Applesauce Spice Bread – Typically American

Applesauce Spice Bread, freshly sliced.

Applesauce Spice Bread, freshly sliced.

The United States is a melting pot of cultures and we have a food history that is anything but stereotypical. I have friends that hate the fact the only thing we’re known for are hamburgers, hot-dogs, and maybe apple pie. We can’t even really lay claim to some of the most typical foods I grew up with – lasagna (Italian), lumpia (Filipino), Yorkshire Pudding (English). And I think most of us can say the same. Our food culture is a mixed bag.

However, when I’m asked to bring a typically American food to an event, I have to come up with something. An easy option, that isn’t well known in other countries, is some kind of quick bread. I usually fall back on a couple of favorites. One is Banana Bread, a recipe I shared a few weeks back. The other is Applesauce Spice Bread. The great thing about quick bread recipes is that they don’t have to be baked in a loaf pan. If you want them to look like a cake, bake them in a cake pan. If you need to serve a lot of people without a mess, bake them in mini-muffin tins. Sharing with kids at school? Go for the bigger muffin size. These recipes are flexible and that’s one of the reasons I love them so much!

The following recipe is from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyday. It’s a recipe I haven’t found the need to adjust. In fact, I love her book so much it is literally falling apart. It might be time to start looking for a replacement!

Ingredients for Applesauce Spice Bread

Ingredients for Applesauce Spice Bread

Applesauce Spice Bread
(all pictures, except for the final loaf, show a double batch)

1/4 pound (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup of applesauce*
1 tsp baking soda
2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon or cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Note: I did not change this recipe for altitude and it worked fine

*I use homemade applesauce. Take 8-10 medium apples. Quarter and place in a saucepan large enough to hold them. Add 1/4 water or apple juice. Bring to a simmer, turn to low, cover with lid and let cook until apples are soft. Let cool. Run the mixture through a food mill that separates the skin and seeds from the puree. You’ll have plenty of applesauce for this recipe plus leftovers to eat however you like best!

Cream the butter and two sugars until fluffy.

Cream the butter and two sugars until fluffy.

Add each egg one at a time and beat well.

Add each egg one at a time and beat well.

Add the baking soda to the applesauce and then watch as the magic happens!

Add the baking soda to the applesauce and then watch as the magic happens!

Make sure your container is large enough for foaming applesauce. The chemical reaction is fun for kids.

Make sure your container is large enough for foaming applesauce. The chemical reaction is fun for kids.

Stir the applesauce/baking soda mixture to the batter.

Stir the applesauce/baking soda mixture to the batter.

Add the flour, salt and spices, using a sift if anything looks lumpy.

Add the flour, salt and spices, using a sift if anything looks lumpy.

Stir well until you no longer see any flour. Your batter is ready to place in the baking pan of your choice.

Stir well until you no longer see any flour. Your batter is ready to place in the baking pan of your choice.

In a standard size loaf pan, bake for about 50 minutes. The smaller the size baking pan, the less time you will need. When the bread is finished, a toothpick should come out clean. Also, the bread should have a nice brown crust.

In a standard size loaf pan, bake for about 50 minutes at 350 degrees Farenheit. The smaller the size baking pan, the less time you will need. When the bread is finished, a toothpick should come out clean. Also, the bread should have a nice brown crust.

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