Almond and Apricot Bread


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 75ml fresh orange juice
  • 425g strong white flour
  • 100g type '00' flour
  • 2 tsp fast-action yeast
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp semolina, for dusting
  • Filling
  • 100g ready-roasted Marcona almonds, chopped
  • 100g dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Mix the orange juice with 200ml hot water. In a large bowl, mix the flours with the yeast, salt and sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the orange juice mixture, slowly mixing in the dry ingredients between additions of liquid.
  2. Bring the mixture together into a rough dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic (it should spring back when gently pressed with your finger). Return it to the bowl and cover with greased clingfilm. Set in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  3. Meanwhile, mix all the filling ingredients together. Set aside.
  4. Tip the dough on to a clean surface and knock out the air. Pour the 3 tbsp olive oil into the centre of the dough, and knead it in. Keep going until the oil is absorbed and you have a smooth, shiny dough. Adding the oil in this way helps to give a good, open texture. Re-cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for another 45 minutes.
  5. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour and turn out the dough onto it. Knock out the air, then gently stretch or roll out the dough to a rectangle about 35 x 25cm and 1cm thick. Spread the almond filling on the dough, leaving a 2cm border. Fold the borders over the filling, all the way round, then fold the dough in half lengthways to form a ciabatta-style loaf. Dust a large baking sheet with 1 tbsp fine semolina. Gently lift the loaf on to the baking sheet. Sprinkle over the remaining semolina. Loosely cover with clingfilm and leave to rise for another 45 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 250°C/gas 9. Bake the loaf for 5 minutes. Lower the temperature to 180°C/gas 4 and bake for 20-25 minutes. The loaf should be golden brown on the outside and sound hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes plus rising
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes 60 minutes 10 minutes
3 stars

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This recipe was first published in Fri Nov 01 00:00:00 GMT 2002.