Apple Harvest Bread is a delicious and fluffy challah bread studded with naturally sweet apple chunks. Apples and cinnamon make this the most dreamy fall bread.
I've been dreaming of apple desserts for weeks. What a treat to wake up on Sunday morning to our first autumn cool front (in most other places, it was an actual cold front) and to this gorgeous apple harvest bread. But it is beautiful, nonetheless, and I will take this temperature drop any day.
This bread maybe looks daunting and unapproachable, but really, it's not that difficult to put together!!
Originally published October 7, 2014 and updated November 5, 2020. I have been meaning to share this incredible bread for so long. Today is a day we are all needing extra comfort. Make this cozy bread and enjoy a slice with a hot cup of tea or coffee.
It’s no secret that I adore any thing with apples. I may have a slight obsession with apple cakes. This apple bread was something I dreamed about baking for a while. It is made with a simple challah bread recipe and gorgeous apple chunks and warm cinnamon. This is a special bread. As with any yeast type of dough, it is a bread made with love.
You can’t rush it, and that is why I love making yeast breads. It’s the process that is so lovely. So make this a weekend baking project. I found it on King Arthur’s Flour and they call it an Apple Challah Bread. I adore challah breads and have shared quite a few of them here.
So when you find the time and are craving the comfort that you can only find in baking bread, I do hope you bake this gorgeous apple bread.
If you could make the dough, you could put this gorgeous bread together. I've been dreaming of baking this recipe for over 2 years. What stopped me from making it? I have no clue.
Maybe I was afraid it wouldn't look as gorgeous as the one I saw on the King Arthur Flour blog and on this blog. It could be because I've been baking more and more yeast breads each year, I couldn't remember why I didn't bake this sooner.
I did follow their challah bread recipe and didn't use the one I usually make. This is a challah dough with honey instead of sugar. Although I always add a little bit of sugar to my yeast when it's proofing. It's what my great-aunt used to do and it's a baking habit I can't break. I also decided to cook my apples a little bit in the cinnamon sugar. I wasn't too excited about baking with completely raw chunks of apples. I like my apple desserts with very soft pieces of apples. I was envisioning a bread almost like an apple pie.
How do you make an apple harvest bread?
These are the ingredients you need to make this beautiful apple challah bread:
For the dough:
- instant yeast
- vegetable oil, safflower preferred
For the filling:
- medium-to-large apples
- ground cinnamon
- granulated sugar
I didn't take any photos of the dough making process. But once you get the dough together, it's pretty easy to assemble.
When you have your dough rolled out and filled and folded over with the apple pieces, it's time to slice it carefully into large pieces. A very sharp knife is important.
Once your dough is prepped and filled with the apple cinnamon chunks, it gets cut into large sections and placed in your baking dish. And it's totally fine if apple pieces fall out when you move it around, just place on top and tuck in or leave it out. The important step after that is to let it rise again (should take about an hour).
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More apple recipes I love:
- Apple Banana Bread
- Salted Caramel Apple Pie
- Sourdough Discard Apple Galette
- Teresa's Vegan Apple Cake
Apple Harvest Bread
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
- 4 cups flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil safflower preferred
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 medium-to-large apples NOT peeled; cored and diced in ¾” chunks (I peeled some)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- egg wash-
- 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- In a mixer, with a dough hook attachment, add the warm water and yeast. Mix until blended. Add the sugar and mix about a minute. Slowly mix in 1 cup of the flour until combined.
- Mix in the eggs one at a time until they are combined. Add another 2 cups of the flour, oil, honey and salt.
- Mix together on medium-low speed stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Slowly add the rest of the flour (the remaining 4 cups) and mix until combined. Stop the machine as you add each cup of the flour to scrape the sides of the bowl and incorporate the flour.
- Mix on low speed for 12 minutes until dough is incorporated. Be sure to give your mixer a break, as you don’t want to burn it out. Add flour if needed 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough will be a little sticky but also firm.
- Take dough out of mixer bowl. Form the dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl (when I put the dough in the bowl I swish the dough around the bottom of the bowl and then flip it over so all of the dough is covered in a light film of oil. I use vegetable oil).
- Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size (about 1-1 1/2 hours. It could take a full 2 hours to double in size, depending on where you have the bread rising).
- Lightly grease a 9″ round cake pan that’s at least 2″ deep. Or grease a 9″ or 10″ spring form pan.
- Gently deflate the dough, transfer it to a lightly greased work surface, and flatten it into a rough rectangle, about 8″ x 10″.
- Spread half the apple chunks in the center of the dough.
- Fold a short edge of the dough over the apple to cover it, patting firmly to seal the apples and spread the dough a bit.
- Spread the remaining apple atop the folded-over dough.
- Cover the apples with the other side of the dough, again patting firmly. Basically, you’ve folded the dough like a letter, enclosing the apples inside.
- Take a bench knife or a knife, or even a pair of scissors, and cut the apple-filled dough into 16 pieces. Cut in half, then each half in halves, etc. This could become messy because the apple pieces will start to fall out. (Not to worry if pieces do fall out while assembling. Simply place them on top. )
- Lay the dough chunks into the pan; crowd them so that they all fit in a single layer (apple pieces may fall out. Tuck them in between the dough pieces and place them on top. I had a few extra dough chunks leftover, and added them to a mini rectangular baking pan).
- Cover the bread gently with lightly greased plastic wrap or a proof cover, and allow it to rise for about 1 hour (could take a bit longer than an hour, depends on where you leave it rise), until it’s a generous 2″ high. It should just crest the rim of a 9″ round cake pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon water. Brush the dough with the egg mixture
- Place the bread in the lower third of the oven. Bake it for 55 minutes, or until the top is at least light brown all over, with no white spots
- Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes loosen the edges and carefully transfer it to a serving plate.
- Best served warm but even great the next day.
Other wonderful fall apple bread recipes
- Apple Cinnamon Bagels from Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Apple Cranberry Bread from Try Anything Once Culinary
- Savory Apple-Brie Pull-Apart with Curried Apple Butter from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Triple Apple Bread from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
partially precooking the apples is a trick to keep them from slumping in your pie they might also keep their shape better in the bread- I will have to try this-I have made this bread without precooking the apples it was great.
Hi Judi-I do partially cook my apples for so many of my apple desserts and love the results. Happy you like the bread even without precooking the apples! Happy baking!