I am really excited to share this delicious cheesy apple breakfast bread with you today! Not only is it quick to prepare, but, while it is baking, you will have time to serve up juice, yogurt and coffee, or a delicious smoothie! Or, if you want to have an even quicker breakfast on the table, you can bake it as moreish muffins. Who doesn’t enjoy a tiny cake just for them!
It is filled with lots of good things, so this is a recipe that you can feel good about feeding to your family. With the use of whole wheat flour, wheat bran and oats, it really packs a nutritional punch. It’s also not overly sweet, containing only ½ cup of brown sugar for the whole loaf. The hearty batter is further enriched with cooked chunks of apple, flavored with cinnamon, and rich chunks of gooey cheese.
You can also make the batter the night before you want to bake it, which makes it very family-friendly. Just remove it from the refrigerator and spread it in the pan in the morning, and then bake. In that case it should be done and baked by the time everyone gets up and about. (Do note that it will take a few minutes longer to bake with cold batter.)
You will need a deep (9 by 5-inch) loaf tin for this recipe. Butter it really well and then line it with baking parchment. I like to leave an overhang of paper so that, when I am ready to take the baked loaf out of the pan, I can just lift it out onto a wire rack to cool without much problem.
For this cheesy apple breakfast bread, sweet chunks of apple are sautéed in a bit of butter until soft and then sprinkled with aromatic cinnamon. I don’t know about you, but the smell of cinnamon to me always smells like “Home Sweet Home” and winter. If the smell of that doesn’t get the “sleepy heads” stirring, I don’t know what will! For warmer, summery months, you can always make strawberry bread instead!
You will want to measure all of the dry ingredients, both flours, the wheat bran, the soda, and the baking powder together in a large bowl. Mix everything well together so that everything is evenly distributed.
You don’t want half your batter to have baking powder and half not, so making sure that all is mixed well together is really important. Once you have done that you can stir in the cheese (s). Today I used a mix of Swiss and Cheddar cheeses. You can also use just Swiss or just Cheddar. It is fabulously tasty either way.
I have a pretty fail-proof method of creaming the butter and sugar together and adding the eggs. First of all, you want your butter at room temperature, but not melted.
Start with a wooden spoon and push the sugar and butter together with the back of the spoon, pressing it against the side of the bowl. You want to make sure all of the butter and sugar have been creamed together without any lumps.
It should be light, creamy and even without lumps. Once you have achieved that you can start beating in the eggs one at a time. Again, I use a wooden spoon to do this. The reason I only add one egg at a time, beating each one in well is to prevent the butter and sugar from curdling. You will get a much better end result with a batter that isn’t curdled.
Once you have mixed all the eggs in, you can slowly beat in the milk and the vanilla and then finally stir in the cooked apple, mixing everything well together to combine. As you can see, I have a lovely mixture that is curdle-free.
Now you will want to combine your dry and wet ingredients to make a batter. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients all at once.
Since our cheesy apple breakfast bread is a quick bread (meaning it doesn’t use yeast for leavening) you will want to combine everything just until combined and moistened. There is no need for it to be completely smooth as in yeast bread or a cake.
In fact, a few lumps are actually quite welcome and make for better, lighter bread. Overhandling the batter makes for a tough quick bread, which is something we really don’t want.
Once you have it all mixed together you can spoon it into the prepared pan. Spread it out evenly and then tap the pan gently on the counter a few times to settle it. You don’t want to over-fill your pan. You should have at least an inch of rising space left at the top of the pan. If you have too much batter, bake a few muffins on the side.
I got really fanciful today and thinly sliced some sweet red eating apple to decorate the top of the bread. This is not really necessary, but I wanted it to look especially nice. So, if you do too, just slice some apple, and arrange it on the top of the loaf in an appetizingly decorative manner!
I do have to say that it looks really appealing fresh out of the oven! Leave it to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then lift it carefuly out onto a wire rack to cool just a bit longer. You will want to serve it warm, but you don’t want to serve it hot as it will be too difficult to slice when very hot.
I like to dust it with a bit of confectioner’s sugar to give it a really pretty and most appealing look. I find a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar dresses up most things, don’t you?
This is wonderfully delicious if you serve it served warm. Just look at those scrumptious chunks of cheese and apple. If there is one flavour combination that I really love it is the combination of apples and cheese!
- - 3 TBS butter
- - 2 cups peeled and diced apple
- - 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- - 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- - 1 ½ cups of whole wheat flour
- - ¾ cup rolled oats
- - 1/3 cup wheat bran
- - 1 TBS baking powder
- - 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- - 2 cups diced swiss cheese, or a combination of cheddar and swiss
- - ½ cup butter, softened (in addition to the above)
- - ½ cup soft light brown sugar, packed
- - 3 large free-range eggs
- - 2 cups whole milk
- - 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 375*F. Butter a 9-inch X 5-inch loaf tin, and line with baking parchment. Set aside.
- Melt the 3 TBS of butter in a skillet. Add the apple chunks and cook, stirring frequently, until softened. Stir in the cinnamon and set aside to cool.
- Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir in the diced cheese. Make a well in the centre.
- Cream the butter together with the soft light brown sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then gradually beat in the milk and vanilla. Add all at once to the dry ingredients and stir together with a wooden spoon just to combine, without over-mixing. The batter should be a bit lumpy rather than smooth.
- Spread the batter in the prepared tin. (If you like, you can lay a few apple slices on top to decorate at this point.)
- Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 1 hour. The loaf should be golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before lifting out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Serve warm and sliced with fresh fruit if desired.
⦁This batter can be made ahead of time, stored in the refrigerator and then baked on the morning. Do add a few minutes to the bake time as the batter will be cold.
⦁You may also bake the batter in muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the muffins.
⦁The loaf can be baked ahead of time and then sliced and toasted for breakfast.
⦁This loaf freezes well, both whole and sliced. If freezing slices, freeze them individually on a baking tray before storing in an airtight container so that you can remove as many or as few slices as required.
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Marie Rayner is a retired Chef, freelance writer, recipe developer, food blogger, and Cookbook author. She makes her home in Chester, UK, where she lives with her husband, Todd, and their much beloved English Cocker, Mitzie. Her motto is “Life is far too short to eat bad food,” and her goal is to share delicious and easy recipes which anyone can enjoy and cook in the comfort of their own home.