While chopping some dried apricots to put in our morning oatmeal yesterday, Gary reminisced about a rustic apricot bread he loved that he used to get at the Acme Bread Company in Berkeley. He described it and this morning we set out to make our REAL version, based on Gary’s memory. It was fun and the results were delicious.
NOTE: This recipe uses our REAL Gluten-Free flour mix, which requires a high-powered blender. If you don’t have this kind of blender you can purchase any gluten-free flour. If the flour you are using contains xanthan gum, then omit adding the xanthum gum below.
1 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast (1/4 oz)
2 teaspoons date paste, apricot butter, or other sweetener (sugar, agave, light colored jam, etc.
2 to 2 1/2 cups Gluten-Free Flour
2 tablespoons finely ground sunflower seeds (we grind the seeds in the same coffee bean grinder we use for our flax seeds)
1 3/4 teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if your gluten-free flour contains xanthan gum)
Optional: vegetable oil (olive, coconut, canola) for oiling hands
3/4 cup pecans, chopped (walnuts and/or almonds may be used, for nut allergies replace with pumpkin, sunflower seeds or raisins)
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
Rustic Dried Apricot Glaze
1 cup dried, unsulfured, organic apricots
2 cups boiling water
1-2 teaspoons Gluten-Free Flour
Preheat oven to 200oF.
Prepare a sheet of parchment paper to sit in an 8-inch round pie plate.
Pour boiling water over apricots and let sit for about a 1/2 hour or until soft and water has cooled to room temperature.
In a small bowl, proof yeast. Mix together yeast, sweetener and water. Let stand for about 5 minutes, allowing yeast to foam.
In a large bowl mix together 2 cups of gluten-free flour and xanthan gum. Add in yeast mixture and stir to incorporate to make a sticky dough. Let rest for ten minutes.
Knead dough to check texture. If the flour mixture is more like batter than dough, or is too sticky, add more flour, about 2 tablespoons at a time until a dough consistency is reached that is moist but manageable to roll into balls. You can oil hands lightly to handle and separate the dough.
Divide the dough into 8 balls.
In a small bowl mix together nuts (or seeds) and cinnamon. Spread the mix on a flat plate or wide, shallow bowl.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cutting board. Roll one ball on it into a log about 1-inch thick and 6 inches long. Roll the log in the nut/cinnamon mixture to coat. Take one end of the log and coil it to make a snail shape. Place the coiled dough on the parchment paper. Repeat with remaining balls.
Let the dough rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes. I put it on the top of the warm oven for rising.
Take the apricots that have been soaking and pour the soaking water into a sauté pan and bring it to a boil. If the apricots are whole, split or cut them in half. Add the apricots to the pan and sauté for a few minutes until they start to break apart a little and soften. At this point sprinkle in remaining cinnamon and nut mixture from the dough rolling process and sauté for an additional minute or two. Then add the two teaspoons of the gluten-free flour to the mixture until it thickens like a jam. Remove from heat.
After about 45 minutes of rising, raise oven temperature to 400oF.
When the dough has been allowed to rise for 60 minutes, place the dish in the oven and bake for 12 minutes.
Remove the dish from the oven. Lower oven temperature to 350oF.
Carefully add some of the apricot mixture to the top of each snail.
Return baking dish to the oven and cook another 15 minutes. Remove and let cool about 10 minutes.
Separate each individual danish and place them on a plate to serve.