Simple Apple Bread

4 02 2010

Something really clicked with those pear muffins. (Oh yeah: Sous Chef reporting!) Part of it was: “Hey, baking’s not so hard! And actually, it’s kind of fun!” But the other part, and the point I’m making here, is that I realized how easy it was the grab a muffin for breakfast on the go. Sure, muffins aren’t the healthiest thing I could eat for breakfast. But the alternative so far has been I buy something twice as large at a coffee shop when I pick up my morning espresso, and that’s no good either. Lesser evil, here,  people.

It was great to have access to easy breakfast all week, until the pear muffins were gone. And wouldn’t it be great to do something like that every weekend? Bake something – or cook something, or whatever – every weekend, so that I have something all week? (This week I hardboiled a batch of eggs for breakfast eating, but that’s probably not advisable long term considering the Sous Chef’s inherited legacy of bad cholesterol.)

Peeled and delicious! 3 varieties of Washington apples.

Apples are pretty much the only other fruit, aside from pears, that you can get at the farmer’s market right now – so apples it was. Incidentally, you probably already know that Washington is a huge apple state. That’s what we grow here. Like Iowa has corn, and Idaho has potatos, we have apples. I clearly remember the first time I heard a commercial for apples on the radio. I was like really? You have a commercial to tell me to eat Pink Ladies? There are dozens of apple varieties, and I wanted to mix mine up. I got a Granny Smith (the recipe I followed used them), a Galaxy Gala and a Braeburn. (I looked for some Jazz apples, which I’d tried at the farmer’s market before and loved, but saw none.)

Baking is easy! And then you spill.

A little googling introduced me to this guy named Pete, who bakes! There were dozens of recipe websites that came up in the search results, but I liked Pete’s writing style, and his recipe looked simple, so I found a great guide for my bread (and a new food blog to follow!).

This was the first use of the bundt cake pan. As the Chef correctly pointed out, it’s much easier to travel with this stuff in muffin form, but I was decided. The pear bread was supposed to be bread, and so was this. Plus, I was just imagining how AWESOME it was going to look with sifted powdered sugar on top!

The recipe didn't call for vanilla. I called shenanigans.

The story actually goes like this: I pulled out all the ingredients and put them on the kitchen table, where the mixing/magic was to happen. As I added and stirred and this and that, I realized I’d pulled out vanilla on autopilot, and there was NO vanilla in the recipe! I didn’t even hesitate: I whipped out my measuring spoons and added maybe a tablespoon of vanilla. Snap! (Sorry, Pete.)

Conveniently, the afternoon of this adventure I ended up with not one, not two but THREE guests in my apartment who were willing guinea pigs for my baking adventure. One was on study break, one was pirating my wireless (it’s not really pirating if they have permission, is it), and one was the Chef. Imagine me basking publicly in the glory of this beautiful bread.

CHOMP

If I’d had any forethought at all I wouldn’t have turned it over onto an orange towel, but what’s done is done. I took some photos and then my friends and I ate nearly half of this in one sitting. Thankfully I had enough left for my breakfasts.

I can’t wait until more fruit is available at the market – the summer will explode with baking!

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