Apricots are a small, orange and flavorful fruit. Unfortunately, apricots are highly seasonal and can be one of the hardest fruits to find in a grocery store or market at certain times of the year. However, dried apricots work equally well when rehydrated and this recipe uses dried apricots. This bread is actually a batter or cake bread. Unlike yeast breads that start with a dough ball that is left to rise, batter breads start with a batter that looks like pancake batter. The standard indicator for a batter bread is the use of baking soda and/or baking powder in place of yeast. It’s also important to note that a batter or cake bread will not rise before baking. The bread rises in the pan towards the end of the baking cycle.
Soak the apricots in warm water for 30 minutes. Chop into pieces. Reserve the apricots and nuts and add all of the other ingredients to the bread pan and either select the cake bread setting to bake from start to finish in the bread machine or the pasta or pizza dough setting if you want to finish in the oven.
If you have a fruit and nut hopper, dust the apricots with flour and add the fruit and nuts to the hopper. If you don’t have a fruit and nut hopper, add the fruit and nuts to the batter towards the end of the kneading cycle when you hear an audible beep. That’s the signal to add fruit and/or nuts. In a bread machine, set the machine to the Cake Bread setting for a 1-pound loaf and medium crust.
If you’re baking the bread in a bread machine let it rest for 10 minutes upon completion. If you’re baking in the oven, preheat the oven to 400° F. Pour the batter into a buttered bread pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. The standard test for any batter bread is to insert a knife or wooden skewer into the center of the loaf when you think it’s done. If the knife or skewer emerge wet, add 10 minutes of baking time and repeat until the knife or skewer emerge dry.