The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Apricots and Pecans Sourdough with Oats

Danni3ll3's picture

Apricots and Pecans Sourdough with Oats

I had a huge bag of apricots and decided to use them in a bread. Maybe I shouldn’t have bothered. ? I remember another time using apricots and the loaves bombing. 




Makes 3 loaves 



125 g Rolled Oats

250 g Boiling Water



800 g Unbleached Flour 

200 g High extraction Spelt Flour (230 g Spelt berries)

540 g Water + 50 g

22 g Salt 

30 g Yogurt

250 g Levain

100 g Pecans (chopped)

150 g Dried Apricots (chopped and a tsp of flour addd to prevent sticking)


Mid afternoon the day before:

  1. Take 18 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 18 g of filtered water and 18 g of bran or wholewheat flour. Let rise in a warm place. 
  2. Mill the Spelt berries and sift to obtain the needed amount of high extraction flour. Save the bran for the levain or another use. 
  3. Place 200 g of the high extraction flour in a tub and add the unbleached flour to it. Cover and set aside.

The night before:

  1. Before going to bed, feed the levain 36 g of water and 36 g of AP flour flour including any left over high extraction flour. Let that rest in a warm spot overnight.

Dough making day:

  1. Feed the levain 72 g of filtered water and 72 g of AP flour and let rise 5-6 hours in a warm spot. 
  2. Place the rolled oats in a bowl and pour the boiling water over the oats. Cover and let cool. 
  3. Two hours before the levain is ready, mix the 540 g of water with the oat soaker on the lowest speed in the bowl of a stand mixer until the mass has been loosened up. Add the flour and mix on speed 2 until all the flour has been hydrated. This takes just a minute or two. Autolyse for a couple of hours.
  4. Once the levain is ready (mine was starting to recede), add the salt, the yogurt and the levain to the bowl. Mix on speed one for a minute to integrate everything, then mix on speed 2 for 5 minutes. Add the last 50 g of water gradually. A minute or so before the end of the 5 minutes, add the apricots and the pecans.
  5. Remove dough from bowl and place in a covered tub. Let rest 30 minutes. 
  6. Do 4 sets of folds at 30 minute intervals, then do another 2 sets an hour apart. Let rise an additional hour if the dough seems to be developing slowly like mine was. I placed the dough in a warm spot for the last 3 hours as it didn’t seem to be getting puffy and aerated. Place the dough in a cold fridge for 3 hours. The dough rose about 25%. 
  7. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~835 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest one hour on the counter. 
  8. Do a final shape by flouring the rounds and flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and fold over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make as tight boule as you can.
  9. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons. Let rest for at least an hour on the counter. I let mine go for an hour and 45 minutes or so. This dough is very firm due to the amount of add-ins so it needs a head start on proofing before refrigerating overnight. 

Baking Day

  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to an hour. I felt the loaves needed more proofing so I placed them in the counter while the oven was heating. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully but quickly place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 30 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 17 minutes at 425 F. Internal temperature should be 205F or more.


Well, I sure hope they taste good to make up for the lack of oven rise! Not terribly impressed at all! They look better in photos than in real life. ? Note to self: Give up on apricots and bread. 


Danni3ll3's picture

Could be worse I guess... I am going to turn some of these into crackers  

Bread1965's picture

I love apricots - fresh, dried and re-hydrated. There's a hotel I've stayed at that reconstitutes the apricots. They've never been clear about how. but they're dried apricots that (I think) have been simmered in some water, drained and then coated in honey. They come to the table as plumb dried apricots (think of how raisins are after soaking) and are coated in diluted honey..  I wonder if you tired that and then pureed them, then adding that mix into the dough. It would affect water content but might be a good way to incorporate them. Just a thought..

I might also be tempted to skip the yogourt and pecans as a way to test how to dial in just the addition of apricots.. and once that's figure out to then add in them in..

Danni3ll3's picture

because I originally thought of pureeing both the apricots and pecans together to make a paste but then I decided I wanted chunks. Well my raisin sized chunks really grew when they rehydrated in the dough. ? 

As well, my choice of Spelt probably wasn’t the best considering it’s gluten isn’t that strong. Durum would have been a better choice. Maybe I’ll give it a shot with only one loaf to see how it turns out. 3 times is the charm they say. ?

Thank for the feedback. It is encouraging me to try again. 

Bread1965's picture

I thought of suggesting you puree the cashews too, but then I thought why not make a cashew milk.. but I didn't think it would translate well and be noticeable enough.

I think that apricots are distinctive enough that you could focus on them and make them the star.

I agree that the spelt is too weak. I think simple strong bread flour with pureed apricots and honey would be lovely.

I also think that cashews are pretty buttery in their mouth feel and that maybe dipping the loaf in some slivered almonds to form a top crust that would brown in the oven would give you a good mouth feel and crunch as well.. The almond/apricot flavour profile seems better suited to me as well - but I could be wrong.

Let me know what you decide and when you post it.. Good luck! frank!


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Bomb away!  I will put up a big target on my roof, please hit the neighbor's trampoline.  I'll have them angle it so it bounces over to me.  :)


Danni3ll3's picture

Thats a new one to me! ?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

You mentioned bombing...     WMD.  Weapon of Mass Doughstruction.  :)

Danni3ll3's picture

Love your comment!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

if instead of flour, the cut apricots were rolled into gelatin dust or chia flour.  It might help the pieces retain their shape.  

Danni3ll3's picture

I would ever have thought of. Definitely something to try in the future. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven
Isand66's picture

Wonder why your apricots are giving you so much trouble?  I've never used them before so I can't give you any advise.  Well, I hope they taste good at least :).

Happy Baking!


dabrownman's picture

bread without re-hydrating them first hopefully in Bourbon.  I hate it when they suck the water out of the dough and leave you thinking you need to make crackers out of bread rather than Biscotti!  They can't be that bad.  

It looks pretty good from here but it is the taste and texture that count!

You can't make Mellow Yellow Bread without Apricots either.....Happy baking Danni