Imagine this: a yeasted bread that behaves like a cake, being topped with a sweet streusel. A bit weird, but it happens here. The “Apple Oat Bread” from the September/ October 2019 issue of Bake from Scratch, tests our sensibilities.

Apple Oat Bread
Bake from Scratch, September/October 2019
Makes 1 loaf

3 2/3 cups bread flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
0.25-oz. instant yeast
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1¼ cups warm apple cider (120°F to 130°F)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 cup chopped Honeycrisp apple
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. water
Oat Streusel (recipe follows)
Softened butter or apple butter, to serve

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together flour, oats, sugar, salt, yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves by hand.

In a small bowl, whisk together warm apple cider and melted butter. Add cider mixture to flour mixture, and beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Add apple, and beat until most of apple pieces are picked up by dough, about 1 minute.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently to completely incorporate apple, about 5 times. Lightly oil a large bowl. Shape dough into a smooth ball, and place in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Spray a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

Lightly pat dough into a 9-inch circle. Fold top third of dough to center, pressing to seal. Fold bottom third over folded portion, pressing to seal. Fold dough in half lengthwise so long edges meet. Using the heel of your hand, firmly press edges to seal. Place dough, seam side down, in prepared pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F) until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small-bowl, whisk together egg and 1 Tbsp. water. Brush top of loaf with egg wash, and sprinkle with Oat Streusel.

Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 205°F, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool completely on a wire rack. Serve with softened butter or apple butter.

Oat Streusel
Makes ¾ cup

¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. old-fashioned oats
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

In a small bowl, stir together flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Add melted butter, and stir until mixture is crumbly.

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Feel the powdery bread flour after it whisks. The combined scents of cinnamon + nutmeg + allspice + cloves remind us of why we bake in the fall, after all.

I warmed the apple cider and 2 Tbsp. butter on the stove top, and made sure to take its temperature (120°F) before adding it to my flour/yeast mix.

I needed to bake this bread for 75 minutes, before I hit the desired 205°F.

The oat streusel is admittedly the winning ticket, here. It’s crumbly/sweet atop the thick, strong slices of bread. And the bits of apple throughout are also a sweet relief. But make no mistake, this is indeed bread.

Next time, I’ll walk down the savory road with my good friend(!) Yotam Ottolenghi. I’ll make his multi-step “Butternut Squash and Fondue Pie with Pickled Red Chiles,” from the October 14, 2019 issue of The New York Times. Come back to my site next week, to enjoy this cheesy indulgence with me.