Easter has developed a bad habit of sneaking up on me in recent years.
I swear, it just seems to suddenly pop up out of nowhere, announcing itself solely through lavish amounts of kitsch rabbit decor in store windows.
Maybe it's because I rarely celebrated it as a youngin', or maybe it's the lack of presents *ahem Mom* (kidding), but I can never manage to climb aboard the Easter bandwagon.
It was only at one point, as a teen, that I fervently attempted to make up for my lack of spirit. I blame it on peer pressure* and the temptation that is holiday candy.
*Easters were spent as most days were; holed up at ballet school.
If the abnormal amount of Peeps that I consumed were any indication of my enthusiasm, my unabashed love for this holiday would have been undeniable.
(To be honest, if I'd eaten any more of them, I might have turned in to a Peep myself. A protuberant, artificially-pink mass without any discernible shape.
Although I wouldn't mind it if I grew bunny ears and had eyes made of chocolate...)
Maybe it’s the lack of Peeps in the EU that’s to blame for my lack of merriment?!
So this year, while everyone else was slaving over their hot-cross buns and easter loaves, tediously kneading, braiding and piping, I took the lazy approach and made this easy Oatie-Apple Bread instead.
A perfect recipe for those laid-back Sundays -- to eat at brunch or to save for weekday breakfasts.
(I am not good at making bread. Anyone can make this bread. All you need is 5 minutes of elbow grease.)
Toast a thick slice of this bread, top with some bain-marie scrambled eggs and some Sriracha. The perfect balance of fluffy and rich; sweet and spicy.
You won’t regret it.
You won't even feel bad that you forgot to paint the eggs...
**Makes one hearty loaf**
250 g whole wheat flour 250 g plain white flour, plus extra for coating the apples 50 g oats, plus extra for topping 100 g honey pinch of salt 325 ml warm water 1 tbs sugar 1 packet (7 g) instant dried yeast 1 small apple(preferably a tart apple), diced in to small cubes 1 egg beaten with a splash of water
Measure out 325 ml of water, a little bit warmer than body temperature, but not too hot. Sprinkle in the sugar and yeast. Stir and set aside.
Add the flours, oats, honey and salt together in a big mixing bowl. The yeast-y water should be foamy by now. Add the wet in to the dry, and stir to combine.
Flour a surface and knead the dough for about five minutes. The dough will be a bit sticky, but should also be soft and elastic.
Toss your apple chunks with about a tablespoon of flour, and then add them to your dough. Gently knead the apples in to the dough.
Put your dough back in to the bowl, cover it with saran wrap/cling film, and leave it in a draft-free place to rise for an hour.
Punch down the dough and transfer it in to a greased bread tin. Cover again and prove for another half hour. Preheat your oven to 175 C (350 F).
Carefully brush the top of the bread with a bit of egg wash (for a shiny top) and sprinkle over some oats.
Bake for an hour. Remove the bread from the tin, and return it to the oven for another 15-20 minutes. Tent with foil if the bread is browning too quickly.
Let cool before cutting in to thick slices and enjoying.
Happy Easter all.
© 2014 The Ballerina Chef