Apricot-Sesame Bread


2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 cups whole-wheat bread flour, fine grind
3 tablespoons honey
2 1/4 cups lukewarm water
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 cup diced dried apricot pieces
1/4 cup sesame seeds, for rolling


Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Mix salt with flour in a ceramic bowl. Make a well in this mixture. Dissolve honey in 2 1/4 cups water and add sesame oil. Pour liquid mixture and dissolved yeast mixture into the flour. Stirring from the center, combine ingredients to make a smooth batter, then fold in the remaining flour from the sides of the bowl, mixing into a soft dough.
Turn dough out onto a kneading surface and knead for 20 minutes. After about 10 minutes of kneading, add the diced apricots. The dough should remain soft and become elastic and smooth as the kneading progresses. Form the dough into a smooth round ball and put into a ceramic bowl to rise. Cover with a pan lid to fit the bowl and a clean towel. Place in a warm, draft-free place. At about 80 degrees F, this will take 1 1/2 to 2 hours. At 70 degrees F, this will take about 2 1/2 hours.
When your finger poked in the dough leaves a hole, it it done rising. Gently press out the air and reshape into a ball for the second risin; this will take about half the time of the first rise. When risen, place the dough on a lightly-floured counter and knead for a few minutes to get the air out. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes before shaping. Cut dough into 2 pieces and roll into rectangles, then roll tightly into a loaf. Spray with water and roll in sesame seeds. Place seam-side down in a greased loaf pan and let rise for 45 minutes before baking.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, turning oven temperature down to 325 after the first 10 minutes. When bread is done, it should leave the pan easily, be an even golden-brown color and sound hollow when the bottom of the loaf is thumped. Cool thoroughly before slicing.




Adapted from "The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book" by Laurel Robertson.


2.0 loaves


Friday, December 4, 2009 - 12:20am


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