This Apple Harvest Bread is a homemade yeasted bread stuffed with apple pieces…and topped with a cinnamon streusel!
Apple season in upstate New York is in full swing, and I couldn’t be more excited! I really look forward to eating a nice, juicy, crisp apple at lunch every day. (Plus, an apple a day…eh, you know the rest.) My dog Maximus absolutely loves apples, too! I’ve never seen anything like it…whenever I pull an apple out of the fridge, he practically stands right on top of my feet until I give him a piece. The sound of a dog chomping on a crisp apple always makes me chuckle! Both of my dogs also love the days when I bake fresh bread…so you can imagine their reaction when I made this Apple Harvest Bread! Fresh apples are baked right into the bread, and then the whole loaf is topped with a cinnamon streusel before going into the oven. This Apple Harvest Bread is the perfect way to welcome in Autumn!
A couple of years ago, my wife and I lived in Atlanta, and a Great Harvest Bread opened near us. I had never heard of Great Harvest before, so of course I had to check it out. And I’m glad I did! They made a half-dozen or so different kinds of bread each day, and they rotated their flavors for the seasons. We’d always pick up a loaf or two for special occasions. Once we moved to New York, though, the closest Great Harvest Bread is a couple hours away. So what did I do? Well, I set out to create similar versions of their bread here at home of course! While this Apple Harvest Bread is not meant to be an exact copy, I was nevertheless inspired by Great Harvest’s Apple Scrapple Bread.
To be clear, this bread is more similar to sandwich bread than a quick bread. It does have a touch of sweetness from the apples and the cinnamon streusel, but it is not overly sweet in my opinion. I absolutely love toasting slices of this bread and topping it with a smear of peanut butter or Biscoff Spread! But it’s also delicious just toasted with butter. And my wife had the genius idea last night to use this bread to make a delicious grilled cheese sandwich…so don’t be surprised if that shows up here on Spiced soon!
Apple Harvest Bread
For the Dough
- 5 cups bread flour recommended brand: King Arthur Flour
- 3 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp instant dry yeast
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter softened
- ¾ cup apple sauce
- ½ cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1½ cups Granny Smith apples diced
For the Streusel Topping
- ½ cup cake flour
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- In the bowl of a countertop mixer with the dough hook attached, add all ingredients for the dough (flour, brown sugar, salt, yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg, egg, butter, apple sauce, milk, vanilla, and diced apples). Mix on low speed until dough comes together.
- Increase to medium speed and mix for 7-8 minutes. Dough should be fairly slack and slightly sticky to the touch. Adjust with more flour or water if needed.
- Cover and allow dough to rest in a warm (80°-85°F) location for 1 hour.
- Transfer dough to a well-floured counter and fold. Cover and return to warm location for 1 more hour.
- Meanwhile, combine all of the streusel ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well combined.
- Divide the dough into 2 pieces of equal weight. Loosely shape into ball, cover, and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Shape dough into tight rounds and place on parchment paper. Press 1/3 cup of the streusel into the top of the dough. (If the streusel doesn't stick, just lightly spray the top of the loaf with water. Press the streusel down into the top of the dough.)
- Cover loaves lightly and allow to rest in a warm location for 1.5 hours.
- Very carefully transfer rounds to a sheet pan or peel and place in the oven.
- Bake at 375°F for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown in color. (Note: After 25 minutes, tent the loaves with aluminum foil to prevent streusel from burning.)