The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

How to get apple flavor in yeasted bread?

soupcxan's picture

How to get apple flavor in yeasted bread?

I threw some bread together with following ingredients, and while it turned out just fine, I can't detect even a hint of apple flavor in the result. The loaf that came out is tasty with a bit of sweetness...but why don't I taste any apple? And how much apple would I have to add to get it? I'm not looking for a thick chunky apple bread leavened with baking powder, but a light sandwich loaf with a little apple flavor. Appreciate any thoughts you have.

  • 16 oz unbleached flour
  • 1 whole apple, peeled and cored, then finely grated
  • 6 oz 2% milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2.5 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
JMonkey's picture

I'm too tired to type in the recipe at the moment, but I remember that in Jeffrey Hammelman's Bread, there's a recipe for Normandy Apple Bread. I've never made it, though I certainly intend to do so in the Fall. It uses apple cider and dried apples, and though it does use commercial yeast, about 15%-20% of the flour is pre-fermented in a sourdough starter.

Let me know if you want the formula, and I'll try to look it up tomorrow evening after I get home from work, if someone doesn't beat me to it.

browndog's picture
  • 2 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water divided
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup light oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8-9 cups ap flour
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, diced apple
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins

Proof yeast in 1/2 cup water w/ sugar, combine everything but apples, raisins and lemon juice. Knead til smooth and elastic, let rise til double, about 1 hour. Punch down, turn over, let rise 30 minutes. Combine apples, raisins, lemon juice. Divide dough into 3 parts, knead one third of the apple mixture into each part, shape into rounds. Place each in an 8" round baking pan that has been sprinkled w/ cornmeal. Let rise til doubled. Brush with egg glaze if desired. 350 degrees, 30-35 minutes.


soupcxan, this is a really nice but sweetish bread--when I make it I use about 1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast, I use fewer raisins cus I don't much like them---you could certainly eliminate them and reduce the honey if you want a more sandwich type bread, as well as bake the loaves in rectangular pans. I also add about a teaspoon of salt because the salt seems so low, which is probably because of the lemon juice, which I also reduce to about 1 tbsp to avoid a lemon flavor. I'm sure JMonkey's recipe will be more what you're after but I thought I'd share this anyway cus it's a favorite, it's a nice 'give away' bread too. You could add applesauce in place of liquid to any recipe I should think. There is also an interesting product that I use sometimes, boiled cider, which is exactly that--apple cider (juice really) boiled to a syrup stage, absolutely nothing else. Very sweet/tart, some people LOVE it, some people don't. I just toss maybe 1/2 a cup or so in my dough as some or all the sweetener I'm using. 

JMonkey's picture

Sorry I'm a bit late posting the recipe. Busy busy busy. In any case, I've never made this bread, though I certainly intend to do so once apple season comes back around in September and October. Personally, I'd probably ditch the yeast, and just let the sourdough do its thing, but I've never made a bread from Bread that wasn't exceptional, so I'm sure it's scrumptious either way. The recipe may be found on page 182.

Stiff-levain build:

  • Bread flour: 5.8 oz or 1 1/8 cups
  • Water: 3.5 oz or 1/2 cup
  • Mature culture at 60% hydration: 1.2 oz or 2T + 1 tsp

Final dough:
  • Bread flour: 21 oz or 5.25 cups
  • Whole wheat flour: 3.2 oz or 3/4 cup
  • Water: 7.4 oz or 1 cup
  • Apple cider: 10.9 oz or 1.25 cups
  • Salt: .6 oz or 1 Tbs
  • Yeast: .1 oz or 1 tsp
  • Levain: 9.3 oz (All less 2 Tbs + 1 tsp)
  • Dried apples: 4.8 oz or 1 5/8 cups

The starter:
The night before you bake, mix up the stiff starter and let it sit, covered at room temp (roughly 70 degrees F)for about 12 hours.

The apples:
Peel, core and slice the apples and put them in an oven at about 250 degrees F until they feel leathery. Not sure how long that will take, and Hamelman doesn't say. I'd start checking after 30 minutes and then check back every 15 minutes after that, myself.

If you're doing a traditional knead, by hand, I guess 5 minutes would do it, adding the apples in at the end., with a fold about halfway through the bulk rise. I'd probably just mix everything, let it sit for an hour, and then do 3 folds with 30-45 minutes in between them. If you include yeast, it should take 1 to 2 hours. If you go pure sourdough, I'd guess it'd take 4-5 hours at room temperature. If you're using a mixer, Hamelman recommends 3 minutes at first speed, 3 minutes at second speed, and then add the apples for a short bit on first speed until incorporated.

Divide the dough into two and shape into boules or batards. He says rolls are good, too. I'd be they are!

Final proof and bake:
With yeast, 1-1.5 hours at 76 degrees F. With pure sourdough, I'd guess 2-3 hours. Bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes (with steam, if you like) and then lower to 420 degrees F for about 25 minutes. The lower temperature prevents the bread from getting too dark due to the sugars in the apples and the cider.
Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Or you could try leaving out the honey (it's overpowering the apple taste) and substitute half the milk with applejuice, it will curdle the milk if you mix them together but not to worry.  And if you have some powdered milk, add a heaping tablespoon to maintain that soft crumb.  Just an Idea,  --Mini Oven