Guess what guys? BIG NEWS. I'm finally starting to accept my failures in the kitchen. It only took me like, four years. But there's been less crying around here and more understanding about the learning process that is cooking and I'm super proud of the improvement. Maybe some day I'll even learn how to laugh in the face of failure, but for now, I'm taking baby steps.
The first time I made this bread, it wasn't a total failure. Yes, it was overly moist. Yes, it rose too high and was scraped by the top oven rack upon removal from the oven. And yes, it overflowed and ruined the bottom of my oven because I forgot to read the part of the directions where it said to place a cookie sheet underneathe. But it's crumb topping came out amazing, so it wasn't all bad.
Still, I knew I had to try the recipe again and change a few things because I needed everything about this bread to be awesome, and not just it's topping. It wasn't hard finding my fix because I knew what I had done wrong in my first attempt: I added extra liquid. The batter had looked dry to me so I increased the amount of buttermilk. And that, along with the amount of shredded apples made the bread very moist and dense.
So, to solve my problem, I simply left the buttermilk measurement as originally called for, and then decreased the amount of apples(both shredded and chopped), and voila! I ended up with this loaf of pure decadence. Not too moist and not too dry; it came out to be the perfect medium. Also, less chopped apples evened out the bread to apple ratio, so this time around, I was able to taste the bread and all it's wonderful flavors, while occasionally getting bits of the sweet, tender apples.
But my absolute favorite part about this bread was definitely the crumb topping, the crowning glory. It offset the moistness of the bread so perfectly and it was just phenomenal tasting in general. I could literally eat it with a spoon, that's how good it was. In fact, I might just go into stealth mode right now to go pick off some of the crumb topping. No one will ever know.
Apple Spice Crumb BreadYield: One 9x5 inch loaf
Ingredients:1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of vanilla powder (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 medium sized apples, peeled and cored (One of them chopped, one of them grated)
For the crumb topping:
1/8 cup flour
1/8 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter- cut into small bits
Directions:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together oil and sugars until smooth and creamy. Whisk in eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Add dry ingredients to wet and combine--the batter will get very thick at this point.
Gradually stir in the buttermilk until moistened. Fold in the chopped/shredded apples. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Make crumb topping by mixing together all ingredients except the butter. Then, cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over batter.
Place a cookie sheet on the lower rack of the oven to catch any over-flow. Bake loaf for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the loaf is not done at 60 minutes, check it in 5 minute increments; it took mine an additional 10 minutes to be cooked all the way through.
Adapted from The Baker Chick