Monday, December 29, 2014

Good and bad apple breads

Back in November, we picked all the remaining apples off of our Pink Lady apple tree. We planted this tree (along a bunch of other fruit trees) 7 or so years ago, and this is the first year it bore more than a few apples.

Our Pink Lady apple tree

These apples are gorgeous and tasty, with a sweet-tart flavor that appeals even to green-apple lovers. They're great for eating as-is, but they also work well in applesauce and baking.

A Pink Lady apple

We tried two recipes:
The result of the first recipe was delicious, if a bit undercooked. We'll definitely try it again. The second bread we didn't even bother to freeze or save for bread pudding. It just didn't taste good.

The applesauce bread recipe is a variant of a Laurel's Kitchen banana bread recipe. It has lots of applesauce, plus raisins, walnuts, and spices. (We used big golden raisins I'd found at Berkeley Bowl.) The bread uses only whole wheat flour, and it has no eggs.

Good apple: the outside (the dark thing is a raisin that got extra cooked)
Our modifications were few. We added more walnuts than the recipe called for. We used all whole wheat bread flour, and no whole wheat pastry flour. Next time I'll either skip the cloves or use much less.

Good apple: the inside

The second apple bread was kind of an ordinary bread with chunks of apples and carrots added. It was slightly sweet, had perhaps too much gluten, and, like most of the recipes I've tried from that cookbook, just didn't taste great. A little salt might've helped, or more sugar and some spices.

Bad apple: the outside

It was weird to me that, in a book full of recipes that use a bit of applesauce, this bread didn't use any. Also, the book is usually very precise about amounts, but it just said "medium" apples. I'd have liked to have more guidance—weight or volume ranges.

Bad apple: the inside, with electric orange carrot bits

The first two loaves I made from this book (raisin bread and maple-walnut) were tasty, but I've had bad luck ever since. Lately I've been making breads from the Hensberger book, and even when I reduce the salt, those work out much better.

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