Go Back
+ servings
a loaf of bread with apricots, dates and seeds, with two slices cut off the end
Print Recipe
No ratings yet

Spiced Apricot, Date and Seed Bread

A spicy fruit loaf studded with seeds, tangy dried apricots and soft, sweet dates, you'll want to bake this over and over.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
proofing time12 hours 30 minutes
Total Time13 hours 20 minutes
Course: Afternoon Tea, Breads, Breakfast, Morning Tea, Snack
Cuisine: Western
Keyword: apricot, date and seed bread, banana bread, seed bread
Servings: 10
Calories: 303kcal



  • Put all the dry ingredients into the bowl of a mixer (I use my trusty KitchenAid for bread doughs) and stir to combine.
  • Attach the mixer’s dough hook and slowly mix in most of the water, adding a little more or less as needed to make a dough which is soft and slightly sticky. Mine comes away from the sides of the bowl after a few minutes but never completely clears the bottom.
  • Once the dough forms a mass, add in the fruit and seeds. Leave the mixer running until everything is incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic, around 6-8 minutes.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, bring it together into a smooth ball and put back in a clean bowl. Put it in your steam oven at 38⁰C (use the dough proving setting if you have one) for 30 minutes. It should roughly double in size.
  • After the first prove, scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface again and press gently into a large rectangle. Fold it into thirds along the length of the dough (I have an incredibly handy and cheap plastic dough scraper to help me out with lifting and folding the dough over without using too much flour). Turn the log of dough around, gently press it out again and repeat the folding to make a nice loaf shape. I have no idea whether this is the ‘right’ way to do it but I find it makes for a nice smooth loaf and if the fruit and seeds weren’t mixed in so evenly before it will distribute them well.
  • Gently pick up your dough and put it, seam side down, into a high sided loaf pan (I bought an expensive heavy siliconised pan like this one a few years ago and it’s been well worth the cost as everything I bake in it is lovely and even, and turns out really easily). Wrap the whole thing loosely in a plastic bag (or put a shower cap over the top of the tin!), and put it in the fridge overnight – anywhere from 12-14 hours is about right. The loaf pictured had exactly 14 hours in the fridge and I baked it as soon as I took it out.
  • After the second prove your loaf should have roughly doubled in size and the dough should spring back to shape when you gently press on the surface. If your finger leaves a big indent and the dough still seems ‘heavy’, it needs more proving – I like to leave it on the bench for half an hour or so to do this, but you can speed it along by putting it back in the steam oven to prove. Just keep an eye on it – if you poke the dough and the whole lot deflates then it’s over-proved and won’t bake up into a lovely springy loaf.
  • Set your steam oven to 220⁰C (combination steam setting). If your oven has variable steam settings, use 60%. Bake the bread for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180⁰C for a further 20 minutes. The loaf should be golden brown all over and sound hollow when tapped.
  • Remove from the oven, turn out of the tin and leave to cool. It will keep ok on the bench for a day or two, but is best sliced and frozen after that, ready for toasting.


  1. Makes one large loaf, approximately 1.1kg/2.5lb
  2. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – if you were afraid of yeast doughs before, you have no need to be with a steam oven! Proving at a steady temperature in the steam oven takes most of the guesswork out of knowing how long to leave your dough to rise. And I’ve used instant yeast here as it needs no pre-activating before adding to the dough.
  3. The fruit selection is up to you – I love apricots for their tang and dates for sweetness, but dried figs are also excellent, and if you like sultanas or raisins I won’t hold it against you. Just use the same total quantity of fruit as I’ve given below.
  4. I’ve given instructions to make the dough in a mixer with dough hook – you can mix by hand if you prefer, and knead the dough for 8-10 minutes once it comes together.


Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 123mg | Potassium: 349mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 312IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 3mg