Peach, Cinnamon & Brown Butter Pull-Apart Bread
Whooooooa, it’s August. How the heck did that happen?
I know it’s hot and this is going to require you to turn on your oven, but just hear me out.
Peaches have been abundant at the farmer’s market lately and I’ve been gobbling them up as fast as I can buy them. But then I got this crazy idea…
Have you seen pull apart bread? It’s basically like a cinnamon roll, except instead of rolling it up, you slice it into squares and stuff it in a bread pan. Sounds delicious, right?
Now add peaches.
Yeah, I did that. It’s the worst best idea I’ve ever had. I had originally planned to bake this for some friends who visited a few weeks ago, but I ran out of time. I just couldn’t let the idea go though, so I baked it up on a lazy Sunday morning. It was as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4.
And then I proceeded to eat 1, 2, 3, 4… and more pieces. See, the evil thing about this bread is the pull-apart-ness. The smells of warm cinnamon and brown sugar tickle your nose while the many tender layers practically beg you to just pull off a little slice. C’mon, just one. It won’t kill you.
The next thing you know, you’re huddled in the corner of your kitchen cradling the whole thing in your lap, lovingly calling it your “Precious”.
What I’m trying to say is maybe you should wait to make this one until you have some friends or family over.
Peach Cinnamon & Brown Butter Pull-Apart Bread
This recipe requires rising time for dough, so be sure to plan ahead. The bread doesn’t have a strong peach flavor, so next time I might try subbing some of the milk with peach schnapps to give it an extra peachy kick.
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus 1/4 cup or more, if needed)
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 pound (approximately) ripe peaches, pitted, peeled and diced
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened + leftover browned butter **
4 teaspoons of milk
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Add flour, sugar and yeast to the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix just to blend. Heat butter and milk in microwave just until butter melts, about 1 minute. Stir in water and vanilla. Checking with an instant read thermometer, cool to temperature indicated on yeast packet (usually 120-130ºF). Add eggs to dry ingredients. Mix on low, streaming in liquids slowly. Continue mixing until a sticky dough forms. Add flour 1 tablespoon at a time (up to about 4 to 6 tablespoons) until dough pulls away from sides. Dough will be tacky but not too sticky to handle. Briefly knead dough, shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, pit, peel and finely dice peaches. Whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger in a small bowl. Cook butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until browned (will have a nutty aroma). Transfer to a small, heat-proof bowl. Spray a 9×5 bread pan with baking spray.
Once risen, punch down dough, cover, and let rest for 5 minutes. Roll dough out into a large rectangle (roughly 12×24 inches). Dough will be fairly thin. Brush brown butter over top of dough. (You don’t need to use it all, just enough to cover the dough.) Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar & spice mixture. (Again, you don’t need to use it all – I used about 2/3rds.) Using a pizza cutter, cut into 6 equal strips. Sprinkle about 1/5 of diced peaches over one strip of dough, then stack another strip of dough on top. Repeat adding peaches and stacking dough strips with remaining dough. Cut stacked strips into 6 equal stacks of squares. Stuff stacked squares vertically into prepared 9×5 loaf pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise 30-45 minutes in a warm place. (If you can’t find a warm place, turn oven on to lowest setting (200ºF or less) for 3 minutes, then turn OFF. Set dough inside OFF oven to rise.)
Preheat over to 350ºF. Bake about 35-45 minutes, or until no longer doughy in the center (bread should register 190ºF on an instant thermometer in the center when done). If bread starts to get too brown before it’s ready, cover loosely with foil and continue baking.
Remove from oven, cool on a wire wrack for 10 minutes. Carefully invert bread onto serving platter. Combine all icing ingredients** in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Icing should be thick and paste-like. Do not thin! Spread icing over warm bread. Devour.
Best served same day it’s baked. Can be stored covered at room temperature for up to 2 days.
** I had about 1 tablespoon of leftover browned butter. If you don’t have any leftover browned butter, substitute 1 tablespoon of softened butter.