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Gail's Apricot, Pecan & Raisin Crown (Fruit Bread)

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Something for tea. A long procedure but well worth it…❤❤
Preheat oven to 200 C (180 C for fan assist) this can be done while the 2nd prooving is taking place.
*For the dough*
250g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
5g salt
7g instant yeast
50g unsalted butter, softened
105ml lukewarm milk (warm in micro)
1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
*For the filling*
90g unsalted butter, softened
70g muscovado sugar
120g dried apricots, chopped and soaked in orange juice, enough to cover apricots
35g cake flour
60g raisins
65g chopped pecan nuts
1 orange, zest only
*To finish* – 50g apricot jam
200g icing sugar + 2-3 tsps orange juice
25g flaked almonds
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl add the salt and yeast and give it a whisk.
Add the butter, and with your fingertips crumble the flour and butter together to resemble fine crumbs.
Add egg, then warm your milk in microwave to lukewarm, add to flour mixture.
Using your hands mix all together until the flour has been picked up from the sides of the bowl.
Use the dough to clean the inside of the bowl and keep combining until you have a soft dough.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10-12 minutes. (I kneaded for 10 mins)
Work through the initial wet stage until the dough starts to form a soft, smooth consistency.
When the dough feels smooth and silky, put it into a lightly oiled bowl.
Cover and leave to rise for one hour, or until doubled in size.
While the dough is rising, make the filling.
Beat the butter and muscovado sugar together until smooth.
Drain the apricots and add to the butter mixture along with the flour, raisins, pecans and orange zest. Mix to combine.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment, grease the parchment paper
Turn the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface.
Taking care not to knock the air out of it, roll out the dough into a rectangle, approximately 33x25cm/13x10in.
Turn the dough 90 degrees if necessary, so you have a long edge facing you.
Spread the apricot mixture evenly over the dough.
Roll up the dough tightly (like a Swiss roll).
Roll it slightly to seal, then with a sharp knife cut dough in half lengthways (you can leave one end joined to help you twist the dough and form the circular crown).
Twist the two dough lengths together to make a rope, then join the ends of the rope to form a circular ‘crown’.
Transfer to baking tray.
Put the tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to prove for a further 30-45mins, or until the dough springs back quickly if you prod it lightly with your finger.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown.
Set aside to cool on a wire rack.
On removing from oven heat the apricot jam with a splash of water and brush it over the warm bread to glaze.
Mix the icing sugar with some orange juice to make a thin icing, drizzle over the bread and sprinkle with the flaked almonds.
Leave to cool before serving.
Source: The Great British Bake Off
Prepared, tried and tested by: Gail Haselsteiner

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