Apricot & marzipan twist

Apricot & marzipan twist

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(7 ratings)

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Cooking time

Cook: 30 mins 45 mins + overnight soaking and rising

Skill level

Moderately easy


Serves 12

Paul Hollywood's almond and apricot 'couronne' is crammed with fruit and nuts and is a great alternative to stollen

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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For the dough

  • 250g strong white bread flour
  • 50g unsalted butter, softened
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 10g fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 large egg, beaten

For the filling

  • 120g dried apricots, chopped
  • 150ml orange juice
  • 90g unsalted butter
  • 70g light muscovado sugar
  • 35g plain flour
  • 60g raisins
  • 65g chopped walnuts
  • grated zest 1 orange
  • 200g marzipan

To finish

  • 50g apricot jam
  • 200g icing sugar, mixed with enough water to make a runny icing

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  1. The night before, put apricots and orange juice in a bowl and set aside.
  2. To make the dough, put flour, 1 tsp salt, butter, milk, yeast and egg in a bowl, and mix together to form a dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 6 mins.
  3. Transfer dough to a mixing bowl. Cover, then set aside to rise in a warm place for 1 hr.
  4. Meanwhile, drain the apricots. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and muscovado sugar until fluffy. Mix in the apricots, flour, raisins, walnuts and orange zest.
  5. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it out to a rectangle, about 25 x 33cm. Evenly spread over the apricot mix, then roll out the marzipan and lay it on top. Roll up the rectangle tightly so it looks like a Swiss roll. Roll slightly, then cut lengthways along the roll, leaving 1 end joined. Twist 2 lengths together, then shape into a ring on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Set aside to rise for 1 hr.
  6. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Bake the twist for 30 mins until risen and dark golden. Towards the end of the baking time, gently warm the apricot jam in a small pan. Brush the freshly baked loaf with the warm jam to glaze it, then set it aside to cool. Once cooled, drizzle the twist heavily with the runny icing.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, December 2011

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Comments, questions and tips

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Show comments
amybowman's picture

I've just taken this out of the oven. It's exploded. Filling all over the place. Tastes good but looks a mess. Found it a difficult recipe really. filling exposed right form when you cut it into 'legs'. How do you avoid it spilling out?
Very time consuming and expensive mistake :(

blackdragon's picture

I made this yesterday following the recipe in Paul's book 'How to Bake'. It differs slightly to the recipe above, I followed it to the letter and it turned out lovely. I always leave my bread to rise for a couple of hours at least, and I found the dough an easy and beautiful soft one to roll. Once assembled I prove on the kitchen table with an food umbrella over the baking tray and cover the umbrella with a couple of clean tea towels. It works just as a plastic bag would but without the possibility of the dough sticking to the bag ( which is how I came about this alternative idea!) It is a centrepiece thats for sure, but very sweet and shared it out amongst friends and family. x

kingtwig's picture

I just made this recipe, and it spread out all over the place! It looks like a couronne pancake! lol. Paul Hollywoods recipes says 5g of salt in the dough, 135ml of milk, not 150, and 1 medium egg, not large. I have his book, so maybe should have followed his recipe from the start! I'm sure this one tastes lovely, but its not very attractive *sad Ruby from GBBO face* :o)

emmaleg's picture
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This is absolutely delicious - yes it's sweet but you don't need to have too much. The dough was fine as I kneaded it in my Kenwood mixer and the filling was easy to make but when I shaped the couronne the filling was exposed so when it baked it seeped out quite a lot and made it sticky. I'm also not very good at the shaping part so it looked pretty messy!! I'd definitely make it again as it's so delish but would make two individual rolls and seal the filling in, then twist together.

monica49's picture

I made two versions of this recipe and both were highly successful. One was made with Kamut flour which people with a wheat/gluten intolerance can often eat. Kamut flour does have some gluten in it, which you need for a good bread dough. This is a suburb recipe and will replace the Stollen I usually make. Just a tip for those who said the basic dough was sticky. Knead it more! Use a machine with a dough hook and give it the full 6 mins. Look for the gluten strands , then you'll get a soft but wonderfully elastic dough.

porthtymawr's picture
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I made this today. Changed a little of the recipe. I used Sultanas and currants instead of the Apricot and didn't soak them and added mixed spice, cinnamon and nutmeg and a little orange juice.
The dough is very sticky as Paul says it should be. Had fun fighting with it at first !!!! but eventually it kneads into a lovely dough. The rise was amazing.
I glazed it with 2 tbsp milk & 2 tbsp castor sugar brought to the boil and simmered for 2 mins and brushed over and then sprinkled with icing sugar.
it was very tasty and moorish.

How long does it keep for?

paula773's picture
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I also added more flour as my dough turned out to be quite sticky as well. It worked perfectly and it is very yummy!

cocominx's picture
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Very tricky to shape, as mentioned before...tasted beautiful though and looks stunning so don't despair if it doesn't seem perfect. Will make again nearer Easter time, but will add dark chocolate chunks and dried cranberries. Yum!!

jomaxsmith's picture

I am puzzled by the requirement for 10g of yeast - what I would term Fast Action yeast comes in 7g packets so I didn't know if you were expected to use one and bit packets. The other type of dried yeast comes in tins and requires activating before use so I didn't think that was the right type.

I'm actually making a version of this now but using Delia's recipe for Stollen as the bread part as I know that recipe works!

I'm also making it in two halves as I want to try one today and keep the other for an event tomorrow.

And I'm too tight to buy a whole jar of Apricot Jam for the glaze so I'm going to try it with lemon marmalade....

You could say I'm not really following the recipe at all but instead using it for inspiration!

jagelmsa's picture
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I agree it is a rather wet and sticky dough. I didn't add any more flour as I remember Paul Hollywood getting annoyed with people not following his recipes on the Great British Bake Off. I cheated a bit and stuck the dough ingredients in the bread maker machine on the dough setting then rolled it out gently between two pieces of clingfilm to avoid a mess. Looked quite impressive but only three stars on the rating as it is very sweet and rich, now I like such things but even so, think christmas pudding. I certainly wouldn't want it for breakfast!

abradbu2's picture
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I gradually added more flour as I was kneading, just enough to not stick to surface/hands. Turned out great and everyone really liked it!

india378's picture

I made this recipe on Sunday as always like a challenge and wanted to take it a present into work. I make my own bread every week so used to the kneading side of things. The dough was sticky but I thought it was because of the addition of milk rather than water, I added slightly more flour when kneading and it was fine. Finish was fine and it double in size whilst in the oven. Didn't last long at work, the taste was amazing!

gracerowansmum's picture

Hello again. I've just made it, I added quite a bit extra flour to it as I was kneading - it was very sticky as you had described Wendy (I did it for 6 mins as recipe suggested). I left it to rise for more than an hour while I popped to a pre school nativity, and it was at least double the size when I got back. It looks lovely and I cant wait to tuck in. Still none the wiser on the freezing side of things though :-(

rachel014443's picture

Wendy, I haven't tried this recipe yet but it sounds like you need to knead the dough for longer, I would say about 10 minutes. To test if you have kneaded the dough for long enough, gather it up into a tight ball in one hand and then gently push a finger into the dough, if the dough slowly springs back then it’s done, if the in print of your finger stays then it needs a bit longer. I am going to try making it on the weekend, will let you know how I get on.

gracerowansmum's picture

I am interested in WendyMay's comment above as I am also about to do a dummy run (I will let you know how it goes Wendy) but my query is regards to the freezing of the Twist.. I want to know at which point you can freeze it? Should it be before or after you have baked it? Also I didnt think you could freeze marzipan, which has therefore added to my confusion! Please advise....!

wendymayCI's picture

I am quite new to baking bread, I saw this recipe in the good food magazine and decided to have a go. I thought I would have a dummy run before christmas. The result was - top marks for taste but - nil points for presentation. Fact is - I got in a bit of a ‘muddy puddle’. The problem was - the dough was very sticky, I found it very difficult to handle. I don’t think I kneaded properly as it did not rise very well. I left it for over an hour in the airing cupboard so it was in a warm place. Where did I go wrong?
It looks so good in the picture and tasted lovely - I am determined to get it right. Any experts out there HELP please.