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Apple Ladder Loaf

I first served my family this rich ladder recipe years ago. From the very first bite, it was a hit with everyone. Now I bake it often for church groups, potluck dinners and parties with friends. It makes a nice breakfast pastry or a lovely dessert. —Norma Foster, Compton, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 70 min. + chilling Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    2 loaves (10 slices each)

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (110° to 115°)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4-1/2 to 4-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • FILLING:
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 4 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • ICING:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add the milk, butter, sugar, salt, eggs and 2 cups flour. Beat on low speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours; punch dough down. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half into a 12-in. x 9-in. rectangle. Place each on a greased baking sheet. Spread with butter. For filling, combine the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in a large bowl;
  • add apples and toss to coat. Spread filling down center third of each rectangle.
  • On each long side, cut 1-in. wide strips about 3 in. into center. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling; seal ends.Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 45-60 minutes.
  • Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Combine icing ingredients until smooth; drizzle over warm loaves. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 250 calories, 8g fat (5g saturated fat), 62mg cholesterol, 205mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 1g fiber), 5g protein.
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Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • wrenjen523
    Oct 8, 2013

    little dense, overall ok. got a good rating from the coworker who likes everything.

  • crene3
    Oct 11, 2011

    I made this and I loved it. The first one I didn't fill as much, so I had extra filling in the second. It was a lot of work but well worth it.

  • ninagephart
    Aug 3, 2011

    My granddaughter entered this recipe in local 4-h and won champion. She is now going to the state fair with it.

  • naydawn
    Mar 4, 2011

    I hav made this a few times and taken it as gifts and always very much enjoyed. And I am not a person who makes much with homemade breads. But seems to always worl out for me.

  • abbie2005
    Jan 27, 2011

    I make this every summer when our apple orchard is bursting full of apples! It is by far the BEST apple sweetbread I have ever tried!

  • abbie2005
    Sep 26, 2010

    This is the best apple sweet bread I have ever made! I like to make it in the summer when our apple trees are loaded with the fresh, sweet fruit!

  • chalyndria
    Jan 4, 2010

    Very very good. I must admitt though that I didn't follow the recipe to a "T". In the dough I added about a tablespoon of fresh orange peel, and for the glaze I added about a tsp of fresh orange peel to go with the fresh squeezed juice that goes into it. I also used the bread machine on the dough cycle and baked the same day with awesome results. This one is a winner!