Autumn Apple Pull Apart Bread

I have been known to shed a tear when summer shifts to fall, but this year, autumn is proving to be super.  Last week was the greatest of the great! My Mama-san was in town and we got to do all kinds of fun activities, including recreating a painting at the art museum, apple tasting, the pumpkin patch, a river stroll, food carts, the farmers' market (who knew brussel sprouts grow on a stalk?!), baking, and a Moth story slam.  Also got to enjoy many cozy cups of tea and some good walks with the best dog in town.


The apple tasting at the Portland Nursery was an especially festive activity, boasting a chance to try over 50 varieties of apples, apple cider brewing demonstrations, a scarecrow decorating contest, and a surprisingly entertaining puppet show.  Tasting all 50 apples and taking notes with their nifty "Savor The Flavor" tasting guide, I determined my favorites: Ambrosia, Honey Crisp, Northern Spy, Rubinette, and Spitzenberg.  So many awesome apples out there and yet so few available at regular grocery stores. Luckily, the nursery had a good number of the featured apples (including multiple varieties of the glorious Asian pear) for sale at 99 cents/lb! I took the opportunity to stock on up!

With our bounty of apples and a beautiful gifted jar of homemade apple sauce on hand, I knew it was time to return to the fall-y-est of treats, pull apart bread!  This apple bread takes it's base from the previously posted vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Yum Buns, with spices/filling adjusted and apple sauce substituted for the pumpkin puree.  

Pair with farmers' market flowers and a most wonderful mom for optimal enjoyment!



Autumn Apple Pull Apart Bread

For dough--

4 Tbsp coconut oil

1/2 C coconut milk

1 packet (2 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast

1/4 C turbinado sugar

1 tsp salt

1 1/3 C all purpose flour

1 C wheat flour

3/4 C apple sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil

For filling--

1 apple chopped

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 C turbingo sugar

pinch salt

1 C walnuts (chopped)

In a small pot, melt coconut oil on a low heat. Remove pan from burner and add coconut milk (you want to make sure the mixture is not too hot before adding the yeast).  Transfer mixture to a bowl and add sugar and yeast.  Let it sit for 10 minutes.

Next, combine apple sauce, salt, and flour with the mixture.  Kneed the dough about 6-8 minutes, adding a bit more flour if the dough becomes too sticky.  Grease another bowl with olive oil and set the dough in the bowl, turning the dough until it is coated in oil.  Cover with a cloth and allow to rise in a warm spot for about 1.5 hours.

Meanwhile, create the filling, mixing sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chopped apple in a bowl. Set aside.

After the bread has risen, knead it again for approximately 2 minutes and then roll out into a rectangle.  Spread apple filling and sprinkle chopped walnuts atop. Cut the rectangle into 5 long strips and stack the strips on top of one another.  Now cut the one long stacked piece horizontally into 5 smaller squares.  Mash/arrange squares together in a greased bread pan. 

Bake for approximately 40 minutes at 375 degrees F

*Had a bit of trouble determining the bake time, perhaps because apple sauce is more of a liquid than pumpkin? I baked the bread for 8 minutes longer than the buns and then ended up toasting pieces individually before serving as the middle was still very doughy.  Conclusion: check bread at 35 minutes, possibly baking up to 45 minutes.