I wanted sweet bread for breakfast not long ago. If you are in the mood for a delicious breakfast bread, and it is cool enough to use the over (!) try this one!
Apricot Filled Cardamom Bread
- 4 1/2 teaspoons or 2 packets active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (95 degrees F)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup milk, scalded
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- Egg wash: 1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Confectioners' sugar icing, optional
For the Apricot Filling:
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 boxes (16 ounces) dried apricots
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- In a small bowl or 2-cup measure combine the yeast, warm water, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 cup flour. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean towel and set aside until bubbly and very active, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, scald the milk. Pour immediately into a large bowl and add the butter, salt, sugar, cardamom, vanilla and beaten eggs. Stir to melt the butter. When the mixture is lukewarm, add the yeast mixture and mix together.
- Add flour, one cup at a time, until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and scrape out the bowl. Lightly oil the bowl and set aside.
- Knead the dough, using only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands and the board. The dough should be soft and pliable, but not sticky. (The secret to a soft, tender bread is a soft dough.)
- Place the dough into the oiled bowl, turn to oil all surfaces and cover with plastic wrap and a clean towel. Let sit in a warm place for about 45 minutes, or until doubled.
- Punch down and round into a ball. Divide in half, cover with plastic wrap and let rest 10 to 15 minutes.
- Lightly fold down dough. Divide dough in 2 pieces. Put plastic wrap over the top and set aside. Take one piece and roll it out into a rectangle approximately 16-inches x 9-inches to form a rectangle.
- Spread apricot filling over the dough, leaving 1 inch of clear space on all sides. Roll the dough, starting at the narrow end, pinching the dough closed at the seam. Place on greased baking sheet in a curve and set aside.
- Repeat with second section of dough.
- Cover loaves with plastic wrap and a clean towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush tops of loaves with the egg wash.
- Bake loaves 25 to 35 minutes, or until a rich, golden brown. Cool on wire racks. To decorate: Drizzle with thick Confectioners' Sugar Glaze (below), and top with sliced almonds.
Confectioners' Sugar Glaze: Mix 1 cup confectioners' sugar with 2 tablespoons liquid (water, milk, a few drops of flavor extract, rum, brandy, grated lemon or orange peel, etc.) If you drizzle glaze on right after pastries come out of the oven, it will spread and create a clear, shiny glaze over the whole surface. For more crunch, sprinkle nuts over this before it hardens.
Sweet Bread Apricot Filling:
Pour the boiling water over the apricots and cover with plastic wrap so that they can steam. When the apricots have softened, drain them. You can reserve the flavored sugar, cardamom and extract in a food processor and pulse until you have a thick puree.
This was a fantastic bread! I braided mine, but may not do that the next time. The extra work wasn't really necessary.
What is your favorite breakfast bread?