The glut of fresh apples in my house, straight from the orchards in the mountains has me itching to use them for baking! One particularly rainy and breezy day, I just gave in and made this irresistible Vegan Apple Braided Bread!
This lightly sweetened, soft bread is full of cinnamon coated apples chunks, a delicious sweet-tart crab apple sauce, and toasted walnuts. Please know that just writing this description is making me salivate. Not to mention the incredible smell all over my house when this beauty was getting baked. A slice of this warm bread, and you know all is well in this world. At least for that moment!
How Do I Make Apple Braided Bread
Bread baking does come across very daunting to a lot of people. But fear not, this recipe has been made really easy. Although it has yeast, it also has a minimum rising time. And like the most breads I make for this blog, this one does not need a stand mixer. You just combine the coconut oil, milk ( I used light coconut milk) sugar and salt. Heat it all very gently, till combined. Then you use this liquid mixture to knead the flour and yeast. Add more flour in case the dough seems very sticky. Pour in a couple of tablespoons of milk in case the dough is dry. Some 8-10 minutes of kneading will get you this dough, that’s really multi-purpose. You can use it with any filling…Nutella, any fruit, maybe even some pesto and cheese. It will work beautifully.
The dough, once filled and braided needs to rest for just 20 – 25 minutes. My kitchen is still quite warm, so the dough rose fairly fast. If you’re in a colder area, it may take a bit more time. And then bake it for about 25 minutes and please don’t wait to tear into it. That wait is torture! 🙂
Do I Need To Use Crab Apple Sauce For This Recipe
You certainly don’t need crab apple sauce for this recipe. You can use regular apple sauce or just leave it out altogether. Here’s my little story of these apples…While I was at the orchards of Thanedar, I spotted a crab apple tree. The sweetest little tree, laden heavily with the most adorable cherry-sized crab apples. I just had to get a small load of these home. They taste quite sour and are very good for making chutneys, murrabbas, and jams. Not so much for eating. So my lot went to make apple sauce, inspired by my friend Jennifer at The Lemon Apron. Its sweet-tart, adds a bit of zing to this bread along with some extra moisture.
To make the braid for this recipe, I took the help of this fabulous video by BuzzfeedTasty. Its really very well done.
I made this recipe vegan. However, you can easily use butter and regular milk in place of coconut oil and milk.
You can easily make this recipe refined sugar-free by using honey/ maple syrup or coconut sugar instead of brown sugar used here.
I hope this soft delicious buttery Vegan Apple Braided Bread makes it your table this apple season and you enjoy it as much as we did! I’d love to hear from you! Please tag me on Instagram @tashasartisanfoods, using the hashtag #tashasartisanfoods. You can also FOLLOW ME on INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST for more fabulous recipes! Do subscribe to Tasha’s Artisan Foods so you’ll never miss a recipe!
1cupLight coconut milkYou can use any milk of your choice.
2tbspsugarYou can use coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup.
2tbspCoconut oil/ melted butter
1/3cupCrab apple sauceYou can use any apple sauce or leave it out altogether
1largeApple, peeled and diced into small pieces
Gently heat coconut oil, milk and sugar in a small saucepan till the sugar dissolves. Set aside. Let it cool till it's almost at room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine both flours ( start with 1 cup each), yeast, and salt. Make well in the center of the mixture.
Pour the cooled liquid mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or a fork till a rough dough is formed.
Take this out on a well-floured surface and knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes. Add more flour if the dough seems too sticky.
Use the heels of your hands to push the dough away from you and then bring it back, folding it over. Push it out again, every time stretching the dough to develop the gluten strands. Turn the dough to 45 degrees and continue the same way.
The dough should feel soft and supple and just a tad sticky. Lightly cover the dough with tea towel and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
Once the dough has rested. Sprinkle some flour on your work surface and roll the dough out into a rectangle. Brush the coconut oil or melted butter on the surface. Evenly spoon on the apple sauce and apple and walnut pieces. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon evenly over the topping.
From the long side, roll up the dough tightly. Using a sharp knife, cut it in half lengthways. Do leave top 2" uncut. This will help hold the braid together.
Twist one half over the other like you're making a braid. Make sure the filling side is facing the top.
Bring the top and bottom of the braid together like a wreath. Let this rest for 20-25 minutes, covered with a kitchen towel, in a draft-free place, until the dough doubles.
Preheat your oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Carefully lift the bread and place it on the tray. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm and enjoy!
* Here's the recipe for making apple sauce -
Peel and dice 500 gms of apples.
Place in a saucepan with about 100 gms of sugar and a small stick of cinnamon. You may need more or less depending on how sweet or tart your apples are. I prefer not adding any sugar at all. But these crab apples were too tart and needed the sweetness.
Add 1/4 cup water and cook the apple and sugar on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, till the apples are cooked through and very soft.
Take it off the heat. you can mash these with a fork or if you want a smoother consistency, puree in your blender.