There were some Chardonnay soaked apricots and toasted pecans left over from the cheese platter I had put together and as I was making bread, I decided to use them in the bread.
I combined the nuts and apricots with the last of the cream cheese to make a spreadable filling, and rolled the bread dough up to create a swirled effect. I also went out on a limb and used up the Chardonnay as part of the liquid for the bread dough.
This bread is not too sweet, has tons of flavour and texture in the filling and is great eaten as is, or lightly toasted with butter melting on top!
Start the bread dough by heating:
1 cup milk
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup sugar
2 ounces butter
Heat until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine:
1 tablespoon dried yeast
1/4 cup warm water
Add the cooled milk mixture, and stir to combine.
Using the dough hook, incorporate:
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups flour
Continue adding flour until you have a soft, sticky dough. You should add between 6 - 7 cups of flour.
Turn the dough out onto a floured counter and knead, adding flour as needed, until you have a smooth dough.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.
Leave until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
Make the filling while the dough is rising...
In a food processor, combine:
3/4 cup Chardonnay soaked apricots
3/4 cup lightly toasted pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
Process until you have a crumbly texture.
Mix together until well blended:
1/2 cup softened cream cheese
1/4 cup brown sugar
the chopped apricots and pecans
Mix until well combined, creamy and spreadable. Set aside until needed.
When the dough has doubled in size, divide it into two.
Roll each piece out on a lightly floured counter to a rectangle that is approximately 12" X 8".
Spread half of the filling over each piece of dough, leaving a border of dough without filling.
Roll the dough up on the long side, as shown.
Pinch the bottom and end seams together to seal.
Turn the oven to 350F to pre-heat. Lightly grease two loaf pans.
Place each loaf into a pan, and leave to rise until almost to the top of the pan.
Brush with egg wash and bake for 45 minutes, until golden on top and hollow sounding when tapped.
Remove the loaves from the pans immediately and allow them to cool.
- This bread is great as a snack, or for a quick breakfast. It could also be sliced into thicker slices and used to make French toast.
- If you want a sweeter bread increase the amount of brown sugar, and/or sprinkle sugar on the top of the egg wash before baking the bread.
- Apricots are slightly tart, so substituting a sweeter dried fruit such as raisins, prunes or dates will also increase the sweetness.
- I soaked my apricots in Chardonnay (see the post Cheese Please!) , but any liquid can be used, including orange or apple juice; tea; liqueur. Orange zest can also be added to the soaking liquid.
- Instead of baking this as a loaf, cut the rolled dough into 2" sections, and place them cut side down into a pan lined with creamed butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and then bake. Invert them once they are cooked and you will have sticky buns.
- The filling can be mixed into the dough at the same time as the flour is added, but omit the cream cheese.
- The loaves can be frozen once they are baked.