Sunday mornings in our house follow roughly the same pattern every week. We get up, mooch around in our PJs and treat ourselves to a special breakfast (beyond the usual cereal) while watching the news or reading the papers. For health’s sake there’s always half a grapefruit carefully carved by the husband and smothered in brown sugar. For the treat we like croissants – almond for me, chocolate for him; crumpets, muffins, pancakes or, on very special occasions, cinnamon rolls. Come Saturday evening I realised I hadn’t bought anything for breakfast so I decided to whip up a batch of this incredibly quick, supremely tasty bread. It’s more cake-like than bread, less buttery than full-on brioche, subtly sweet and studded with apricots.
Unlike most bread, batter breads don’t have to be kneaded. As the name suggests, the dough is a thick batter which takes all of 5 minutes to put together. This recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recent post. I just couldn’t resist tweaking it a little, please forgive me! I swapped the plain flour for white spelt flour which is sweeter and creamier than wheat flour, added chopped apricots and sprinkled the top with crunchy pearl sugar. Both versions disappeared within a day; the original is perfect for slathering in preserves whereas the apricot loaf is best served unadorned in thick slices.
Spelt and apricot batter bread
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
- 200g white spelt flour
- 50g strong white flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ sachet of fast action yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 175ml milk
- 60g butter
- 1 egg and 1 yolk
- 100g semi-dried apricots, chopped
- pearl sugar for decoration
In a large bowl mix 150g of the flour with the sugar, yeast and salt.
Warm the milk and butter until hand-hot, don’t worry if the butter isn’t melted. Pour into the flour and beat for 2 minutes with a hand mixer or 3 minutes by hand. Add another 50g of flour, the egg and yolk and beat for another 2 minutes (3 by hand).
Pour in the 50g strong flour and beat until smooth. Fold in the chopped apricots. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for an hour or until the batter has doubled in size.
Line a 2lb (900g) loaf tin and gently pour in the batter. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for another 30 minutes, removing the cling film after 15 minutes. Sprinkle the pearl sugar on top.
Heat the oven to 190°C, bake the bread for 45 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the tin and allow to cool.