We have a few varieties of apples growing around this property and they vary from really tart yellow crab apples that you would not want to eat, to red delicious and my favorite pink ladies.
These trees are not quite mature but some of them produce pretty good apples. I have even been able to use the sour ones in some recipes.
My little 5-year-old sister loves to go out in our backyard to collect big armfuls of apples for her always-growing apple collection.
The nuttiness of the chestnuts with the sweet apples and salted caramel make this recipe so Yummy!
- 1/2 cup whole milk, warm
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teapoon salt
- 1 large egg, beaten and at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 egg for eggwash (optional)
- 3 medium apples peeled, cored, and chopped into pieces
- 2-3 cups water
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup roasted chestnuts, finely chopped (see how to roast here
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or regular)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dissolve yeast with milk and sugar in bowl of stand mixer or large mixing bowl and let sit about 5 minutes. Add melted butter, egg, and salt and beat together until well combined. Add flour and continue mixing until dough forms. Knead dough for about 5 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in warm place to rise.
- While the dough is rising, gather ingredients to make filling. In medium saucepan or skillet, bring 2 cups of water and apples to a boil over medium heat. Cover and continue cooking for about 25 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove cover and continue cooking and adding more water until apples start to resemble chunky applesauce. When apples are soft and water is mostly absorbered add butter, chestnuts, and sugar. Reduce heat to low and stir until apple starts to darken and become very thick. Remove from heat and set aside until dough is ready.
- Cover a clean surface lightly with flour and roll dough out into a large rectangle about 12x 16 inches. Lift onto a parchment lined or greased baking sheet. Using pizza cutter or sharp knife cut 1 inch wide strips on each side towards center, leaving one third of the dough uncut. Spread filling out on center of dough and alternate folding cut strips of dough over each other.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and prepare eggwash. Beat egg with 2 tablespoons of water and brush over braid. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned on top. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack.
- In a small saucepan over low heat slowly melt sugar until liquid. Stir constantly until thermometer reads 350 degrees F and remove from heat. Add milk and butter very carefully it will bubble a lot and hot sugar can be very dangerous so please be careful Return to low heat and continue cooking for 5- 10 minutes stirring until it begins to darken in color and coats the back of a spoon. Keep in mind that it will thicken more as it cools. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Drizzle over Braid and serve immediately
The braided bread looks so pretty and artistic and yet it is super simple to do. This is definitely something that will impress the guests.
If you don’t have chestnuts or don’t like them you can easily sub in a different nut or leave the nuts out all together. Either way, this recipe is great to serve for breakfast or dessert and it is also great for sharing. Although, you may not want to share too much.