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.
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.
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.
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.
Wrap the bread tightly in plastic and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
Whole-wheat pastry flour is available at most health-food stores and specialty shops.
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