This recipe provides lovely light, soft loaves with a good firm texture and a great semi-sweet flavour, both of which are enhanced by the fruit pieces. This is a much modified version of a recipe by Paul Hollywood, found in his excellent book “100 Great Breads”.
Servings: About 12 slices Time: 2 hours including rising time Difficulty: Easy
- 300g rye flour
- 200g strong white flour
- 7g instant dried yeast
- 10g salt
- 60g unsalted butter, softened
- 350ml water
- 125g dried apricots, chopped quite small
- Put the flours, salt and yeast into a large bowl and mix well. (Do not let the salt and yeast come into direct contact before mixing, as the salt will “kill” the yeast.)
- Add the softened butter and water. Continue mixing either by hand or in a stand mixer with the paddle tool attached.
- If kneading by hand, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 – 15 minutes, or until it has become malleable and elastic. If using a stand mixer, change to the dough hook and use on the slowest speed for about 7 – 10 minutes.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning it over a few times to coat the outer surface. Cover with cling film or a damp tea towel and leave to rise until doubled in volume – about 60 – 90 minutes.
- Line a baking tray. Tip the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knock it back, punching out any trapped air. Fold or push in the apricot pieces, distributing them as evenly as possible.
- Shape the dough into a sausage and taper the ends. Place on the baking tray and insert into a large plastic bag. Wrap the loose ends under the baking tray to create a sealed “micro-climate” for the second rise. Leave until risen – about 30 – 45 minutes. Meanwhile turn the oven on to 230C/fan 210C/450F/Gas 8.
- Gently rub flour over the risen loaf and use a sharp knife or razor blade to cut a series of diagonal slashes on top. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.
Tip 1: Use kitchen scissors to cut the apricots into small pieces.
Tip 2: If possible avoid having pieces of apricot on the surface of your loaf prior to baking as they are likely to blacken.
A Later addition – Apricot and Walnut Rye Bread
This is so similar to the original that I almost didn’t post it here, but it tastes so good I decided to add it on. The ingredients list only varies with the addition of 75g chopped walnuts. The loaf shown in the gallery below was very big; on reflection I wish I’d divided the dough into two and made two loaves.