I blame Mary.
I was doing alright. I was dealing with the fact that work has kept me out of the kitchen and away from my beloved baking. I was coping.
And then I saw Mary’s Almond Apple Bars and broke down. And it wasn’t graceful either. It was a temper tantrum worthy of any five-year-old anywhere.
"I want my baking!!!"
You see nothing gets to me more than baked goods with apples in them. For me, they are the epitome of comfort. To this day, my mother’s warm freshly baked apple pie is my very favourite baked thing in the world. So to see Mary’s delicious Almond Apple Bars was more than I could take.
I didn’t get home from work until past 11:00. I was exhausted, delirious, bleary-eyed and battling a headache that I’d had all-day long. And yet into the kitchen I went with my copy of Bread for Breakfast, my Flavour of the Month, which I flipped open to the recipe for Oatmeal Applesauce Bread.
What could possibly make you feel better than oatmeal and applesauce married in a beautiful, golden loaf? It took me about ten minutes to put this bread together. I threw in some orange for good measure.
And in the early hours of the morning, as I watched butter melt on a warm slice of this beautiful bread, I felt a little bit better.
Orange Oatmeal Applesauce Bread
Adapted from Bread for Breakfast by Beth Hensperger.
Note: Bake this loaf in a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. I use homemade applesauce when I make this bread but store-bought is fine. Just make sure that it’s unsweetened or your bread will be too sweet. The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of chopped dried apples to be added but you don’t need them. I’ve been wanting to try the bread with dried apricots but haven’t had the chance. This bread has a lovely crumb filling and topping that is worth the extra effort.
- 1-1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1/2 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tbsp. orange zest
- 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1-1/4 cups applesauce (unsweetened)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup pecans
- 4 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In another bowl, mix all the wet ingredients (applesauce, oil, eggs and buttermilk).
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix. Let the batter sit while you make the crumb filling and topping.
- By hand or in a food processor, chop the pecans until they are very fine. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and orange zest and mix well.
- Spread half the batter in your prepared pan. Sprinkle half the crumb topping over the batter. Spread the remaining batter over the crumb topping and finish the cake by sprinkling the rest of the crumb topping over the batter.
- Bake the bread for 55 minutes and check for doneness by inserting a cake tester or toothpick in the centre of the bread. If it comes out clean, the bread is done. If not, bake for an additional 5 minutes and test again. In my oven this cake took 55 minutes.