Cinnamon Apple Tea Bread

Yesterday was a glorious late summer day in New York: sunny and warm during the day and pleasantly cool at night. Today, however, it’s rainy and gray, perfect for staying inside and baking. And for watching football, though that’s Johnny pastime, not mine.

After reading my post on RootSpeak about why I pay careful attention to where my food comes from, the good people at Organic Valley sent me a care package of their products as a thank you for mentioning their company. Yum! I love Organic Valley (whether they send me free stuff or not) and I was happy to discover that their website is full of healthy recipes.  I wanted something that would go well with my afternoon coffee so  I settled on this recipe for cinnamon apple tea bread. I didn’t have shortening, so I substituted a 1/4 cup of unsalted butter. (A 1/2 cup of butter would actually have been an equal substitution, so feel free to use the whole 1/2 cup if you like.) Instead of soy milk, I used Organic Valley’s 2 percent milk. On Sundays, there’s a small farmers market around the corner from our apartment and one of the vendors who sell there is Red Jacket Orchards. I picked up a couple of their Paula Reds, which are in season from late August until early September. Then I set to work. I only left my loaf in for 35 minutes, rather than 40-45 but my oven is off. I greased my loaf pan liberally and the bread popped right out after it had cooled.

OK so I didn’t wait to taste the bread until this afternoon. I cut a slice about 20 minutes after I took it out of the oven. Johnny had one too. I was very pleased. The bread isn’t too sweet but you can definitely taste the butter and apples in every bite. Also, while the bread does rise, the top doesn’t round the way most breads do. This is normal, so don’t worry that your bread is headed for brick territory. I will definitely make this bread again! And stay tuned for a giveaway of Organic Valley products in the coming weeks.

Speaking of giveaways, the winners of  the Arrowhead Mills Pancake & Waffle  Mix giveaway are Heather Wiese and Patti Strosnick! Thanks to all who participated!

Cinnamon Apple Tea Bread

1/2 cup shortening (I used a 1/4 cup unsalted butter)

1/2 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup apples, peeled and very finely chopped (heaping cup)

1 cup Old-fashioned oats

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder (scant teaspoon)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Use a bit of the shortening to grease a loaf pan that’s about 4 by 9 inches. In a small bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Set aside. Cream shortening and sugar with electric beaters in a medium bowl. Add the eggs, milk and vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in the apples. Stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture until they are barely combined. Spread the mixture in the prepared loaf pan and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 40-45 minutes. Cool on wire racks about 15 minutes, then use a sharp knife to loosen the edges of the loaf. Remove the bread and let it cool to warm or room temperature before serving.

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