With the bonanza of mountain apples we had this year, I made lots of applesauce. It was amazing — dark and richly flavored. Even with no added sugar or spices, it was an epicurean experience and I had to try baking with it. Does a dynamite applesauce make a difference in baked goods or does it get lost in all the spices and sugar? I had to know. It turns out that when you have this much spice going on, I do not think so. The cardamom is especially vibrant and carries the dominant note. It is hard to compete with that!
I wish I could credit the originator of this recipe. It’s been around on a scrap of paper and I cannot locate the source. I did alter the recipe a bit to fit our dietary preferences. Originally I wondered if the recipe would work. The wet to dry ratio didn’t look right. The first time Frederick and I mixed up a batch, I looked at the dough and wondered again. It worked but I wasn’t sure why. The second time around I forgot the honey until I was mixing the dry ingredients with the wet. The texture was all wrong. I remembered and added the honey. The dough texture changed completely. The honey appears to be the real key in the success of this bread.
Follow our directions on how to get the tiny cardamom seeds out of the pods for this recipe. It takes a little time, but is so worth the effort. This is a grown-up bread with sophisticated flavor although I had two little guys licking the bowl and beater with great gusto.
Either butter or creamed cheese make a nice addition to the dark moist slices of bread. Consider making little cheese sandwiches with creamed cheese citrus spread.
The following recipe makes 2 large loaves of bread or 4 small ones. Slices of the small loaves are just right for the school lunch boxes.
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