So yesterday I had a Halloween party, and I have a ton of leftover hard cider. I was also craving bread this morning, so I thought I would spin off the classic beer bread using cider instead. Beer breads are great because you don’t need yeast, kneading, or rising time. It’s pretty much just mix, pour, bake, scarf down. I like the combination of apple and sage, and it works especially well this time of year.
You will need:
3 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
1/4 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup melted butter
12 oz hard cider
1/2 cup diced (and peeled) apple
2 Tbs chopped fresh sage
Preheat your oven to 375 and grease a loaf pan for later. In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder and mix them together a little. If you don’t have a sifter, just fill your measuring cup with a spoon instead of compressing all the flour into it. If your flour isn’t light enough your bread will be too dense. Now peel and dice your apple. You can use any kind you like. To be honest, I don’t even know what kind I used today. I have several varieties all mixed together. It was fairly medium in size though, and for me 1/2 cup diced was half of the apple. Chop your sage by rolling the leaves (I used roughly 8 I think) into a thin roll and cut across it the short way. Just do a couple more chops after that to make sure the strips aren’t too long. Don’t worry about getting exactly 2 Tbs. That was just my estimate of what I ended up using.
Add your apple and sage into the bowl with the dry ingredients, then melt your butter. Add about half of it to the bowl and reserve the rest for a bit. Pour your hard cider into the bowl and stir around with a spoon, just until combined. Don’t over mix it. The hard cider will pretty much just turn to foam when you add it, but eventually a sticky dough will form. Scoop it into the loaf pan you greased and spread it out. The top won’t be perfectly smooth like a cake, but beer breads always have a nice rustic look to them. Finally, pour the rest of your melted butter over the top, then bake it for 50 minutes.
This will make your kitchen smell like bread and Fall at the same time. It’s great. I, of course, had to cut into it while it was barely cool enough to touch. I think I ate about half the loaf already by myself today. This bread is savory but with a sweetness to it, so it would probably be good with apple butter. I’ve just been eating mine plain or with some softened butter.