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  1. To make the dough: In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and 1/2 cup (60g) of the flour. Let sit for 10 minutes to give the yeast some time to get going. Add the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, orange oil or zest, butter, and salt. Stir to mix well.

  2. Add the remaining flour 1 cup (120g) at a time, stirring until the dough forms a shaggy mass. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it to form a smooth and satiny ball. Flour your hands and the counter as necessary to keep the dough from sticking, but try not to add more flour to the dough. When the dough springs back when you give it a poke, it's ready for its first rise.

  3. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with greased plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

  4. To make the filling: Pour the boiling water over the apricots and cover with plastic wrap; let them soften for 15 minutes. Drain, then put the apricots, sugar, and almond extract in a food processor and pulse until you have a thick purée.

  5. To assemble: Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. After the dough has doubled, deflate it and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it in half, and knead each half briefly. Roll each piece of dough into a rectangle 6" wide and 15" long. Spread each rectangle with half the filling, leaving a 1" border on one long edge uncovered.

  6. Roll each rectangle up, starting with the filling-covered long edge. Place each log on one of the prepared baking sheets, and join the ends of the log together to form a circle, pinching to seal.

  7. Let the coffee cakes rise for 15 minutes. Make several parallel slashes 1" deep in each coffee cake. Let rise again, this time for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  8. Bake the coffee cakes for 25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove them from the oven and cool before glazing or cutting.

  9. To make the glaze: Whisk the ingredients together until smooth; drizzle over the coffee cakes and sprinkle with toasted almonds, if desired, before serving.

Tips from our Bakers

  • If you have a small ramekin or heatproof bowl, grease its outside and place in the center of the baking sheet. Form your coffee cake around it, and leave it in place as the dough rises and bakes. After baking and cooling, remove the ramekin or bowl, and you'll have a perfect circle in the center of your treat.