Put the applesauce in a small saucepan and warm briefly over low heat. Sprinkle the yeast over the applesauce and set aside until it begins to foam, about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl mix the flours, spices and salt. Make a well in the center and spoon the yeast mixture into the well. Using fingertips gradually work the flour into the yeast mixture while adding the hard cider. When the dough comes together in a ball, turn it out onto a floured board and knead it until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. Place it in an oiled bowl, cover and let it rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
Butter two 4 cup loaf pans. Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Shape each half into an oval loaf and transfer the loaves to prepared pans. Cover, and let rise again until the dough fills the pans, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Alternately chill the dough for at least 8 hours or up to 3 days.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place a roasting pan on the oven floor and fill it half full with hot water.
Bake the loaves in the preheated oven until they are brown and sound hollow when rapped, 50 to 60 minutes. Remove the loaves from the pans and bake them for an additional 5 minutes. Cool completely on a rack before slicing.
Recipe Courtesy of David Rosengarten