This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please visit the disclosures and privacy policy page.
Jul 1, 2013

Apricot Braided Loaf

Apricot Braided Loaf

This month the #twelveloaves group is baking bread using stone fruit.

You should know, this is the second loaf of bread I made for this post. You don't want to know about the first one. Let's just say, the dough is the blob taking over my trash can. I wish "someone" would take the trash out so I would quit being reminded of the legendary fruit filled loaf debacle. Something about the recipe being for two loaves but not mentioning it.... something about the apricot filling being super runny and flowing all over the dough... something about... well... never mind. I was distracted.

Apricot Braided Loaf
So where did I turn in a pinch? Why King Arthur Flour, of course.

I was a little concerned about this bread for awhile too. It's unusually humid here right now, and the dough was super sticky.. but as you can see, the dough behaved and produced an amazingly delicious loaf. The one thing I might do differently next time? I'd probably add more apricots. I was pretty conservative after my fruit filled loaf debacle (which, mind you, I'm not talking about) but I'm pretty sure more apricot slices would work well here.

Apricot Braided Loaf

Enriched dough.... cream cheese... apricot jam... fresh apricots... breakfast deliciousness.

Apricot Braided Loaf

Apricot Braided Loaf Recipe


3 ounces warm water (95 to 105 degrees F)
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 t instant yeast
1 ounce unbleached all purpose flour


All of the sponge
3 ounces vanilla yogurt
2 ounces softened unsalted butter
1 large egg, beaten
1 3/4 ounces sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
10.6 ounces unbleached all purpose flour
one beaten egg for the egg wash
pearl or sparkling sugar (I used pearl) optional


2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
.9 ounces sugar
1 ounce sour cream
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 ounce all purpose flour
4 ounces apricot jam
3 to 4 apricots, thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch slices) 


  1. Combine the sponge ingredients in a small bowl, stir, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit for 15 minutes. 
  2. In your stand mixer bowl, combine the sponge, yogurt, butter, egg, sugar, salt, vanilla, and flour. Beat for about 8 minutes. If the weather is really dry, don't add all of the flour immediately. Start with 10 ounces, and add more if needed. 
  3. Place the dough in an oiled dough rising bucket or bowl, cover, and allow to rise for one to two hours, until doubled. 
  4. Mix the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, lemon juice, and flour until smooth. Cover and set aside. 
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment and spray the paper with spray oil. 
  6. Dump the dough out onto the parchment, and press it into a 10 inch by 15 inch rectangle. Mark the dough lengthwise into thirds by pressing a ruler into the dough. Spread the cream cheese mixture onto the middle third. Spread the jam on top of the cream cheese mixture. Top with the apricot slices. 
  7. See this post about how to braid the dough.  I couldn't explain it better. Come back when you are ready. 
  8. Welcome back. 
  9. Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F.
  10. Let the dough rise for about 45 minutes. When the dough is ready, brush it with the egg wash and sprinkle it with the sugar. 
  11. Bake for 30 minutes until a deep golden brown. 
  12. Cool on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes. 
  13. Slice and serve. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. Oh, Karen, your loaf looks extraordinary! Love the triple punch in the filling (jam, fruit and cream cheese) and your braiding is perfect!

  2. This month (as usual) each bread is better than others. Your apricot loaf is fantastic. Cream cheese and apricot jam to say...a great temptation.

  3. Funny about kitchen disasters and how we sometimes have to give up and try something else. Your second batch, this lovely bread, is something I would very much enjoy. Apricots have such a great flavor especially paired with cream cheese and surrounded by a heavenly bread.

    1. Thanks so much Renee. It was hard dumping the dough into the trash the day before, but my head was just not in it.

  4. Yum! I have actually never made a braided loaf like this, I don't know why it looks absolutely beautiful! Great job :) Krista @ A Handful of Everything

    1. Well, Krista, as braids go, this one is easy. You definitely must try.

  5. Karen,
    love your Apricot Braided Loaf!! so beautiful and absolutely love the filling inside. . gorgeous! yum. . I could eat the entire thing. . and yes, King Arthur flour is the only flour I use! :)

    1. Thanks Alice. Don't you love them? My dream is to visit them in Vermont. Talk about a baking nerd.

  6. I guess I had the same humid issue with mine too. Your braided loaf is incredible, Karen. That filling is superb. A perfect idea to bake with summer's ripe apricots:)Thank you for being a part of our group!

    1. Thanks Lora. We have had Florida type humidity here for the past few days. I was definitely under the wire. Thanks for starting this group!

  7. Your kitchen disaster brought us this amazing braid Karen. I´m loving the filling! Apricots are such a treasure; I´ll make sure I don´t miss them next season.

    1. Thanks Paula. And thanks for hosting this month!

  8. Hi Karen,Lovely braid.I stumbled up on your blog through G+ and I should say I am happy I did.I love your baked goodies:)

  9. Oh gosh, if this is what's for breakfast at your house, I want an invitation!

  10. Wow! While I am sorry you had to suffer through one bread failure to get to this one, it surely looks like the process was well worth it! This is a stunning bread.

  11. Ooooh this looks like a sweet, rich danish and I need one of these! I'm so sorry about your troubles (darn dough) but I am glad that you were able to pull this one off. I love the rich brown color of the bread. Delicious!

  12. Beautiful loaf! Good to know it's another awesome KAF recipe. The ABC group has this recipe scheduled for August (with a lemon filling) :o) Seeing your picture makes me want to bake it sooner, haha.

  13. I love the look of the apricots nestled within the dough, it looks delicious. It's a great choice for this month's theme.


I would love to hear from you! If you comment anonymously, be sure to leave your name in your comment.