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Apricot Quick Bread

Apricot Quick Bread #DaringBakers

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The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

I adapted a recipe for Apricot Cranberry Bread from King Arthur Flour. Instead of a whole cup of dried cranberries, I used a half cup dried cherries and a half cup of Craisins. I substituted orange extract for the orange oil/zest and eliminated the nuts and nutmeg. The crust was crisp and sweet and the abundance of fresh dried fruit provided deliciousness with every bite. The undertones of orange and cinnamon were not overwhelming, but complementary to the dried fruit; this Apricot Quick Bread was just delightful.

Here are a few tips for making quick breads:

  • Quick breads can be sweet or savory, and they are a modern innovation; they became common after the introduction of baking powder and baking soda.
  • Baking powder is a combination of acid and alkaline that reacts together when moistened to form gases that raises the baked quick bread. Usage 1 to 2 teaspoons per cup of flour.
  • Baking soda (an alkaline salt, sodium bicarbonate) is used when the liquid is acidic, such as buttermilk, honey, molasses, tomato sauce etc. Usage ½ to 1 teaspoon per cup of acidic liquid.
  • Be sure your baking powder and baking soda are fresh.
  • Measure ingredients accurately, using the measuring tools and techniques suggested.
  • Preheat the oven to the correct baking temperature. Arrange racks so that the bread will bake in the center of the oven which has the best heat distribution in the oven.
  • To allow for good air circulation while baking, leave at least 1 inch of space between pans and between pans and sides of oven. Switch pan positions and rotate pans halfway through baking.
  • The two top secrets to moist, tender quick bread are 1) in the mixing: always use a quick light technique so you don’t over-mix the batter 2) don’t over-bake since this cause dryness in the final baked product.

Apricot Quick Bread…adapted from King Arthur Flour

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup dried apricots*, diced
1/2 cup dried cherries, quartered if large
1/2 cup dried cranberries, I used Craisins
Preheat oven to 350º. Grease large loaf pan and line with parchment paper.
Cream together the butter, sugar, orange extract, the salt, baking powder and cinnamon until well blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir in the flour, then add the milk 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Gently mix in the dried fruit.

Spoon the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven, and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.

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*See apricot source below.
And here is Lisa’s recipe for a basic quick bread.  This can be adapted by using different extracts.

Basic Quick Bread

Makes one 9” x 5” (23×13 cm) loaf

Recipe from Sara Schewe
2 cups (480 ml) (250 gm/9 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 cup (240 ml) (225 gm/8 oz) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (3 gm) fine sea salt or table salt
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk or soured milk*
1 large egg
1/4 cup (60 ml) mild- or non-flavored oil, like canola
1 teaspoon (5 ml) flavored extract, such as vanilla or almond
for the glaze
1/3 cup (80 ml) (35 gm/1-1/3 oz) confectioners’ (icing) sugar
1-2 teaspoons (5-10 ml) milk
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to moderate 350ºF/180ºC/gas mark 4. Grease a 9×5 inch (23×13 centimeter) loaf pan with butter and line with parchment paper cut to fit the length and width of the pan, with enough overhang to allow easy removal after baking. Grease the top sheet of parchment.
  2. In large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and salt to combine. Make a well in the center and set aside.
  3. Lightly whisk (butter)milk, egg, oil, and extract to combine. Pour into well and stir until just mixed into a batter. The batter will be lumpy and may still show a few streaks of flour.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely before slicing. Drizzle with glaze, if desired.
  5. For the glaze: Slowly whisk confectioners’ (icing) sugar and half of the milk, adding more milk as needed to thin the glaze to the desired consistency.
Note: To make soured milk, combine 1 cup milk (240 ml) with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vinegar or lemon juice and let sit for 10 minutes.
I was given some samples of Gourmet Sun-Dried Apricots from Enduring Sun.  I used a mixture of the Larissa, Jelena, Natasha and Valentina in this quick bread.  My baking friends were given the opportunity to taste test each variety. They found the plump Jelenas to be the best to eat out of hand…but all were delicious.  The varieties were found to have orange, lemon or clementine undertones…some sweeter and some slightly tart. These heirloom apricots were heads and tails above what I could purchase at my local market…so soft and fresh. If quality is important to you, you’ll be impressed with these dried fruits.
Disclosure: I received the dried apricots courtesy of Landcaster International, but the opinions stated in this post are my own.  I was not compensated in any way for writing this post. 


And a big thanks to Sonali of Only Fish Recipes for sharing two lovely blog awards with me. Thank you, my sweet friend!!!
award
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71 comments on “Apricot Quick Bread #DaringBakers”

  1. Sound delicious! Looks like fruit cake which I love and just finished a loaf! I’ll have to bake another one!

  2. Your bread looks delicious! I love the fruit pieces spread throughout the slice. Nice job on the challenge!

  3. Lizzy, Such pretty loaves of bread! Apricots and cherries…Yum! Congrats on the awards!

  4. Lizzy, I must say that all your bakes are always turn out to be so perfect! This bread look very delicious with lots of apricots in every slice of them and it is so perfectly risen with a great texture!

  5. Congratulations on the award Lizzy! The quick bread looks so tasty with the infusion of fruits in it! Something I would definitely like to have with my afternoon hot chocolate!

  6. I love how you used the dried fruits in here. It doesn’t sound too sweet either so I can imagine having this for breakfast would be still appropriate. This quick one looks easy for me to follow. Thank you for the recipe, I will be making this sometime soon!

  7. Congrats on your awards and for the great job on this challenge. Your bread has the perfect split/indentation done the middle. I also loved that you used apricots, yummy!

  8. I love how elegant the pictures of the quick bread well done. The way the fruit is distributed evenly throughout the crumb a great job on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  9. This is such a nice bread.. I would love it with milk.. while it’s still warm 🙂

  10. Congratulations for the blog awards! You merit all the awards in the world.
    The cake looks so good… Like a perfect Winter treat before fresh fruit starts appearing.

  11. I love the tips you left. If there is one thing that I hate it’s burnt sides & a dry tasting finished product. Especially when it’s sweet. Good job on the challenge, I love everything that you put in here.

  12. This bread is too gorgeous my friend – so stuffed with flavour!! Thanks for the baking tips as well my friend 🙂
    And a huge congratulations on your awards, they are much deserved!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  13. Lovely post. I love apricots but normally just eat them plan whether it be fresh or dried. Your bread looks fantastic. I think quick breads are the best.

  14. Congratulations on the award, Lizzy! You definitely deserve it!

    As for the bread *drools* yet another I will definitely be trying.

  15. My goodness this bread looks amazing! Great job packing so many great flavors into your quick bread! 🙂

  16. What great substitutions. I love quick breads and will have to give this recipe a try.

  17. I adore apricots and have yet to try them in a quick bread like this! Great job with the challenge and I love the quick bread tips!

  18. Mmm, I have never had apricot bread – it sounds fantastic. And congratulations!

  19. Congrats on the award Liz! Love your take on this month’s challenge.

  20. Apricot Bread recipe is very delicious and good for health. Here i found news varieties of Bread recipes and easy to make at home.

  21. Gorgeous! I would prefer this bread to fruit cake!

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