Cranberry Apricot Bread

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One of the great things you can do once you get into the hang of baking bread every week is to change it up without any real effort. This week, we thought that we’d go with a batch of cranberry apricot bread. Super yummy! We got the idea of using cranberries and apricots from Barrio Bread (best bread on the planet, really), as Don sometimes has these loaves available for purchase. While we got the basic bread recipe from Don, we based our version on the idea of adding in the fruit during kneading.Makes three loaves. (two Apricot Cranberry, one plain)

Cranberry Apricot Bread

Cranberry Apricot Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 batch of basic bread dough
  • 100 grams dried apricots, cut into pieces (50 grams per loaf)
  • 50 grams dried cranberries (25 grams per loaf)

Abbreviated Instructions

Make basic bread dough. Make it and knead it through the first three knead rest cycles.

After the third kneading, cut off 660 grams (or so) of dough. This will be your plain loaf, leaving about 1330 grams for the Apricot Cranberry loaves. Spread out the larger piece of dough along the cut edge (so it’s sticky) until you have a rough rectangle about 12×14 inches.

Spread the dried fruit on the surface and fold in to seal. Tuck the raw edges in, turn the dough over and let rest about 5 minutes.

After the fruit-laden dough has rested for 5 minutes, carefully knead for 5 minutes, trying not to let the dried fruit escape.

Now form into a ball, and let rest for 5 minutes.

Again, knead the fruit-laden dough for 5 minutes (or 300 strokes), trying to keep the dried fruit inside.

Now, just as in the basic bread recipe, shape the dough into a ball, and let it go through the bulk rise. Then pre-shape, then shape, then bake in the cast-iron dutch oven.

http://scratchinit.halversen.com/2013/03/cranberry-apricot-bread/

bits of apricots and cranberries
We cut each dried apricot into six pieces. Small enough to be a little bite, but not so small that you don’t notice.

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of basic bread dough
  • 100 grams dried apricots, cut into pieces (50 grams per loaf)
  • 50 grams dried cranberries (25 grams per loaf)

    Ingredient discussion:

Make up the basic bread, just as always, but only through the third kneading stage. That’s when we’ll be adding the dried fruit. We didn’t want to make all three loaves as Cranberry Apricot Bread. You can, though; just use more apricots and cranberries. You could even add nuts, but we wouldn’t recommend going past the 75 grams of add-ins per loaf.

Procedure:

Make basic bread dough. Make it and knead it through the first three knead and rest cycles. Then you’ll have another two kneading cycles to go before letting the dough go into the bulk rise stage.

easuring out dough
Cut off the portion of dough that you’ll use for a plain loaf — about 660 grams.

Cut the dough. After the third kneading, cut off 660 grams (or so) of dough. This will be your plain loaf, leaving about 1330 grams for the Apricot Cranberry loaves. Spread out the larger piece of dough along the cut edge (so it’s sticky) until you have a rough rectangle about 12×14 inches.

cranberries and apricots on dough
Open up the larger, remaining piece, and spread the apricots and cranberries over the top.

Add fruit. Spread the dried fruit on the surface and fold in to seal. Tuck the raw edges in, turn the dough over and let rest about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, form the smaller piece of dough into a ball, and knead for 5 minutes.

cranberry apricot dough
Fold the dough over to seal in the fruit, then turn over and let sit for about 5 minutes – to help form a good seal.

Knead. After the fruit-laden dough has rested for 5 minutes, carefully knead for 5 minutes, trying not to let the dried fruit escape.

Let rest. Now form into a ball, and let rest for 5 minutes. (You can knead the single loaf during this time).

Knead. Again, knead the fruit-laden dough for 5 minutes (or 300 strokes), trying to keep the dried fruit inside. Some will come up to the surface and start to poke out. That’s fine, it’ll look good when the bread bakes.

cranberry apricot bread
Cranberry Apricot dough ready for the bulk rise.

Now, just as in the basic bread recipe, shape the dough into a ball, and let it go through the bulk rise. Then pre-shape, then shape, then bake in the cast-iron dutch oven. Then enjoy.

You might think from reading that this is a bit too sweet for a savory bread, but it turns out that it has just the right amount of fruit to add that little hint of sweetness. We think that this is one of the best breads from which to make grilled cheese sandwiches. Provided you use a sharp Cheddar. Oh, man, just thinking about it makes us drool. Fives!

Worth the trouble?

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