Saturday, April 04, 2009

Apricot Gift Bread

The Altitude Adjustment Section
This is a perfect, easy little cake to bake in bulk and give as thank you gifts, or house warming gifts, or I’m-sorry-I-hit-your-mailbox-again gifts. It can be doubled or tripled with out any problem. And of course it is from my baking mentor Susan Purdy and it's in her book Pie in the Sky.

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons wheat germ
1 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup blanched chopped almonds
1/3 cup canola oil
2 large room temp eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Spray your loaf pans (one 9x5x3 or three small loaves) then line the loaf pans with parchment, spray with oil spray again and dust with flour. Preheat the oven to 350.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, powder, soda, salt sugar and wheat germ. If using a food processor (which I recommend), put the apricots, and a generous tablespoon of the flour mixture into the bowl and pulse till the fruit is cut into small bits. Now add the apricots back to the flour mix and add the almonds. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, buttermilk, and extracts. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the oil and egg mixture. Stir just till blended — don’t overmix. Scrape the batter into prepared pans, filling them 2/3 full. Bake large loaves for 60-63 minutes, and small loaves for 30-35 minutes. Test with a cake tester inserted in the center. It should come out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack then take out and wrap up pretty!