I was teaching a no-knead bread class and discussing ideas for the San Francisco Food Bloggers’ Bake Sale (We raised over $1400 for Share Our Strength this past Saturday, 28 April!). We were making the fig-fennel variation that is one of my favorites and riffed on other ideas. A bag of dried apricots from a Mariquita Farm Mystery Box that has lived too long in the refrigerator provided the inspiration for this apricot-anise no-knead sourdough bread. It makes great breakfast toast or spread it with fresh goat cheese or ricotta.
In the variation here you will notice that I am now using metric for weights. I’ve been a proponent of weighing ingredients for years. It’s faster, less messy, and more accurate than measuring by volume, not to mention giving more consistent results. But I’ve been using ounces because that is the default measurement on my scale. It was not until a recent discussion with the cookbook author and blogger Jennie Schacht, that she pointed out the completely obvious (except apparently to me) way to clarify the ambiguity in my recipes when it came to liquids. When I’ve called for, for instance, 8 ounces of water, do I mean weight or volume? I think most people wonder: why is she calling for 8 ounces of water? Everyone knows that’s a cup! Jennie’s brilliantly simple answer: “Express the liquids in grams!” So here goes.
To make the apricot-anise bread, use the amounts listed here and follow the usual method for no-knead bread explained in the the no-knead multigrain sourdough bread and variations.
To make a fig-fennel variation, substitute dried black figs for the apricots and use 11 g fennel seed instead of the 8.5 g anise seed.
567 g organic bread flour (or use 57 g whole-wheat flour and 510 g bread flour)
425 g water
170 g dried apricots, chopped
28 g fresh sourdough starter or 1/4 teaspoon dried yeast
8.5g or 9g kosher salt
8.5g or 9 g anise seed
Note: Soak the apricots in some of the water until the fruit is soft. Make sure to use that soaking water in your bread.