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Blackberry & Apple Bread with a Streusel Topping Tested Recipe

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Blackberry Apple Bread

Blackberry Apple Bread is one of my favorite ways to bake with blackberries. It starts with a rich yeast bread (similar to a French brioche), that is covered with fresh blackberries and chunks of apple, and ends with a cinnamon flavored streusel which sweetens the fruit and adds a nice crunch.

There is a few things to remember when making this bread dough; first, be sure to have the butter at room temperature so it can be easily incorporated into the dough. Second, this dough does seem to take a little more time to rise than a regular bread dough, so be patient. Once the dough has been made and placed in your pan, it is then topped with chunks of apple and fresh blackberries. The question is sometimes asked if you can use frozen blackberries in this recipe as it is not always possible or even feasible to use fresh blackberries. I will say that while my preference is to use fresh, as they hold their shape better and are less watery, you can use frozen blackberries in a pinch. Just be sure not to defrost the berries before using and the bread may take between 5 to 10 minutes longer to bake. Of course, for those who do not like blackberries, you could use fresh raspberries, or just leave out the berries completely and top only with diced apples (use three apples instead of the one that is called for in the recipe). 

There may be times when you want to have this bread freshly made for breakfast. This is possible as you can start the recipe the day before, by making the dough and then letting it rise. After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, place it on your prepared baking sheet, and brush the surface with the egg wash. Next, cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight. The final assembly will take place in the morning. Just make sure you keep the remaining egg wash, covered, in the refrigerator as you will need to brush the dough again in the morning. You might also want to make the streusel mixture the night before. Again, just keep it covered, in a separate bowl, in the fridge overnight. The next morning, remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn on the oven. Brush the dough again with the egg wash and then cover the dough with the fresh blackberries and diced apple. Sprinkle the streusel mixture on top and bake as directed. Cover and store any leftovers in the fridge. 

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Blackberry Apple Bread: In the bowl of your electric mixer, stir together the lukewarm milk, 1/2 teaspoon white sugar, and the yeast. Let this mixture stand 5-10 minutes or until the yeast is foamy. At this point add the flour, the remaining 1/4 cup (50 grams) white sugar, and the salt and beat until combined. Add the egg and beat the dough for a few minutes. Using the dough hook, and with the mixer running, gradually add small pieces of the softened butter, continuing to knead the dough for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is soft and silky feeling. (Note: As you beat in the butter you will notice the dough first comes together, then falls apart, and finally comes together once again.) 

Place the dough in a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel, and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (this will take about 1 1/2 - 2 hours depending on the warmth of your room). Once it has doubled in size, punch the dough down and, on a lightly floured surface, roll or press into a 13 x 9 inch (33 x 23 cm) rectangle. Transfer to a buttered or parchment lined baking sheet. Then, in a small bowl, whisk together the cream, egg and cinnamon for the egg wash. With a pastry brush, lightly brush the surface of the dough with the egg wash. Cover the dough and let rise until doubled in size (about 45 minutes to 1 hour). 

While the dough is rising, make the streusel topping. In a small bowl combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. With a pastry blender, or your fingertips, cut in the butter until the mixture is lumpy. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. When the dough has doubled in size, once again lightly brush the surface with the egg wash.  Evenly place the blackberries and diced apple on the dough and then sprinkle with the streusel topping. Bake for about 35 minutes or until nicely browned and cooked through. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6 - 8

Sources:

Lawson, Nigella, Nigella Bites. New York: Hyperion, 2002.

 

Blackberry Apple Bread Dough:

1/2 cup (120 ml) milk, heated to lukewarm

1/2 teaspoon granulated white sugar

1 package (1/4 ounce) (7 grams) active dry yeast

2 1/2 cups (325 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature (cut into small pieces)

Egg Wash:

1 tablespoon cream

1 large egg

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Streusel Topping:

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1/3 cup (45 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup (56 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Topping:

2 cups fresh blackberries

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced

 
 
     
 

 

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