Did you happen to see the Blueberry Focaccia in July’s Woman’s Day magazine (or on Tastespotting)? And did you immediately want to go and make it? Yeah, me too. I’ve mentioned before how I love to add fruit to my yeast bread, so it was all the inspiration I needed to create this fresh peach and blueberry tea bread.
I guess I could have called it Focaccia, too, but I like to eat this sort of bread for tea – mid-morning or mid-afternoon with a cup of tea, so I’ll just call it tea bread. The dough is mildly sweet, just enough to complement the fresh fruit. Yet it’s substantial and filling like bread. I used the first crop of fresh Ontario peaches, together with some Ontario blueberries for a combination that can’t be beat, in my opinion. Of course, you could use all blueberries or all peaches, if you prefer. Or how about blueberries and raspberries. Or peaches and cherries. The possibilities are endless. You’ll need about 3-4 cups of fruit all together.
This bread will freeze, so don’t worry about what to do with the extra loaf. Although I’m sure there’s a friend/family member/neighbour who would love to be gifted with it :)
Cook’s Notes: Makes 2 breads. Pat your peach slices dry before adding them to the bottom layer, to prevent the inside from getting too soggy.
Recipe: Fresh Peach and Blueberry Tea Bread
Summary: A lovely fresh peach and blueberry tea bread, made focaccia style. A perfect way to enjoy seasonal fruits.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 packet (1/4 oz. or 2 1/4 tsp.) bread machine or instant yeast
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cups whole milk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups blueberries
- 2 cups peaches, peeled and cut into thin slices
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- Coarse sugar for sprinkling
- In a large bowl (or the bowl of stand mixer), combine 1/2 cup sugar, 3 cups of the flour, the yeast and salt until blended.
- Heat milk in a 2-cup measuring cup in microwave on high for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, or until temperature registers 130° F. on an instant-read thermometer. Add milk to the flour mixture, along with the egg and butter. Mix with a rubber spatula (or kneading hook) until a soft, sticky dough forms. Scrape the dough onto a floured surface. Knead in some of the remaining 1/2 cup flour, a bit at a time, just until you have a smooth and pliable dough. Cover the dough with the mixing bowl and let rest 10 minutes.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough in half. Working with one piece of dough at a time, stretch and pat it out on the parchment into a 12 inch by 12 inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the rectangle in half down the middle, making two 6-inch by 12 inch pieces. Scatter one piece with 1/2 cup of the blueberries and 1/2 cup of the peaches. Sprinkle lightly with about 1 Tbsp. of sugar. Place remaining 6×12-inch dough piece over-top and stretch it at the edges to make it slightly larger than the bottom piece. Press the edges together and tuck under the loaf. Repeat with other piece of dough. Cover both with a sheet of greased plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to let rise for 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 350° F. With floured fingers, dimple surface of loaf. Pierce any bubbles with a knife tip to release air pockets. Scatter the top of loaf with remaining blueberries and peaches. Sprinkle generously with coarse sugar. Bake 25 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Slide onto a wire rack and cool slightly. Serve warm with a spreading of butter, if you like.
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 30 min
Total time: 1 hour 45 min
Number of servings (yield): 2 loaves