Swedish Apricot Walnut Bread

Swedish Apricot Walnut Bread

Swedish Apricot Walnut Bread



       were a challenge this week as Pumpernickel flour is not available in my immediate area.  After researching for a viable substitute, I found that Rye flour may be used in place of Pumpernickel flour without a substantial change in the flour’s properties.  Delighted, I did find a new health food store close by that sells “Sprouted Rye Flour”.


I had previously researched the benefits in general of a “Sprouted” flour and was pleasantly surprised such a viable alternative could be used for this recipe of the week.

According to the Food for Life Baking Company, their article What is Sprouted Grain Bread and What Health Benefits Does It Offer?,  they tells us… [The sprouted grain process involves soaking the grains in water until they begin to grow a sprout. The growing environment is highly controlled, including the water temp, air temp, and the time grains are allowed to sprout. Once the grains sprout, they are drained and mixed together to be ground up and used. Before the sprouted grain is used, it is a living food. Enzymes are released during the sprouting process, which break down proteins and carbohydrates. This process helps make sprouted grain food low glycemic and easier to digest. Traditional grain breads are harder to digest, and the body loses a good portion of the nutrients because it is unable to digest them. Sprouted grain breads provide the body with grain that has already been broken down due to the enzymes that exist in the living sprouted grain. Nutrients are absorbed immediately into the body, and are not lost in the digestive process.]

So when I saw a yeast bread, I immediately created a feasible timeline.  Please see the link below:

Timeline Swedish Walnut Apricot Bread

As I had three cakes to bake and three frosting recipes to create on the day the Swedish Apricot Walnut Bread was to be created, my timeline shifted a bit, but that’s the life of a business…

you readjust gladly, and with confidence you forge ahead, smile deeply both inside and out, and humbly say thank you for this and all future opportunities to do what makes me truly happy …



         I never really understood the comments of bakers that claimed they found “stress relief” in baking until today.  I had always enjoyed the activity but it was simply a means to an rewarding end…but Today as I was separating the biga into small pieces [ which I chose to do by hand ] and not kitchen shears, I did actually become one with the “experience” and all of my ( S.R.T.’s  [“Stress Related Thoughts“] simply vanished as I felt myself “meld” with the activity.  I think the choice to use my hands pulled me into that zone of which I will be forever grateful.


The smell of the biga was enhancing as well… I was one with that moment in smell, sight and touch…. What a wonderful experience to have as a baker….Thank you Rose!

OK…..this post is getting WAYYYY too heavy…

Please see below a sad bit of news juts released from Pillsbury…..


I really needed that…..

Thank you and onto  other news…..

I have a passion for certain flavor and texture combinations, dried cranberries and walnuts are one of my favorites, so when I saw this recipe, I had to add dried cranberries to the golden raisins….


Note my Service Date and Expiration Date on the Golden Raisins from the Golden Panettone a few weeks back….

Again, I find the mosaic beauty in the work; just look at this…..


So previously when we wanted dough to rise by half, we identified the problem with “MISSING TAPE”…

Where is the tape marker?

Who moved it?

Is there REALLY a health hazard or did you find it?

SO, as a remedy, I purchased an ANCHOR 2. qt measuring bowl with the most tight fitting lid I’ve ever seen


From this point forward, all measuring tape will be placed on the OUTSIDE of the said measuring bowl….


In this case, no need tape; just let it rise….

The dough was to rise double in size and be left in a warm, dry place with a temperature range of 75 degrees F to 85 degrees F.  I choose to turn my oven on and set it to 400 degrees F and place the dough close by.


As the vessel was more round the dough did double but horizontally, not vertically.

Next we sprayed a silicon spatula with cooking spray and gently separated the dough from, in my case, glass and moved the dough to a lightly floured surface.  I used bread flour of course.

Create a rectangle, fold the sides in like an envelope and then fold it back under itself to create a nice shaped rectangle.

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Spray the bowl again with cooking spray and place the dough back in the bowl and cover tightly with the lid.  I then moved the bowl back to the spot next to the warm oven and allowed the dough to rise, doubling again for about 2 hours.  I then place the container in the refrigerator overnight to allow the dough to rise again.

I did not really notice a lot of rising activity in the cold environment. 

I would like to discuss this technical step with the group to see what the chemical benefit really are for this dough.  If this step could be shortened, it would be ideal.

Please leave me your comments of your personal experience as an Alpha Baker below.

I turned on my oven again and let the dough set close by for two full hours to allow the dough to loose the chill and come to room temperature.   20150202_01053920150202_020307

A friend of mine, Jean, recommended a new product to me which I love.


In the previous post here regarding Rose’s technique for rolling pie dough in which you utilize two strips of plastic wrap on the counter top, I found that it was difficult to move the pie dough with two different “materials” underneath.   I had posed the question what ONE material could be used so that the product could be moved with greater ease.  Many of you taught me about the pastry cloth, but I haven’t purchased this item yet.  I saw the Reynolds Plastic Coated Freezer Paper at Walmart for $6.81 and you get a ton of it so I grabbed it.  Works like a charm.

Thank you Jean!

I will still purchase a pastry cloth but now I have options….

So i pulled off a large piece, placed it on the counter and lightly tossed bread flour on top.

We were to create next a rectangle approximately 7 x 5 inches with the longer portion facing you…


Fold the two top corners down creating a triangle at the first half of the rectangle, and place the dried apricots in a row just below the end of the folded over flaps….


You then gently roll the top and bottom together, making sure to encase the apricots and pinch the dough ends together where they meet to form a seam. Continue to work with the dough gently until you have formed a torpedo shaped loaf about 10 x 3 x 2 inches.

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Line a sheet pan with parchment and move the loaf, seam side down to the prepared sheet pan.  Spray plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray and cover.  I moved the loaf back next to the oven to allow for the FINAL rise for about an hour.  Move the oven rack to the lowest position and place a small 1/4 sheet pan on the base of the stove.  Adjust the oven temperature to  450 degrees F.


Get the sharpest knife in the kitchen and cut three gashes in the top about 1/2 inch deep and over the surface of the loaf, about 2 1/2 inches long.


I then get a cup of ice and my mister.  I mist the top of the dough, fling the ice cubes into the bottom of the oven onto the 1/4 sheet pan, CAREFULLY place the bread on the sheet pan on the lowest oven rack and close the oven door very quickly.  This creates a steam environment and allows a nice firm crust to form on the bread as it bakes.

After 5 minutes, reduce the heat to 400 degrees F and wait for 7.5 minutes. For even baking, turn the tray around and then set your timer for 22.5 minutes.

An instant read thermometer should read around 205 degrees F when the loaf is baked fully. After the 22.5 minutes, my temperature was just under 200, about 190 or so.  I set my timer for an additional 5 minutes and the house was smelling fantastic!

After the final 5 minutes, we have temp…. it actually was at 205, I just snapped the picture too soon….


I then CAREFULLY transferred the loaf to a cooling rack where it will hang out for about 2 hours to cool totally.

Rose recommended a triple creme brie as a cheese to accompany the final loaf at service, but my Whole Foods was out.  I did find a delightful double creme brie at Sam’s for about $6.00

I was most impressed with Vicki’s use of apricot jam from Trader Joe’s in addition to the brie in her post this week, in her blog, Swedish Apricot Walnut Bread with Cowgirl Triple Creme and Trader Joe’s Apricot Jam

Patricia has an excellent blog for this recipe this week at her site, ButterYum

Her instructions are educational, precise, beautifully photographed and simply a joy to read.

I haven’t seen everyone’s blog yet but I know there are some wonderful blogs to review this week!

UPDATE: Wednesday, 2/4/15

I took the last of this wonderful bread to my focus group today because I wanted to get feed back and hear their story as to the:

  •   Taste
  • Texture
  • Possible Parings
  • Market Value
  • Recommendations

One person shared only that this bread was “VERY GOOD!” as they tasted after the group dissembled and their comments did not fall in line for a true ranking in a market research study or analysis for this product.

Erica stated, ” My God, this is good…. I’m not going to finish this right now because I have an excellent wine at the house that this would pair with beautifully….”


When I asked Erica what type of wine she was thinking of, […a Pinot Noir or a full bodied Merlot would be excellent…] she stated.  Erica has very refined taste as her husband Jeffery is an amazing and extremely talented Chef.  Therefore, her comments are not only reminiscent of a world of good taste from their family catering business with husband Jeffery, but in her own right, her ideas and combinations are simply amazing to hear and to witness.

When you think of the flavors of the richness of the biga starter, the development of flavor, the sweetness of the dried fruit and the creaminess of the double or triple creme brie, a full bodied red would compliment all of these flavors so well.


20150204_095415Lauren really liked the flavor and texture.

What a fantastic bread Tony!  This is amazing…..”

I loved watching Paul’s face as he tasted the bread and double creme brie in his first bite… it was that face that all Chef’s and Home Cooks look for secretly.….. the eyes close and the head starts slowly shaking back and forth, savoring the taste and the moment.

I was so proud


Paul and I discussed the marketing aspects of the bread in a gift basket perspective.

” What would you charge for just the single loaf?” he asked.  I thought for a long moment and said that because of the time and flavor development, it would have to begin around $25.00.

He liked the idea of the gift basket with web site personalization options such as:

  • Two loaves [one as is and one using cherries and pecans ]
  •  Two bottles of wine [ one Pinot Noir and the other Merlot ]
  • Triple creme brie and
  • Either a cranberry or sour cherry jam / preserve or a hearty chutney from Vicki’s recommendation above

Paul did not care for the cherry or pecan substitution and voted for one basket with two loves of the same type of bread.  He did however like the wine selection, cheese and was excited about the jams, preserves or chutney options.


I really enjoyed this experience, personally, professionally as I will be adding this bread to my product line with a few key accompaniment items per the above discussion….

Do I sense a romantic gift basket for two in my business future?

For orders or questions, please contact me at:



PER MY WEB HOST, in order to leave a comment on my site, you will need to click on the title of the blog each week.  It opens into a new blog window in which comments are able to be left at the bottom of the blog.

Thank you all for your comments!

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© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

34 thoughts on “Swedish Apricot Walnut Bread

  1. I know i would love this bread its beautiful.I really like the fruit and walnut combo,then add brie and your favorite chutney oh yeah! I hear christmas bells ringing. Glad the paper worked love to you

  2. Having read this I believed it was very informative.
    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put
    this information together. I once again find myself spending
    a lot of time both reading and posting comments. But so what,
    it was still worth it!

  3. Tony, your bread looks wonderful. Fully studded with dried fruit! I like how you paired it with brie. I think this bread would be a big hit in any basket you come up with 🙂

    • Well thank you so much Hanaa! I used the same amount of dried cranberries ( 1/2 cup ) as the golden raising and I agree, dried fruit is everywhere. I loved this recipe and will most definitely be using this as a paring with cheeses and wine. Thank you again for your comment!

  4. Hello there! This post couldn’t be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this.
    I will forward this write-up to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  5. Hi Tony how did you like the flavour? I thought it was delicious although I was expecting more spring in the bread. I feel happier about my loaf now I’ve seen others had the same experience.

  6. I died laughing when I read the pillsbury dough boy’s obit. As for your bread, I absolutely love your addition of dried cranberries – the color pay off is amazing. Bet it tastes great too. My dough definitely doubled in size after spending 12 hours in the fridge, but it didn’t rise much after it was formed or when it was baked. No complaints though – I loved it. Thanks for the excellent write up (and for mentioning my post). Happy baking!

    Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you how much I appreciate your timelines. I’ll be baking the panettone this week and I plan to refer to your timeline often.

    Patricia @ ButterYum

    • I died laughing too when I read it pre-post…You just HAVE to add some humor and I though that was a great one to share. Rose stated that the 12 hours in the fridge really isn’t a focus on rising as much as flavor development, and I’m all about flavor, so I’ll be keeping the additional time in the fridge in my recipe timeline for my personal baking. However, if I do make this for sale, I might have to trim down that time a bit, perhaps by half…..Speaking of timelines, I live by my planning tools. Please tell me how effectively you believe my timeline worked for you for the Panettone. Happy Baking!

  7. Tony! Your finished bread as just gorgeous. Congratulations. God speed to the PDB. He served us well over the years. May he become a delicious dough starter in bread heaven. BTW, baking isn’t a stress free activity for me either. I’m with you that the final product is where it’s at! Great post.

    • Kimberlie, thank you so much for your comment. I’m sure PDB will make an EXCELLENT starter up there HE HE.

      I haven’t had a chance yet to post a comment on your blog about your bread, but I will be doing that tomorrow. I LOVE all of the staging that goes into your photography. Your color combinations are brilliant! It’s always a delight to read each of your post!

  8. Tony: Enjoyed your light hearted post and pictures of your beautiful bread. I really love this recipe! Next time try baking the brie. We did and it was fantastic on this bread! I don’t know about the refrigeration step, my understanding is that it retards the rising and while building flavor, but that might be incorrect. I hope you’ll come and see my results at http://www.artfuloven.com

  9. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! Now I see how it was actually supposed to be folded. I broke up the big in the water by hand, too! Wasn’t it glorious?! I saw Carol Fields do this on a Julia Child cooking video. I was just thinking about tackling Rose’s Bread Bible now that the bread bug has bitten. The Panettone really kicked something into gear and the Swedish Apricot Bread sealed the deal. Making a note about the cranberries. Can you imagine this with the cheeses and a dab of cranberry chutney or jam on top? I imagine the combination was super! P.S. Funny Doughboy joke. Baking humor is always good!

    • Thank you Vicki B! I LOVE this bread; it is so rich and developed with flavor…..I think I have been bitten by the bread baking bug as well. I am reading Rose’s The Bread Bible now…simply brilliant I tell you. I’m learning so much about the logic, chemistry but mostly the Stress Free Zones that comes along as an extra benefit keeps me interested in learning so much more…. I’m also learning a lot about Rose as she shares so much in the book.

      I am thinking about creating a few jam’s that would accompany the bread; Cranberry is a must but I’m thinking sour cherry might not be a bad angle AND A CHUTNEY…. NOW your talking. When I create, I will let you know. Thanks again Vicki B!

  10. Looks just great Tony. You will get hooked on baking bread. I would suggest Nancy Silvertons Breads from the La Brea bakery. The started takes a long time but it keeps forever and the breads are incredible.

  11. Ok, I’m so impressed with your timelines, I need to duplicate that template.. and I thought I was super organized in the kitchen. Your bread looks beautiful. And your post very informative as always.

    • Thank you so much Monica. I have this on a MS Excel spreadsheet. Let me know if you want me to send you a copy. I just open it up and use the last one created and then update steps as needed to save time. I LOVED this bread. I really liked the creaminess of the brie on your post! Happy Baking!

  12. Wow! Tony! I’m so impressed with your timeline! Next time when it comes to yeasted bread, I will not bake it until i see your time line! You are so organised! I laughed when you said you bought a measuring bowl in case of missing tape. LOL! Your bread looks so professional looking and I’m sure it will be very sellable if you put it on production in your bakery too! 🙂 You like Patricia also a night owl? Not sleeping at this time? LOL! It’s 335pm my time so should be really late your time..or shall I say early? 😉

    • Thank you Faithy! I think it saves so much time to create a timeline first before you begin baking. It helps me stay focused and as there is always a wait period for yeast breads, it lets me know when I can begin other non-related activities as well. Thanks again for all of your encouragement and feed back! I really appreciate it

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