Apple Cinnamon Quick Bread with Salted Caramel Sauce
Our favorite fall flavors are in each delicious bite of this simple-to-make but comforting bread.
If you want a change from pumpkin bread (the official quick bread of autumn), you won’t be disappointed with this recipe. Cinnamon Apple Quick Bread comes together in no time (you don’t even need a mixer) yet delivers big fall flavors, including warm cinnamon and ginger plus sweet apples and raisins. I love having a slice in the morning with my coffee. But add the salted caramel sauce and it makes a no-fuss but delicious dessert. My family loves this recipe, and I think yours will, too.
The inspiration came from an old cookbook published by Elsah Landing, a long-gong restaurant that started in the tiny southern Illinois village of Elsah before opening another location in west St. Louis County. Elsah Landing was known for it’s soups, breads and desserts, and its cookbook (which my mom purchased during one of our visits) captures some of the restaurant's best recipes.
I used the book’s quantities for basic ingredients and then added some combinations of my own, including the ginger, raisins and the sauce. The recipe’s versatility opens up other combinations, such as diced pears with dried cranberries and walnuts. So, let’s get to baking.
For this recipe, you will need:
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup golden raisins
salted caramel sauce
This will make two nine-inch bread loaves. The dry ingredients are combined separately first, with the eggs and oil whisked together in a separate bowl and then added. I noticed this dough, which is mixed by hand, is pretty stiff; I pressed the dough into the loaf pan. But the bread came out super moist. It’s baked about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
To serve the bread as a dessert, drizzle your favorite sea salt caramel sauce that’s been thinned with a bit of milk on to a plate and set the bread on the sauce. Spoon a little more over the slice if you’d like. I recently discovered sea salt caramel sauce by Stonewall Kitchens. Of course, you could make salted caramel sauce, but I think Stonewall does a very good job and saves me some time. One of my favorite shops in my neighborhood, Patterson Family Farms General Store carries Stonewall sauces, jams and dips.
You’ve noted that the leavening in this (and any) quick bread are baking powder and baking soda, not yeast; therefore, these breads are “quick” to make compared to those that have to rise in a bowl over a number of hours before baking.
It's interesting to me that quick breads became popular in the United States in the late 17th century after the introduction of commercial baking soda in 1846 (Arm & Hammer company). While Civil War soldiers weren’t fed banana bread, they did make use of baking soda to make Johnny Cakes, which certainly were more palatable than hardtack but was just as portable.
The quick bread family also includes biscuits, muffins, flatbreads; so, in reality, where would today’s baker be without baking soda and powder? Just remember that these ingredients will start to lose their effectiveness after the “use by” date, causing your baked goods not to rise properly. An opened container of baking soda or baking powder will last probably six months at room temperature. After that, sprinkle baking soda down your kitchen sink to freshen the drain or sprinkle on carpet and vacuum to neutralize pet orders. Just throw out expired baking powder. Kitchen tip: to test your baking soda or powder for effectiveness, drop a pinch into hot water. If it fizzes, you’re good to go.
How to freeze quick breads
Because this recipe for Apple Cinnamon Quick Bread will make two loaves, you’ll need to freeze one of them (if you don’t give it to a friend, that is). Just tightly wrap the loaf in aluminum foil and place in a freezer bag; I like the reusable food storage bags that are BPA free. You’ll find these almost anywhere now; I ordered a pack of 10 last January from Amazon. If you follow these steps, your bread should be good in the freezer for up to four months, but I know you won’t be able to leave it in there that long because it’s too darn good!
Apple Cinnamon Quick Bread with Salted Caramel Sauce takes me back to south St. Louis and memories of Merb’s Candies on South Grand Boulevard. The famous candy store is still there, and each autumn, workers are in full production mode for the Bionic Apples. Huge apples are covered in buttery, rich caramel and crowned with salted pecans. My parents always bought some when they were in season. However, Dad preferred the candied apple and Merb’s sauerkraut candy (sort of a vanilla fudge with shredded coconut).
Honestly, I think autumn is the season for comfort foods because of the warming flavors and the cooking methods, such as braising, stewing and roasting. This Wednesday will mark the beginning of fall, and I couldn’t be happier! I love this time of year because it gives us all permission to slow down and get ready to tuck in for winter.
I hope you’ll give this Apple Cinnamon Quick Bread recipe a try and enjoy a slice with a cup of tea, put your feet up, and enjoy the moment.