Apple Cider Cranberry Bread

Image: Apple Cider Cranberry Bread.
Teresa Cardin, Valley Mills, Texas

“With its combination of apple cider, apples, cranberries, and pecans, it’s ideal bread for the American holiday season. The dough is refrigerated overnight making it easy to assemble and bake the next morning.”

Dough 
4 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise yeast
1 cup warm water (100º-110ºF)
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 large eggs
1 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6–6 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour, divided
Glaze
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup apple cider

 

Filling 
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups peeled, cored, chopped Jonathan apple
3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries, chopped
3/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped


Garnish
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries, divided
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped, divided

 

  1. In mixer bowl, stir yeast, warm water, and 2 teaspoons sugar. Let stand 10 minutes. Stir in remaining sugar, eggs, cider, salt, lemon juice, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and 3 cups flour. Beat on low speed 2 minutes. 
  2. Beat in 3 cups flour. Knead with dough hook until soft dough forms, about 5 to 8 minutes, adding additional flour as necessary. Use remaining 1 tablespoon oil to grease a large mixing bowl. Place dough in bowl, turn to grease top. Cover; refrigerate dough overnight.
  3. Remove dough from refrigerator and let stand 30 minutes.
  4. To make filling: Mix together butter, confectioners’ sugar, lemon peel, cinnamon, and vanilla. Set aside.
  5. Punch down dough; divide in half. Roll each half into a 15 x 10-inch rectangle. Divide filling evenly and spread within 1 inch of edges of each rectangle. Sprinkle evenly with apples, cranberries, and pecans. Starting from long side, tightly roll up and pinch edges to seal. 
  6. Using a floured knife, cut ropes lengthwise in half. With cut sides up, twist two ropes to form a single piece. Place on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Pinch ends together.  Cover loaves, let rise 30 to 40 minutes, until puffy but NOT double.
  7. Bake in preheated 350ºF oven 30 to 35 minutes or until golden and done.  To prevent overbrowning, tent loaves with foil last 5 minutes.
  8. To make glaze: Mix all ingredients, beating until smooth.
  9. Drizzle glaze over cooled loaves. Garnish with 2 tablespoons cranberries and pecans.

Makes 2 large loaves, 16 servings each. One slice provides approximately 241 calories; 4 g protein; 39 g carbohydrate; 2 g dietary fiber; 8 g fat (2 g saturated); 19 mg cholesterol; 65 mcg folate; 1 mg iron and 228 mg sodium.