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Dried Apricot-Pecan Bread

  • SERVINGS: MAKES TWO 7 1/4-BY-3 1/2-INCH LOAVES
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • VEGETARIAN

When chopping dried apricots, lightly oil the knife blade to prevent sticking.

  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 1 cup boiling water
  3. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  4. 1 1/2 cups dried apricots (10 ounces), coarsely chopped
  5. 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  6. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1 cup chopped pecans (4 ounces)
  9. 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (see Note)
  10. 2 large eggs
  11. 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, boiling water and butter. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then add the apricots. Set aside for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat two 7 1/4 -by-3 1/2 -inch loaf pans with cooking spray or grease and flour the pans.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the unbleached flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in the warm apricot mixture. Sprinkle the pecans and whole-wheat pastry flour over the batter. Add the eggs and orange juice and beat just until the ingredients are blended and the fruit and nuts are evenly distributed.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and let stand for 15 minutes. Bake the loaves in the middle of the oven for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the tops are firm, the loaves pull away from the sides of the pan and a cake tester inserted into the centers comes out clean. Turn the loaves out onto a rack and let cool completely.
Make Ahead Wrap the bread tightly in plastic and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Notes Whole-wheat pastry flour is available at most health-food stores and specialty shops.
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