Baking with beer: Unibroue Éphémère Apple Cinnamon Bread

Who would like apple pie in bread form for breakfast? Or lunch? Or dinner? Or all three?

More specifically, who would like soft cinnamon sugar bread, baked with white ale brewed with apple juice, stuffed with crisp green apples?

If you can say no to that, I envy your self-control.

But first, a lesson. Be careful when you turn a stovetop burner on low. Especially when it doesn’t light up red to indicate that it’s hot. Because then you might accidentally plant your left hand right down on it, and sling out a series of curse words you weren’t even sure you knew.

Needless to say I spent all of my Saturday afternoon & evening with my hand literally in cold water. (no joke, I tried getting ready to go out last night but ten minutes without cold water resulted in more curse words.) So I’ll ask you to forgive me for not posting step by step pictures (I had to capture the rest of my pictures using one hand…skills). I would recommend following the link below for beautiful process photos. And really for beautiful photos in general.

And now I’m speedily typing with one hand so I can post this and share the love. Let’s get to it! For this I took Joy the Baker’s Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread recipe, substituted Unibroue for the water, and then slid slices of green apples between the folds of dough – I wasn’t sure if baking with this beer would really work as I did only use 1/3 cup and it isn’t a very heavy beer at all. But delightfully, the apple flavor in the beer gave the entire loaf a lovely touch of apple and enhanced the vanilla without being boozy or yeasty at all. And the surprise bits of apple? Oh. my.

Unibroue Éphémère Apple Cinnamon Bread
(adapted from Joy the Baker’s Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread)

Dough:
2 3/4 cups + 2 Tablespoons AP flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 oz unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup Unibroue Éphémère, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 oz unsalted butter, melted
2-3 Granny Smith apples

Italicized ingredients/measurements are those differing from the original recipe. 

1. Sift 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup sugar, the packet of yeast, and salt together in a large bowl.

2. Melt milk and butter together in a small saucepan, remove from heat, add beer and vanilla. (Her instructions indicate to let the mixture stand until 115-125 degrees F. I didn’t have a candy thermometer, so I let it rest for one-two minutes after adding the beer and vanilla) While letting that rest, whisk eggs in separate bowl.

3. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture, stir with spatula or wooden spoon until combined. Add eggs and mix again until combined (you’ll need to be patient with this part). Then add 3/4 cups flour and knead in with your spoon/spatula until incorporated but still a bit sticky.

4. Grease a medium bowl (with oil or cooking spray), and spoon dough into bowl to rise. Put in warm place covered with a towel for about an hour or until it is twice its original size. Enjoy the rest of your beer and catch up on Downton Abbey. Or a non-Masterpiece Classic show if you must.

5. Melt 2 oz butter in small glass cup. Mix cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg together in another small bowl.

6. Once dough has risen properly, punch down (Really though, you need to punch it) several times and let rest for 5 minutes. Knead in about two tablespoons of flour with a wooden spoon until you can handle the dough without it getting stuck all over your hands. Let rest another 10 minutes. (This lets the gluten relax a little so that it is easier to roll out. If it is still too hard to roll out, simply let it rest a few more minutes.)

7. On lightly floured counter or a large piece of parchment paper, roll dough out into a rectangle approximately 12 x 20 inches in size.

8. Spread melted butter on flattened dough, and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar mix.

9. Slice dough with knife or pizza cutter into six vertical strips. Place into two stacks and then slice horizontally again in six sections. Set greased 9 inch bread pan on its end, and place stacks of bread dough inside. When full, let rise for 30-45 minutes.

10. Peel and slice apples as big or small as you’d like, and using a knife, peel apart the bread dough and stuff inside. Bake for 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees F. The top of the dough should be crispy and very brown when done. Let rest 20-30 minutes, and use a knife around the edges of the bread to separate from pan.

11. When cool, place a cutting board or cookie sheet on top of bread. Invert once, and then repeat again until dough is right-side up. Enjoy for breakfast (amazing with cream cheese), lunch, and dinner! If you can resist eating it all, then this will keep for one-two days uncovered at room temperature, but it’s best if you can put it in a cake plate or something of the sort.

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9 comments
  1. G-LO said:

    That bread looks delicious! Gotta love cinnamon and apples. And now you’ve raise the intrigue by adding beer to the recipe. I have not yet tried their Ephemere yet, but if it’s half as good as their La Fin Du Monde, then I will surely seek it out soon.

    Sorry to hear about the hand burning incident. If you can take photos this good with just one hand, then you have some serious skills because these pics are lovely. Once again, well done!

    • thebakeandbrew said:

      Thank you!! It took a lot longer to get the pictures, and to get everything set up for sure 🙂

      Most of my friends tend not to care for the Éphémère, but I think mainly because it is a fruit beer. (Fruit beers tend to get a bad rap around here) I personally enjoy it though – it’s a lovely white ale and I think the apple is incorporated really well. Plus anything with a great flavor at only 5.5% ABV is a winner in my book.

    • G-LO said:

      I have no issues with a fruit beer if it’s done well. Our favorite craft beer bar in South Jersey (The PourHouse in Westmont) usually has it on draft, so I will definitely give it a try the next time I’m there.

  2. I hope one of your curse words was putain de merde, for profanity triple-points. That said, I hope your hand is healing. This recipe sounds lovely.

  3. Mike said:

    The next tailgate for nothing theme is breakfast..

    • thebakeandbrew said:

      YES

  4. Barleywhiner said:

    Probably the best thing to do with that beer. I love Unibroue, bit I can’t say I’m a big fan of that one.

  5. Lexi said:

    Hello! Just found you looking for an apple bread recipe. This looks totally delicious! I love how the apples are arranged between the dough. Looks stunning.

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