I should rename this bread "Discombobulation Bread" in honor of my mood while I was preparing it. I couldn't get a system going as I prepared the bread. I was so distracted that I kept losing track of what I was doing and had to measure a few ingredients a couple of times . . . I even remarked to my DH that this bread was a lot of work, just because it called for soaking the apricots and raisins in boiling water . . . that little extra step was frustrating me to no end!
I finally popped it in the oven, and ran upstairs to my office to file a couple of warranty booklets that had been lying around since Christmas, then on top of my desk I noticed a friend's birthday card I'd been meaning to send . . . then there was the envelope with my friend's new address that had to be transferred to my address book . . . then there was a sock that needed to be put away, not two socks, mind you, just one . . . and where's the second one? Ah! There it is! In the sock drawer! And, since I was upstairs, I decided I may as well take my shower and get dressed . . . and while shampooing my hair, I suddenly remembered: THE BREAD!!!! I yelled down at my DH to check the bread, but it was already too late - the bread wasn't burned but it was definitely overdone, and somewhat dry.
So instead of a moist tea bread, I ended up with a bread that had the texture of panetone - a dry Italian fruit cake. But heck, I wasn't about to throw it out! We've been dunking it in our tea and coffee!
The bread was so tasty! I'll be making this one again for sure - but baking it for the correct time . . . after I take my shower . . .
Here's the recipe (from The Silver Palate Cookbook):
1 cup boiling water, approximately
¾ cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
½ cup raisins
3 tablespoons plus ½ cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs, beaten
2¼ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
3/4 cup unprocessed bran
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch bread pan.
- Pour boiling water over apricots and raisins just to cover. Let sit for 10 minutes. Drain well and add 3 tablespoons sugar. Mix well.
- While fruit is soaking, add the remaining ½ cup sugar to the oil and beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well mixed.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and add alternately with milk and bran to oil mixture. Fold in fruits.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a cake rack.