Cha Cha and Apple Bread

I take a dance class every Thursday night. I started last semester, and I totally love it. It’s the kind of workout that can be exhausting and exhilarating at the same time, and it makes me want to go dancing every Thursday!

After an hour and a half last week of salsa, cha cha, and bolero, it wasn’t long before I was dancing around my empty apartment. The cha cha practice dissolved into an adrenaline-driven solo dance party, as usual. The perfect ending was my over-dramatic bolero performance to “My Heart Will Go On.” I hope my blinds were closed.

But my plans for later that night fell through, and I was a little deflated. I was quickly into sweatpants and on the couch, but instead of watching too much TV and feeling unsatisfied with my evening, I got myself into the kitchen to finally make this bread. I saw the recipe a few weeks ago (obviously, immediately after Joy posted it), and I was really excited to try it. I’ve been trying to find some tasty, (semi)-healthy goodies to have for breakfast.

I am so happy with this bread. Wow. The texture is just wonderful: the crispy sugar crust contrasts perfectly with the moist bread, which is speckled with soft chunks of apples and crunchy walnuts. And I love the warmth from the cinnamon. Make this. Your home will smell fantastic.

(Sorry I don’t have more pictures. I made this before I found the one spot in my apartment with natural light.)

Apple Walnut Bread

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Makes one 9 x 5 inch loaf

1 cup white whole wheat flour

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2/3 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup grated apples

1/2 cup coarsely chopped apples

3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, divided

cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×5×3-inch loaf pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.

In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla extract.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Add the grated apples, chopped apples, and half of the chopped walnuts.  Fold together thoroughly.

Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with granulated sugar, cinnamon and the rest of the walnuts.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack.

I froze about half in individual squares (wrapped in plastic wrap and then stored in tupperware). They were great heated in the toaster oven for breakfast.

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