Apple almond bread

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Why are almonds and apples so good together? I've been on a real kick lately and luckily, a fresh apple with almond butter is a-okay on Whole 30. And we've almost made it to the bottom of our apple bucket. M is the lucky recipient of the many many many almond breads I've made, though we had a minor meltdown when I realized that one of them had gone south after I offered it to him. Oops.

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Why have I tested this recipe so much, you might ask? Well, I thought my first try was pretty darn close to perfect, but my husband thought it was too dry. I thought he was crazy, but his comment stuck in my craw. I tried this quick bread with more butter, more yogurt, more butter and yogurt, etc, but the end results never warranted the extra fat from the butter or the earlier spoilage that resulted from the extra yogurt.

If you like a wetter crumb, feel free to throw in another 1/4 cup of yogurt, but remember that you probably shave off a day from the life of your loaf. (Sans extra yogurt, you get about 4-5 days loosely wrapped at room temperature from this bad boy- not that you'll need it).

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For health purposes, you may want to leave off the topping since it's more butter and sugar, which isn't the best way to start the day if you want this bread for breakfast. HOWEVER, I encourage you to live a little and add the topping because it really makes the bread. And it adds less than a teaspoon of brown sugar to each serving while increasing the almond flavor from the raw almonds on top. No need to toast the almonds either because they'll toast while the bread cooks.

Also great about this bread? You only need one bowl (for the base, that is. Sorry)! I worried that throwing everything together in one bowl and not sifting any of the dry ingredients would affect the rise here, but every time, the one-bowl method has resulted in a tall, airy loaf.

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Apple almond bread

For the topping:
1 ½ Tbsp butter, melted
¼ cup sliced almonds (not toasted)
3 tbsp whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp brown sugar
pinch of salt

For the bread:
2.5 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup whole milk yogurt (non-Greek)
¾ cup maple syrup
2 eggs
½ tsp almond extract
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
½ cup almond flour (NOT almond meal if you can avoid it)
2 heaping Tbsp flax seed meal
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
3 cups diced apples (about 2 large apples, not peeled)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x5 or 10x5 loaf pan with olive oil and set aside.

In small bowl, melt the butter. Add the almonds, whole wheat flour, sugar, and salt and mix well. Set aside.

In a large bowl, melt the rest of the butter and let cool slightly. (Or, melt the butter halfway and stir to melt the rest. This usually results in warm, not hot, butter.)

Add the rest of the wet ingredients and whisk lightly to break up and mix in the eggs.

Add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined and no streaks remain. Set aside.

Chop the apples and add to the batter. Stir a few times to combine, but do not over mix.

Bake for 40-50 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Check the bread after about 30 minutes or if you start to smell the almond too strongly. Cover with foil if the topping browns too quickly and continue to bake until the tested comes out clean.

Yield: 8-10 slices.

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