Start the Day Off Sweet
Whoever said, “Man cannot live by bread alone” clearly never experienced English muffin bread slathered with homemade apple butter. Made with sweet, crisp apples and scented warmly with cinnamon and cloves, apple butter is the comforting breakfast treat to have up your sleeve during this change of season and in the months to come.
I love how underrated breakfast is. Although most of my social calendar revolves around lunches with girlfriends or group dinners out on the town, there’s nothing sweeter than a quiet meal in the morning hours with the people under my own roof. My mornings always start with the trickling sound of the coffee pot and the pitter-patter of little toddler feet coming down the stairs for breakfast.
Although they sometimes request cereal or a nibble of pastry, often the breakfast of choice is a thick slice of toast with their choice of toppings. Up until recently, my kids had not ever tried apple butter, but I’m thrilled to report they’re 100% in on the new fall breakfast lineup. Apple butter and English Muffin Bread is a major win in our house.
This English muffin bread, as its name suggests, is the sliced loaf form of the classic breakfast baked good. With a craggy top and deep nooks and crannies throughout, this bread toasts beautifully. It is also terrific vehicle for any topping that adorns it — especially for apple butter made with Stemilt Fuji Apples!
Best Bread for Apple Butter
Thankfully, making both the bread and apple butter is as simple as you would hope. The bread requires little more than flour, yeast, and milk, and comes together in a single bowl. The recipe rises quickly and bakes even faster, and the recipe makes two loaves of bread. We dust the bottoms (and tops, if you’d like!) with cornmeal, and you’ll recognize each slice by that characteristic English muffin flavor.
The apple butter recipe is equally simple and comes together over a few hours in a crockpot. We peel, core, and slice Stemilt Fuji Apples before tossing them with cinnamon, cloves, salt, and maple syrup. After a quick stint in the slow cooker, we puree the spiced mixture and then continue cooking to allow it to thicken up. The result is a spreadable puree that lathers on toast thickly and almost tastes like fall. It’s comfortingly delicious.
While the loaves of bread will keep well in the freezer, the apple butter will stay nicely while refrigerated in a jar.
- Apple Butter
- 2 pounds of apples (I used fuji), peeled, cored and roughly sliced
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of cloves
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- English Muffin Bread
- 1/4 cup (60 gm) lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp honey
- 4 tsp active dry yeast
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2-1/4 cups milk, lukewarm
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
If this homemade bread and homemade apple butter doesn't taste like fall, we don't know what will.
- Directions for the Apple Butter:
- Combine the apples, maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a slow cooker and set to high for 4-5 hours, stirring hourly until the apples are soft and juices are starting to get sticky around the edges of the pot.
- Carefully remove the mixture from the slow cooker and puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return the apple mixture back to the slow cooker and cook for an additional 1-2 hours or until desired consistency is reached. Add the vanilla extract and taste for sweetness. Add an additional tablespoon of maple syrup if desired. Allow to cool prior to use.
- Directions for English Muffin Bread:
- Combine the water, honey, and yeast in a large bowl of a stand mixer. Allow the yeast to dissolve. Add in one cup of flour and the milk, stirring to combine. Add in the remaining flour, the salt, and the baking soda, and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Lightly grease two 8”x4” loaf pans and dust them with cornmeal. Dump half of the thin dough into each prepared pan. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise in a warm spot in the kitchen until the loaves dome an inch outside of the pan.
- In the meantime, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Once the loaves have risen, bake in the preheated oven about 20-22 minutes or until the tops are golden and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and cool about 15 minutes in the pan. Remove from the pan and cool completely. Serve bread toasted and sliced.