Prep 40 mins
Cook 25 mins
Holiday weekends mean visiting with friends and family and they will all like this. I find that making it is somewhat theraputic (must be the kneading) and the finished bread is so pretty that you feel quite proud of yourself and your creation. The taste is one that brings you back for more. This bread is delicious served with honey butter, which you can easily make by beating together 1/4 cup honey and 1 stick softened butter. Prep time given does not include 1 1/2 hrs of rising time.
- 1⁄2 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1⁄2 cup warm milk
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1⁄4 cup sugar or 1⁄4 cup Splenda Sugar Blend for Baking
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 teaspoon orange oil or 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
- 6 tablespoons softened butter
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 4 1⁄2-5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon melted butter, to coat dough
Almond Apricot Filling
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 (8 ounce) boxes dried apricots
- 2⁄3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add 1/2 cup of the all-purpose flour. Let sit for 10 minutes to give the yeast a chance to get going. Add the milk, eggs, sugar, extract, orange oil, butter, and salt. Stir to mix well.
- Add the flour, one cup at a time, until the dough forms a shaggy mass. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead it to form a smooth and satiny ball. Add more flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to the counter. Place the dough in a bowl and pour the melted butter on top. Spread the butter over the dough with your fingertips. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let the dough rise in a warm spot until it has doubled in size. This will take about 1 1/2 hours.
- Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured counter. Divide the dough into two pieces and knead each one briefly to expel any air bubbles. Roll each piece of dough into a rectangle 1/4" thick, 6" wide and 15" long. Spread each rectangle with filling. Leave a 1" border on the two long edges.
- Roll each rectangle up, starting with the long edge. Place each log on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Join the ends of the log together to form a circle. Pinch well to seal the ends together.
- Let the coffee cakes rise for 15 minutes. Make several parallel slashes 1" deep in each coffee cake. Let rise again, this time for 20 minutes.
- Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 25 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting.
- Almond Apricot Filling.
- 2 cups boiling water.
- 2 8-oz. boxes dried apricots.
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar.
- 2 teaspoons almond extract.
- Pour the boiling water over the apricots and cover with plastic wrap so that they can steam. When the apricots have softened, drain them. You can reserve the flavored water for bread dough if you wish. Combine the apricots, sugar, and extract in a food processor and pulse until you have a thick puree. Yield: Filling for two loaves.
Absolutely delicious! I will have to send this recipe to my Mom who is a real apricot freak. Thank you, Anna! The dough was so easy to work with as well. I may add some nuts next time, but outstanding as it is!