Apple Pecan Butter Bread
Ingredients and directions:
4 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup dry milk
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dry yeast
Mix thoroughly together then add:
1 cup water
½ cup sourdough starter
Knead for 10 minutes until gluten strands have formed. Slowly add:
1/3 cup semi-soft butter
This will take a few minutes to blend into the dough. Be patient it will eventually work in.
When worked in kneed 3 additional minutes.
Add to the dough:
1 ¼ cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
1/3 cup apples (small dice or brunoise)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon (fresh-ground is best)
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Directions: Shape dough into a ball and cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours. When it has risen about halfway, deflate the dough, folding it in half and allowing it to continue to rise to a doubled state.
Dust a board with flour and divide the dough into 5 equal balls (a scale helps). Cover again and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Working with palm of your hand, flatten gently into an oval. Fold the dough into thirds and press firmly into center and roll into a cylinder. Score the loaves in the diagonal cut shown, with the seam underneath. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover again and allow to double, about 1 ½ hours.
Place a second baking sheet in the bottom of your oven and heat oven to 450 degrees. When ready to bake, pour ¼ cup water onto the baking sheet in the bottom of the oven and then place the baking sheet with the bread into the center of the oven and bake for 17 minutes (the baking sheet on the bottom is producing steam to keep the bread soft). Remove from oven and brush with melted butter and sprinkle on cinnamon sugar and allow to cool on a wire rack.