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This is the my third loaf of the year, a white bread packed with dried apricots and walnuts. It’s really tasty (I may have eaten nearly half of the loaf while it was warm from the oven) with a bit of butter- neatly straddling the border between cake and bread territory.


This bread didn’t rise too well and I think it might be because I had to freeze the dough. Maybe fortified dough isn’t as amenable to freezing? I think I’ll try it again and see if it rises better if the dough isn’t frozen.


  • 350g/12oz strong white flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 sachet (2tsps) instant yeast
  • 1tsp caster sugar
  • 60g/2oz butter
  • 115g/4oz dried apricots, chopped
  • 55g/2oz walnuts, chopped
  • 150ml milk (room temperature)
  • 1 egg


  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in sugar and yeast.
  2. Rub in the butter, then add apricots and walnuts
  3. In a separate container, mix the egg and milk (I just whisk the egg into the jug I measure the milk in)
  4. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until a soft dough forms. If the dough seems dry, add up to 75ml tepid water.
  5. Transfer to a floured counter top and knead for 10 mins, until smooth.
  6. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for 2-3hours, until doubled in size.



I froze at this stage for uninteresting reasons. I would not recommend freezing this dough.

7. Knead the dough lightly for about 1 minute. You can divide into 5, rolling each section into a 30cm rope, then braiding 3 and placing the remaining 2 on top, twisted together. Or bung into a greased 1 pound loaf tin. Your call.

8. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to prove for a second time for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 220C (200 fan).


9. Bake for 10mins, then reduce heat to 190C (175 fan) for a further 20mins.

10. Leave to cool on a wire rack.