In the homestretch leading up to the New Year, those who have practically just polished off Thanksgiving’s last load of dirty pie and casserole dishes may not have baking on the brain. But even if you’ve picked through most of the pantry stockpile or are finding your home cooking motivation exhausted, cozy weather has a reputation for inspiring seasonal sugar-and-spicy cravings. If you’re short on ingredients and willpower but yearning for a home-baked holiday, six ingredients and one hour stand between you and this cider tribute to classic beer bread.
A longtime favorite quick bread, classic beer bread simplifies the bread making process by cutting out the wait time that comes with prepping dry yeast and proofing, or allowing the dough to rise. Instead, the beer’s existing yeast takes over as a natural leavener, making for a loaf that remains dense yet moist.
Now, swap the beer for cider and you’ve got a slightly sweeter, delicate apple take—perfect for pairing with a sweet butter, such as this cinnamon and brown sugar blend, or toasting (or French-toasting) for breakfast or brunch. We recommend opting for a winter seasonal cider, such as Bad Seed Cider‘s Bourbon Barrel Reserve, for an added layer of warm, woody spice. Aged for eight weeks in bourbon barrels from Kentucky, this offering from the Highland, NY cidery delivers a rich dose of apple upfront with a lingering vanilla presence that plays well with the recipe’s addition of maple syrup, balancing sweet and yeasty in this holiday-ready cider bread.
Cider Bread with Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Butter
For the bread
3 cups all purpose flour
1-tablespoon baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
12-ounce bottle Bad Seed Bourbon Barrel Reserve (or your favorite seasonal cider)
For the butter
1 stick butter
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 ºF and coat a standard loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, blend together flour, baking powder and salt. Add maple syrup, 3 tablespoons of the melted butter and cider, stirring until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread evenly. Drizzle remaining tablespoon of melted butter over the top.
Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
While the bread bakes, in a separate bowl, beat the stick of softened butter with brown sugar and cinnamon until combined. Allow the prepared butter to solidify at room temperature or cover and store in the refrigerator for later.
Let loaf cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan and cooling completely. Slice and serve with prepared butter, plain butter, or enjoy as is—preferably followed by another glass of cider.