It’s Apple Time

I’m excited to bring you a recipe post today, something I haven’t done in many months. I’m slowly trying to get into posting mode again and have a few other recipes planned ahead. I still have a lot of doctor appointments and health concerns to attend to. I’ve gotten a fancy heart monitor I was talking about in the previous post but I’m yet to attach myself to it. I’m obviously procrastinating, it’s hot outside and those sticky pads are itchy and I don’t want to drag this box on me 24/7, and, well, I’m just procrastinating … Because I probably don’t want to know the results just yet. When you know, then you need to deal with it, and, I guess I just don’t want to. There, I psychoanalyzed myself. Eventually I’ll have to though. And I have a surgical appointment scheduled for next month and then I’ll have to decide on surgery either at the end of this year or early next one.

Then there’s this other pesky problem of a foot fracture and a torn ligament I’ve been dealing with this summer. And, guess what happened last weekend when I had people over for my mom’s birthday party? My kid, aka known as the apple of my eye, also sometimes known as the PITA of my life, was sitting too close to me at the party table (when he was little, those were the times when he’d also be wiping his hands on me, ketchup handprints was my favorite dress pattern in his childhood) and then he moved his chair and, accidentally though, placed the chair back down, with him on it, and on top of my foot. The other foot!! The one formerly known as the good foot!

So, back I went to the doctor for more x-rays because the formerly good foot is now black and blue too. When I was a child myself, I’d always been very tall with legs so long I literally used to trip over them. I seemed to produce a kid too who has no control of his body movements either. We make a fine family! The doctor said we need to monitor the “good” foot now too and hope it doesn’t have a chipped bone that the x-ray didn’t show. I told him I’ll jump off a bridge before I put another foot cast on, he was not amused.

In a mean while, I now have to re-think my whole shoe wardrobe as I found out many of the shoes that I used to wear are just not good anymore. Somehow I’m not too excited about this shoe shopping right now. I keep staring at all the pretty heels sitting in my closets that I can’t wear.

Do you think the Universe will still love me if I don’t have strappy heels on?

Maybe if I tell you that I have a delicious recipe instead. I hope you click that link below to go to the actual site to see the rest of the pictures. I’m sure you’d want to rush and make the recipe yourself.

 

What’s Cooking This Week

The fall is here even though it definitely doesn’t feel so. It’s been in the 80s this whole past week and there’s no relief in sight. There is an abundance of crispy fall apples though so I hope you’ll take advantage of it and make many delicious apple recipes this autumn. Today’s recipe is a great combo of a traditional Jewish challah and a simple apple cake that’s a staple at this time of the year. Challah requires yeast dough and, if you’re a gluten free baker like myself, you know how hard it is to make a yeast dough with a gluten free recipe that resembles a rise and softness of a traditional wheat bread because gluten is what you need to produce all that goodness but gluten is what cannot be in our bread.

Trust me when I tell you that I’ve done much experimenting before I thought I got a handle on working with gluten free yeast dough. And, I have some tips to give: no matter if the gluten free flour mix tells you to use it as 1:1 ratio with a regular recipe, be ready to make some substitutions and aim to add slightly less flour than what the recipe asks for; always add just a tad more yeast than what a regular recipe calls for; buy a high quality/premium yeast (yes, it makes a difference), I use Saff yeast; substitute water in a recipe for carbonated water when you can to aid with rapid rise, I used apple cider in today’s recipe though as it has extra fermented sugar to help with the process; choose gluten free flour mix that doesn’t have a lot of xanthan gum and don’t choose bean-based flours as those are heavy. For the past several months, I’ve successfully used this new gluten free flour the Butterfly Blend and it’s now my favorite brand for yeast dough baking. The blend is much lighter than any other gluten free mixes I’ve seen on the market and it feels like there’s a higher ratio of starches to flours to make it so light and useful for yeast dough baking. (Please know that I’m not affiliated with any marketing or promotions, so, if I’m talking about some new product, it’s only because I genuinely like it and use it myself). I now use Butterfly blend exclusively for yeast dough but I still stick with either Cup4Cup or King Arthur flours for any non-yeast baking like cakes, muffins, pies, etc. Please note that I used Butterfly Blend for today’s recipe, so, if you’re using a different gluten free blend or a regular wheat flour, you may need to add more/less flour to get the same results.

Hope you like today’s recipe and my tips on gluten free yeast dough baking.

 

Apple Challah Bread

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This is a sweet bread that resembles a cross between a traditional challah and a simple apple cake. It’s delicious for breakfast with your morning coffee or as a snacking indulgence in the afternoon at tea time.

In a bowl, combine 1 cup of warm apple cider with 1 Tbsp of sugar and 1 1/2 tsp of yeast, stir and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes.

Then add 2 eggs, 1/3 cup of oil, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 1/4 tsp of salt and mix well. Start adding flour in 1/4 cup increments stirring to incorporate it. Dough will be very soft and sticky. Knead it for a few minutes sprinkling some more flour on the surface and your hands.

Place dough in a bowl, cover and let it rise for an hour in a warm place. Punch it dough, gather the sides to form a ball again, cover and let it rise for another hour.

Cut the apple in quarters, take the seeds out and cut each quarter into very thin slices, sprinkle some lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown and set them aside. Combine 2 Tbsps of raw sugar with 2 tsps. of cinnamon, set it aside.

Once the dough is ready, sprinkle some flour on a surface and knead for a few minutes until it’s soft and elastic. Roll it out into a large rectangle, don’t make it too thin. Place a row of apple slices across one side of the dough and sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top, cover it with dough and then roll it, place more apple slices and repeat the process until you have a log of dough with apple slices inside.

Cut the dough roll into slices and place them around inside a buttered pound cake pan with removable bottom. Place a slice of apple in-between each dough slice. Top with egg wash and the remaining cinnamon sugar.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350F degrees for about 35-40 minutes or until the top is slightly browned.

Wait (if you can) before removing the bread from the cake pan.

Serve it with honey and apple slices for a delicious morning or afternoon meal.

Look at the softness and rise this gluten free blend produced! Or I produced! 🙂

Don’t you want to join me and have a slice of this sweet bread right now?! 🙂

Gluten Free Apple Challah Bread

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, dessert
Cuisine: American, International, Jewish, Russian
Serves: 8-10
A sweet combination of a traditional challah bread and a simple apple cake.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of apple cider, warm
  • 2½ tsp of rapid rise yeast
  • ⅓ cup + 1 Tbsp of sugar
  • 2 + 1 eggs
  • ⅓ cup of oil
  • 1¼ tsp of salt
  • 2 Tbsp of raw sugar
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 large apple
  • 2¼ cup of flour, I used Butterfly Blend

Instructions

  1. Combine apple cider, yeast and 1 Tbsp of sugar, set it aside for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add 2 eggs, salt, oil and sugar to combine, gradually add flour until a soft dough forms.
  3. Sprinkle some flour and knead the dough for a couple of minutes.
  4. Place in a bowl, cover and let it rise for an hour in a warm place.
  5. Punch dough down, gather the sides in a ball again, cover and let it rise for another hour.
  6. Combine raw sugar with cinnamon, set it aside.
  7. Cut the apple in quarters, slice each quarter into thin slices, sprinkle some lemon juice to prevent brown spots.
  8. Transfer dough on a floured surface and knead until a soft and elastic dough forms.
  9. Roll it out into a large rectangular shape.
  10. Place a row of apple slices along a shorter side, sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top, flip the edge of the dough over to cover apple slices, place more apple slices on top, repeat the process until you form a log.
  11. Cut the dough log into slices and place them around into a buttered pound cake pan, place a slice of apple in-between each dough slice, make an egg wash and brush the tops, sprinkle the remaining cinnamon sugar on top.
  12. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350F degrees for about 35-40 minutes or until the tops are slightly brown.
  13. Cool before taking it out of the pan.

Notes

Please note the recipe uses Butterfly Blend gluten free flour. You may need to adjust the amount of flour if you're using a different gluten free blend or a regular wheat flour.