Friday, January 6, 2012

Apple Cinnamon Bread Pie

Ain't She Purdy!

Adam and I have noticed that the holidays have not been kind to our waistlines, and so we are trying to eat less fat, smaller portions, and earlier in the day. I have a pretty serious sweet tooth. I crave sugar after meals and at tea time (4pm and 10pm has been tea since childhood).

Yesterday,  I realized I had three apples that had to be used. Instead of making my usually butter loaded tart or pie, I decided to try to make something delicious and low fat. What I came up with was both special and delicious. It still isn't 100% guilt free, but it has almost no added fat and doesn't taste "healthy" at all.

I got a pretty excellent crumb with no fat and fast acting yeast!

Bread Dough Ingredients:

2 1/2 teaspoons fast acting dry yeast (you can use the regular dry yeast too, but expect to be around for about 5 hours)
2 tablespoons maple syrup (I use Grade B for more flavor, you could also use honey or sugar)
2 cups warm water
flour (I used half whole wheat and half white)

Filling Ingredients:

5 Apples (I only had three so I used three, I like a tarter firmer apple for baking. Granny Smith is my favorite grocery store variety.)
1 small lemon's juice
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup walnuts
1 teaspoon of flour diluted in about a tablespoon of cold water
extra water as needed

1. Dissolve the yeast and sweetener in around 1/2 cup of the water. Allow it to sit until it proofs, or bubbles. This will take 5-15 minutes depending on the temperature of your kitchen.

2. Add the rest of the water. Slowly mix in the flour. I didn't put an amount because it is consistency you are going for. You want the dough to be very sticky. I could pick it up, but it was sticking to everything. When you're using whole wheat flour, keeping the dough sticky for the first rise allows for extra absorption of water by the bran.

3. Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow it to rise until it has doubled. While it is rising, begin the filling.

4. Peel, core, and slice the apples. I left the halved because it looked so pretty, but cutting them into sixths would be the best. Toss them in the lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. The juice also adds a nice acidity to cut through the sugar.

5. Add the butter to a pan or skillet. when it has coated the pan add the apples with lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, salt, raisins, and walnuts. Add just enough water so that the sugar creates a sauce. Stir in the flour water mixture which will help the sauce to thicken. Slowly simmer the apples until they begin to soften, and the brown sugar thickens. Make sure you continue to stir so that the sugar doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan.

6. When the bread is done rising punch it down gently. You will probably notice that a lot of the stickiness is gone. If it is still too sticky to handle you can add a little flour now. The dough should still be very soft.

7. Roll or stretch the dough out like a pizza crust and lay it over a greased 9 inch round cake pan. Pour in the filling as if it were a pie. Then fold over the edges covering the filling. This is a very rustic style bread pie.

8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

9. Allow the pie a second rise until the bread portion looks like it has doubled in size.

10. Bake the bread pie until the crust is a deep golden color and if you tap the top it sounds hollow. You should also be able to remove it from the pan and the bottom should be deep brown as well.

11. Remove it from the pan and allow it to cool on a wire baking rack. Cooling it outside of the pan insures that the crust won't get soggy.


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