Apple-Pecan Cinnamon Swirl Bread

>> Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm still coming down with something. I just wish it would happen already. Over a week of being half-sick is aggravating. Good news, though: I was able to run in the 10K this weekend.

No. This isn't a snowshoe race, though it looks like one. Regardless, the event surely lived up to its name (Freeze Series) -- it was a brisk 9 degrees at the start.

We bundled -- one of us more than the other (can you guess?) -- and a couple miles into it, didn't notice the chilly temps.

Stephen finished in a speedy, PR-worthy 34:49 (5:37 miles!) and I hobbled in at a not-my-best-but-not-bad 48:57 (7:53 miles). My knee/IT-band issue is getting better for sure, but I don't see a marathon in my spring schedule. Or fall.

One day/run/race at a time. But I give swimming mad props for my ability to run the same speed (my time was actually a couple seconds faster than last year's!) as when I stopped training regularly!

It was definitely a sexy race. We looked . . . HOT. Or should I say cold?

And I love this photo my dad took at the end with his thumb (accidentally) over the lens. Hahaha.

We did a lot of stuff and saw a lot of family/friends this weekend. So much, in fact, that I'm feeling like I need at least another day to catch up. I did squeeze in some baking. Bread, of course.

A touch of sugar.

(Print this recipe!)

What you'll need . . .
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
  • 2 tablespoons Bob's Red Mill egg replacer mixed with 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached bread flour
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups diced apples

Method . . .
  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes -- until frothy.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the Bob's Red Mill egg replacer (plus water), oil, and maple syrup. Whisk in the yeast mixture.
  3. Add flours and salt and knead for 10 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl and let rise one hour or until double in bulk. Set aside.
  4. Combine pecans, cinnamon, and sugar in a large bowl. Divide the dough into 2 equal balls. On a lightly floured work surface, flatten the first with a rolling pin -- and form a long rectangle shape. (Roll until it is about 1/2 inch thick.)
  5. Spread half the pecan mixture on the dough, then spread half the diced apples over the pecan mixture.
  6. Starting on one end, roll until you form a loaf. Then place in a greased bread pan to let rise for another 2 hours.
  7. Repeat process with other dough ball.
  8. When the rising is complete, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes. Then cover with aluminum foil and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.
  10. Turn over onto a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the other loaf.

I love how the bread looks. Impressive. There, I said it. But seriously! It looks tricky to make -- despite how it's really simple.

I played around a bit with my new external flash yesterday, too. I'm not exactly a pro at it yet . . . having some issues with colors, etc. But overall, I'm pleased with how the bounce eliminates shadows for the most part. And these pics are almost DIY light-box quality . . . without lugging that huge thing around.

My brother was a willing model. Or just hungry. Or maybe too tired to argue after lugging our new-to-us treadmill up the stairs. (More on that another day!)

Thanks, Ryan (and Stephen, mom, and dad)!

How'd you stay warm this weekend? Though the race was certainly exhilarating, I preferred the baking. In the comfort of my fleece robe. Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.

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