August through December happens to be my favorite stretch of months. There’s so much to be excited about—the start of a new school year, cooler weather, football season, ice hockey getting underway, fall festivals, Oktoberfest, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas. It truly is the best time of year.
For me, everything begins with apple season. My parents have apple trees on their property, and my childhood Augusts always included collecting apples to make fruit crisp. To this day, apple crisp remains one of my favorite desserts. In fact, I love apples in all forms and can’t wait for late summer and fall to roll around so I can revel in cooking, baking, and drinking everything I can involving this wonderful fruit.
For this quick bread, I use my favorite beer bread recipe, found on the Genius Kitchen website, and alter it to include a favorite fall beverage—hard cider. It has a light apple flavor and a hint of warmth from ground cinnamon. It’s not too sweet, smells amazing as it bakes (seriously, it’s all the best aromas of fall), and is completely satisfying. Please note, the sweetness of the hard cider you choose will impact the flavor of the bread. I use Angry Orchard’s Easy Apple Hard Cider because it’s not as sweet as their flagship beverage. If you are lucky enough to live in apple country and have craft ciders available, be sure to note their sweetness, as many are drier. If you are using a craft cider, you may need to adjust the amount of sugar you use depending on how sweet you wish your bread to be.
One last thing, DO NOT SKIP SIFTING THE FLOUR. If you do not sift, your loaf will be a tough, inedible brick. You will have wasted time, money, and sanity, as you will be tortured by the fact that the bread smells so damn good but can’t be chewed. Don’t screw yourself over. Sift the flour.
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided
12 oz hard cider
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease an 8×4-inch loaf pan with softened butter. Place the loaf pan on a foil-lined baking sheet (the baking sheet’s soul purpose is to catch any overflow from the loaf pan…it is not necessary, but recommended).
3. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and sugar in a large bowl.
4. Add the hard cider and 1/4 cup butter to the flour mixture. Stir to combine. The batter will be thick and sticky.
5. Pour (or scrape as the case may be) the batter into the loaf pan. Using a spoon, spread the batter to evenly fill the loaf pan. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of butter over the batter.
6. Place the loaf pan in the oven and bake for 1 hour.
7. Remove the bread from the oven and cool it in the loaf pan for 15 minutes. Turn the bread out of the pan and either serve it warm or cool it completely on a wire rack.
Makes 1 loaf
Retrieved from: Norman, Gerald. “Beer Bread,” Genius Kitchen Website. Scripps Network Digital, 2018. https://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/beer-bread-73440#activity-feed