Apricots are my favorite fruit. Much like the Farseer Trilogy's Fool, I have a fondness for them for recalling sunshine and summer, encapsulating them into a sip of brandy, spoon of jam, or bite of fruit. Unfortunately, in the US I haven't had the pleasure of eating truly tasty, sweet and juicy apricots. I have tried to acquire them, occasionally for ridiculous prices, and the experience always let me down. The best version of apricots available are the soft, dried apricots. This bread awakens those apricots into a delicious, fruity dessert or breakfast.
500 g flour
300 mL milk
1 pinch salt
2 tbsp sugar
75 g butter
2 tsp yeast
200 g dried apricots
1/3 cup sunflower seeds (optional)
Bloom the yeast with a small portion of the milk and sugar. Toast the sunflower seeds and dice the apricots.
Add the remaining sugar, milk and the egg to the bloomed yeast. Mix well and add sunflower seeds, apricots, flour and salt. Cut in the butter and knead into a soft dough.
Allow to rise for an hour in a warm place. Cut into eight pieces and shape into rolls. Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with foil and allow to double again.
Bake in a preheated 350F oven. Cool on cookie racks.