This apricot pecan bread was kind of an accident.
I was originally thinking of making cinnamon raisin bread so we could have french toast this past weekend, but as I rummaged through our itty-bitty pantry, I realized we were out of raisins.
Since apricots are now in season (SO. STOKED.), I thought a dried apricot version would be delightful. But plain apricot bread sounded kind of lame, like it was missing something, so I threw in some chopped pecans.
I’m so glad I did. Apricots + Pecans = Not Lame, and absolutely delicious.
This bread is amazingly chewy, but still tender enough to use to make sandwiches.
It’s also made with half whole wheat flour, is sweetened with a touch of honey or agave syrup, and garners some depth from the molasses. It’s one of my favorite baked goods that I’ve made in a long time.
This is meant to be a vegan recipe, but you could also swap out the dairy-free ingredients with regular butter and milk, if you so choose.
We used one loaf to make french toast last weekend, and it was amazing.
It was so different from the traditional version that we like to make with cinnamon raisin, in an entirely delicious way. I really think this will become my new go-to recipe for this purpose.
Something about the apricots and pecans just won my heart over. Love.
A word about the apricots: When you are shaping your loaves, try to keep them tucked inside the dough. After 45 minutes of baking at 350°F, all the sugars start to burn and don’t look so pretty.
They are easy to remove if you do get a few on the top, but just try to keep them tucked in there as best you can to minimize this.
It may seem like there are a lot of complicated steps involved to make this recipe, but after the first few loaves, you’ll feel like a pro. Foodal’s Ultimate Guide to Baking Bread at Home can help you to develop this skill even further.
This recipe is pretty forgiving, so if this is your first time, just go for it! If baking bread is old hat for you, you’ll love the simple recipe with its complex flavors. This one really is for everyone.Print
This easy apricot pecan bread is filled with dried fruit and chopped nuts, sweetened with a bit of honey and with added complexity from rich molasses. Delicious!
- 13.5 oz bread flour (3 cups)
- 13.5 oz whole wheat flour (3 cups)
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 17 fl oz unsweetened almond milk (2 cups + 2 Tbsp)
- 2 fl oz vegetable oil (1/4 cup)
- 1 3/4 fl oz agave syrup (scant 1/4 cup), or honey for non-vegan version
- 1/2 fl oz molasses (about 1 Tbsp)
- 1 scant cup chopped dried apricots (about 5 oz)
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- Cooking oil spray
- Combine the flours, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix well.
- Measure the milk into a 2-cup glass measuring cup, then microwave until lukewarm, about 45 seconds. Add the vegetable oil, then pour over the dry ingredients in the large bowl.
- Add the honey and molasses, then use a large spoon to stir to form a shaggy dough.
- If you are using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and knead on low for about 10 minutes, until the dough is tacky and smooth. If you are kneading by hand, dump the contents of the bowl out onto a large wood cutting board or other smooth surface. Knead for about 12 minutes, until the dough is tacky and smooth.
- Just before you have finished kneading, add the chopped apricots and pecans, and knead in until they are evenly distributed.
- Shape the dough into a large ball with your hands, then place into a well-oiled bowl (the one you used to mix the dough is fine) with the seam side down. Spray the top with oil, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Let the dough rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes, until very puffy and doubled in size. When poked gently, it should maintain the indentation.
- Gently punch the air out of the dough, then turn onto a cutting board greased with spray oil. Divide the dough in two, then shape each half into a ball. Let rest for 5 minutes.
- Pat each ball into an 8×12″ rectangle, then roll into a log from the short end, pinching the seam closed as you go. Just before you finish rolling it up, tuck the ends in a bit, as shown in the image above. Finish the roll off, then pinch the final seam closed.
- Place each piece of dough into a well-oiled 8×4″ loaf pan, and cover the pans with plastic wrap. Let rise for another 45 minutes or so, until a dome has formed about an inch over the rim of the pans.
- About 15 minutes before baking, preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake the loaves side by side for about 45-50 minutes, rotating halfway through, until a thermometer inserted into the middle registers 190°F (I use a meat thermometer). I recommend lightly covering the loaves with a sheet of foil after baking for 30 minutes or so, to avoid excess browning.
- As soon as the bread is out of the oven, invert to remove from the pans (wear your oven mitts!). Place right-side up on a cooling rack, and let cool at least 1 hour before slicing.
Keywords: vegan, quick bread, apricot, pecan
Since this recipe makes two loaves, you have plenty to share with a friend or neighbor, to make a big breakfast when guests are visiting, or to slow away in the freezer until you’re ready to pull it out later.
How will you enjoy this scrumptious fruit and nut bread? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to give the recipe a rating when you try it!
Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on May 26, 2015. Last updated: November 7, 2018 at 13:34 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Raquel Smith
Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now being merged into Foodal).