I wanted a breakfast toast that would make the butter go “ooh”.
I also had few Pink Lady apples squirreled away in the fridge — probably the last of the crop (sniffle), so I wanted to give them all a proper send off. This chewy, crusty bread was just the thing.
Thanks for being so lovely, ladies. And I don’t just mean the apples.
Because the apples were still so perfectly sweet-tart, I roasted them with just a squeeze of honey and lemon instead of sugar and cinnamon. The nuts were the mix of toasted almonds, pecans, and walnuts that usually goes in my oatmeal.
The original recipe also had the bread rising in the pot and starting in a cold oven. Sometime I am going to try this method, but based on the comments, it sounded like Jim’s hot pot/hot oven was the way to go.
No-Knead Roasted Apple-Nut Bread
(adapted from King Arthur Flour)
Makes 1 large boule.
3 1/4 c. all-purpose or bread flour
1 c. whole wheat or white wheat flour
1.5 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 3/4 c. cool water
2-2.5 c. apples (I used 3 medium-small)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
2 TB sugar or honey, or to taste
a squeeze of lemon
1/2 to 1 c. chopped nuts, toasted
In a (very) large bowl, mix the flours, salt, yeast, and water just until a sticky, shaggy dough forms. Cover and let sit at room temperature at least 8 hours.
To roast the apples, preheat the oven to 425ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I left the apple peels on and chopped them about 1/4” thick. Toss with sugar or honey and lemon to taste.
Bake the apples for 10-15 minutes, until fork-tender but not mushy. Let cool. Try not to eat them all before making the bread.
Turn the sticky, bubbly dough out onto a well-floured surface. Knead in the apples and nuts. This part is not easy. If the dough starts to resist you, let it rest for a minute. Don’t worry if looks a little rough (like mine did.)
Shape the dough into a boule and place it on a well-floured plate. Let it rise at room temperature for about 2 hours.
About an hour and a half into the rise, place a lidded Dutch oven (or other oven-safe baker) in the oven. Preheat at 425ºF for 30 minutes.
When it is preheated, carefully remove the Dutch oven and place the boule in it. (I rubbed my hands with some olive oil to better handle the sticky dough.) Put the lid bake on and bake for 40 minutes.
Remove the lid and bake for another 5-15 minutes, until the crust is a deep golden brown. Carefully take the bread out of the Dutch oven and cool on a rack. Cool completely before slicing.