Place water, olive oil, and salt into one side of a bread machine. Place 1/3 of the apricots on top of this fluid mixture with 2 cups of flour. Place more apricots in the middle of the flour, pour remaining flour on top, followed by remaining apricots. This will help weaker bread machines integrate the apricots.
Run French loaf cycle for a 2-pound loaf. Remove from the machine after the cycle is done, about 3 1/2 hours.
Add ingredients according to individual machine instructions. The cook time is how long it takes my machine to run that cycle.
Interesting variations: Take out the fruit. It’s a nice rosemary bread. Add more apricots, 1/4 cup walnuts, 6 prunes, and 4 dates!? Yes. That’s very fancy. It comes out good, but transitions from a bread to dessert.
Alcoholic, flat apple cider at room temperature can be substituted for water. It will be a little sour, but just as tender. If using this, I recommend reducing sugar to 1 tablespoon.
You can use raisins instead of apricots; sweeter, but more mild taste. You can also use dried cherries; I’m an apricot enthusiast, but people say it was good. Chopping the apricots into really tiny bits and then adding them makes a delicious bread, with a strong apricot flavor. I have used 10 minced apricots, and 10 quartered apricots.
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