Feed starter 1/2 C sugar, 1 C water and 1 T instant potato flakes once a week, stirring well. Let mixture sit in uncovered container all day to feed and grow. After 8 - 10 hours, remove 1 cup of starter to bake bread; return remainder of starter to refrigerator in loosely covered container.
Combine starter, water, oil, sugar and apricots and mix well. Add walnuts and the whole wheat flour; blend together with a whisk. Add 2 cups of the bread flour and mix again.
Add the last 2 cups of the bread flour, combined with the salt, and mix again.
The dough will be sticky and a little stiff. Put the dough in a greased (or sprayed with Pam) bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until doubled in bulk.
Punch down and divide into three equal pieces. Put each piece into a greased loaf pan and let rise until they reach the tops of the pans. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes or until browned and pulling away from the sides of the pans.
* Was originally Dot Howell's recipe. You can substitute white corn syrup for part or all of the oil; the bread might cook more quickly and brown too soon if not watched carefully. Can also substitute 1/4 C oatmeal for 1/4 C flour.
* Daddy speeds up the process; he feeds the starter and then puts it into a hot water bath for about an hour. While the starter sits in its bath, he mixes his ingredients for the bread. He uses 1 cup of the starter and lets the remainder sit outside for several hours. He makes his dough and puts it in a hot water bath to rise. When he punches it down, he puts the pans over a hot water bath to rise. He accomplishes the entire process in one day instead of two days.