We’ve lost the humidity in the city so I think that officially means it’s Fall, right? I know we have about two more weeks of “summer” but I’m already pulling out my sweaters, donning over-the-knee boots, and adding cinnamon and allspice to my seasonal breakfast bread recipes, like this peach walnut bread I made last week for Labor Day in the Mountains.
Last weekend for Labor Day, we went to the Highlands in NC to enjoy the mountain air and (most importantly) attend one helluva costume party at the club. Whenever I get invited up I can’t bring myself to come empty handed to my hosts and use these trips as an opportunity to try a new recipe! The first time I brought up a couple of my favorite candles from candlefish, but this time I thought something homemade would be just the trick.
So with a morning free of responsibilities (besides the ever necessary packing), I got to creating a recipe just for that weekend.
I wanted it to be autumn themed and incorporating end-of-summer fruit. What started off as potentially something blackberry infused, ended up using my favorite end-of-summer fruit: Peaches.
On average, it’s pretty rare to have our peaches last this long in stores, but sadly we’ve had a pretty poor crop this year since we didn’t get much of a freeze where the peaches grow. A peach tree needs a hearty frost to set it up for a successful fruiting season. With the warmer winter we had, we ended up with smaller peaches. So when I could find them at the grocery store, I would nip them up for one of my favorite peach recipes, or experiment with new ones. Like I did for this Peach Walnut Bread.
I’ve never put peaches in bread before. This isn’t any sort of transcendental experiment, with enough sweetness and the right texture, peaches go with any sort of dessert-masking-itself-as-breakfast type of breakfast. I did have to do a little bit of tweaking to my standard banana walnut bread to accommodate the peaches and lack of moisture.
However, I will tell you that from my real life taste testers, this recipe was a morning hit! I’m thankful to have people in my life who want to gobble these things up willingly. Make sure you bake this for others to enjoy, if you have it sitting around just for yourself, it’s very tempting not to eat the entire loaf on your own.
- 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 1 lemon zested
- 2 cups of flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cups of milk
- 3 large peaches diced
- 8 heavy shakes of cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, position the rack on the top third of the oven.
In a large bowl, stir the butter and sugar until well combined.
Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition.
Add the vanilla and lemon zest, stirring until combined.
In a separate, smaller bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture, stirring until combined. Add the milk, stir, and then add the remaining dry ingredients.
Stir to combine. Fold in the peaches, being careful to not overwork the batter.
Line the 9 inch bread pan with parchment paper and then spoon the mixture into the loaf pan.
Bake in the oven for 60 minutes, checking to see if a toothpick comes out clean.
At 45 minutes cover the top of the bread with a tinfoil tent to prevent from over browning.
Bake until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean.
Also, you may notice that this bread was baked in a parchment paper lining. This wasn’t for aesthetically pleasing photographs (although it did lend to those), but consider parchment paper the Reynold’s wrap of cooking utensils. You want to cut the corner squares out of the parchment paper so that it looks like a box with all of its sides taken off, and then stuff it down in the baking pan. The absolute greatest thing about parchment paper is that it didn’t leak, there was no fuss on pulling this bread out, and when it came time to peel the sides of the parchment paper off the bread wall, it just slid right off leaving a perfect golden crust behind.
It was worthy of a photo, so behold!