Apricot Rye Bread

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


  1. 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.)
  2. Add the softened butter and water. Continue mixing either by hand or in a stand mixer with the paddle tool attached.
  3. 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. 
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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. 

IMGP3965 Fri 23rd - Apricot Rye bread - 8+



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.