• 375g strong bread flour
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 7g sachet fast-action yeast
  • 100ml milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 150g butter, very soft
  • from 2 pods cardamom seeds
  • 3 tbsp light muscovado sugar
  • 4 fresh apricots, stoned and chopped
  • to decorate icing sugar and toasted flaked almonds


  • STEP 1

    Put the flour, sugar, yeast, milk and 3 eggs into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix first on slow, then on medium until you have a smooth dough which will pop back when you poke your finger into it.

  • STEP 2

    Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size.

  • STEP 3

    Using the dough hook, beat in the butter until fully incorporated. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly, then roll out to a rectangle about 16cm wide.

  • STEP 4

    In a mortar, crush the cardamom seeds with the muscovado. Dot the apricot pieces down one side of the dough vertically, sprinkle on the cardamom and sugar mix, then fold the other side over and press down firmly.

  • STEP 5

    Make 3 vertical cuts down the dough starting about 2cm from the top, then plait the 3 lengths together. Tuck both ends under and put on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover loosely with buttered clingfilm and put in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight until it is risen.

  • STEP 6

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Beat the remaining egg and brush it over the bread. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the loaf is risen and golden brown. Cool slightly.

  • STEP 7

    To finish the loaf, mix the icing sugar with a little water to make a thick, just pourable icing and drizzle it back and forth over the top, then sprinkle with almonds. Serve warm.


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