California Prune Bread with Pecans and Cardamom

Recipe by James Collier for California Prunes

Sorry, sourdough. This California Prune Bread is where it’s at. Subtly sweet, this lovely loaf works equally well for breakfast or dessert. Don’t let the resting time scare you off. We promise it’s well worth the wait. You can smear a thick slab of this prune bread with butter of course, but we suggest using a slice or two for ricotta toast too.

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  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 4 Tbsps. sugar, divided
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 cup pitted California prunes, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting


In a large bowl, whisk the yeast and 2 Tbsps. of the sugar into 1 ½ cups of lukewarm water.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining 2 Tbsps. sugar, salt, cardamom, prunes, pecans, and lemon zest, and gently mix, breaking up any clusters of prunes so that they’re coated—this will help ensure they’re spread evenly throughout the loaf.

Using a flexible spatula or bench scraper, fold the flour into the yeasted water, mixing thoroughly and breaking up any clumps. Once combined, fold in the prune, pecan, and cardamom mixture, until evenly distributed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 12-15 hours, until the dough has doubled in size and is dotted with air bubbles. Scrape the dough onto a floured counter or smooth surface, dust with flour all around, and gently spread from the edges to form a disc. Then, lift from four corners, one at a time, folding the dough into itself to form a roughly shaped ball. Lightly dust with a little more flour, then use your hands to pull the boule into a tighter ball. Cover with a towel and let rest for another hour.

While the dough rests, preheat the oven to 450 degrees, then warm a 4-5.5 quart Dutch inside for 30 minutes. Bake the bread, covered, for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes, until the top is a dark golden brown—the loaf will feel a little dense but should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing.