and make a batch of these donuts while you’re prepping for dinner. It’ll be a great snack and won’t take up too much precious oven time. Just make sure you have a few people to help you eat them all.

Baked Apple Cider Donuts {{Baking Bytes}}

Baked Apple Cider Donuts

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction
Makes12+ donuts

Ingredients

1 cup apple cider

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt

1 egg (room temp)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)

1/2 cup buttermilk (room temp)
1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup sugar
ground cinnamon, to taste

Directions

  1. Reduce the cider by pouring it into a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Measure out 1/2 cup and let it cool in the fridge while you mix the rest of the batter.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a donut pan (or two) or spray a mini muffin tin with nonstick spray and set aside.
  3. Whisk flour, cinnamon, baking soda, cloves, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and sugars until completely combined. Mixture will be grainy but consistent in color. Whisk in the buttermilk, vanilla, and reduced 1/2 cup of cider.
  5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix gently until just combined. Mixture should still be a bit lumpy – don’t over mix!
  6. For donuts: Scoop batter into a large Ziploc bag, snip the tip, and pipe the donut wells 2/3 – 3/4 full. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. For donut holes: Fill mini muffin wells 3/4 full and bake for 9-11 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Let donuts cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack.
  9. Mix together sugar and ground cinnamon to your preference. One at a time, dip still-warm donuts into the sugar and coat completely.
  10. Serve the same day if possible, but store any leftovers in an airtight container on the counter.

Notes

Put the egg in warm water for a few minutes to quickly bring it to room temperature. You can do the same with buttermilk by pouring it into a sealed container first.