Sunday, May 6, 2012

Maple Walnut Crumble Bread

I'm on a quick bread kick (say that 10 times fast).  Thank you to King Arthur Flour ("KAF") for sending me their Boyajian Natural Maple Flavor to try – I'm in love! - and for kindly sponsoring a giveaway on my blog.*  (Refer to my Banana Rum Bread post for an explanation of my informal baking relationship with KA.)

As I've said before, like many home bakers, I'm a big fan of KAF and believe they've done so much to keep American home baking traditions alive, relevant and fun. If you are a novice or the most advanced baker, they have something for you - including a wealth of free recipes on their site. 

Crumble topping. It's pretty darn good!

Can hardly tell you how much I love working with this maple flavor. Number one, it's super strong and I started with less than I thought I might need. I teaspoon was plenty and I then added 1/2 teaspoon to the crumble.  Number two, I rarely skip vanilla in any sweet recipe, but I wanted to taste pure maple goodness. Number three, as much as I'm head-over-heels for this new recipe (a take-off on my Banana Rum Bread), I'm already thinking about a maple walnut shortbread and a maple walnut icebox cookie. A baker can dream, right?

I bake so much with vanilla and lemon extract, and occasionally almond extract, that homey, sweet maple felt like it was giving my baking a real pop this week. And it's always cool to try a new product.
For picture taking today, I got carried away and used a great big 1.5 lb loaf pan - which resulted in an obnoxious sized loaf.  At the very least, it's HUGE and I'm freezing half of it. I have a variety of loaf pans, you're not surprised, and I prefer 2 medium pans for this recipe. Making a note for next time!  And definitely go with the bake-and-serve for gift giving. 

*King Arthur Giveaway:
King Arthur is generously sending one lucky baker a set of bake-and-serve quick bread loaf pans, a bottle of Boyajian Natural Maple Flavor and a coupon for a bag of King Arthur flour (redeemable at your local grocer).
To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below telling me if you use maple syrup or flavor in your baking, or if your don't!  And if you have a maple walnut cookie recipe, I would be very curious to know more. 
A winner will be chosen by random using on Sunday, May 13th and announced here on the blog. I will name the winner in the comments section below and he/she will have until Wednesday, May 16th at 5pm EST to contact me at with a *U.S.* mailing address. As in the past, if you don’t contact me, I will pick a second winner using

A piece of Maple Walnut Crumble Bread. Yes, please!

Maple Walnut Crumble Bread
Four  3/4lb/12 oz Loaves, 2 medium loaves or 1 great big loaf
(if not using bake-and-serve-pans, be sure to grease/flour your pans)
Have all ingredients at room temperature
Preheat oven to 350° 

Recipe note: A crumble filling/topping is an extra indulgence but makes this loaf special. If you wish, omit the crumble but add the 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts to the bread batter.

Set aside on a sheet pan, 4 bake-and-serve quick bread loaf pans or greased/floured loaf pans

For the bread:
2-3/4 cups/370 grams/13 ounces unbleached all-purpose white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

11 tablespoons/5-1/2 ounces/155 grams unsalted butter

1-1/3 cups/266 grams/9 oz sugar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

2-1/2 cups/500 grams/1 lb 2 ounces unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon Boyajian Natural Maple Flavor 
1 TBSP Grade B Maple Syrup

Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder, then sift mixture and set aside.

Combine applesauce, maple flavor and maple syrup with a whisk and set aside.

In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, starting on low speed, beat the butter and sugar until combined. Switch the mixer to medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

Scrape down sides of work bowl. With mixture set to low, add eggs in a slow, steady stream and beat until just combined. Scrape down sides of bowl, then turn mixer to medium-high and beat until well combined, light and fluffy again.

Add the flour mixture all at once and beat until just combined. Mixture will look dry for a batter.

Add applesauce mixture all at once and beat for a few seconds. Remove work bowl from and finish folding in the bananas with a spatula. If skipping crumble and adding just walnuts to batter, do so now.

For the crumble:
8 tablespoons/112 grams/4 ounces unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp Boyajian Natural Maple Flavor
1/2 cup/100 grams/3.5 ounces sugar
pinch sea salt
1 1/4 cups/170 grams/6 ounces unbleached, all purpose flour
1/2 cup/65 grams/2 1/4 ounces walnuts, toasted

Whisk together flour, sugar and salt and set aside.
Whiz up toasted walnuts in a food processor until finely ground

Combine dry ingredients with butter and walnuts using the back of a wooden spoon or your impeccably clean hands.

Evenly divide 1/2 the batter between the bake-and-serve loaf pans* (keep them on the sheet pan for baking). Evenly divide 1/2 the crumble among the loaves (middle layer).
Evenly divide the remaining batter between the loaves, smoothing it with a table knife or small offset spatula, then evenly divide the remaining crumble between the loaves (topping).

Bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 30 minutes using bake-and-serve loaf pans, approximately 45-55 minutes for a large loaf.  Remove breads to a wire rack and let breads cool completely before wrapping, freezing or refrigerating.

*Whatever pans you are using, 1 or 4, spoon half the batter in the pan, smooth, add crumble, add rest of batter, smooth and top with remaining crumble.