This Summer Fruit Yeast Bread is a lovely way to enjoy abundant, fresh Summer fruit is bread form. It’s perfect for using up odds and end or slightly past it’s peak Summer fruit.
While the warmer Summer months certainly slow down my baking activities, they never really stop completely. On the cooler days, the quieter days or the rainy days, I still heed the call to head to the kitchen for a little bread baking therapy. Only the type of bread changes :)
This Glazed Summer Fruit Yeast Bread is just such a bread. Full of fresh fruit and topped with a sweet glaze, this bread is great for breakfast, snacking or a special treat for Summer weekend guests.
And if you’re like me and you collect baskets of Summer fruit faster than you can possibly eat it, it’s worth noting that this is an excellent way to use some of that fruit that may have moved past it’s freshest best or for odds and ends of fruit. Anything goes with this bread, so change it up with what you have on hand.
My bread here features fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, but you could certainly use any fruit you have around. Raspberries, apples, peaches, nectarines, plums etc.
As this bread is glazed, it doesn’t toast, but honestly, this one is at it’s best eaten fresh, out of hand, with a smear of butter.
Keep in mind that warm Summer kitchens mean that our bread will rise much more quickly than in Winter, so keep an eye on it and enjoy the shorter rising time :)
This loaf is best in the first day or so of baking, as the fruit has a lot of moisture that will soften the bread quickly. Freeze any left-overs before it gets too moist.
This bread also makes great French Toast or Bread pudding!
What is Instant Yeast
Instant Yeast is a type of yeast that doesn’t need to be proofed in water prior to using. It can be added directly to the dry ingredients. Instant Yeast is similar to yeast labelled Bread Machine Yeast, which also needs no proofing in water and could be used as a substitute if you can’t find Instant Yeast. If you only have Active Dry Yeast, you will need to proof it in the water warmed to the recommended temperature before adding to the dough. If you go this route, you will need to use a portion of the liquid in the recipe to do the proofing. Be sure to reduce the additional liquid you add accordingly.
I always use SAF Instant Yeast. I buy it in the 1lb. package and keep it in a freezer storage container in my freezer. I use it straight from the freezer in my baking.
My Best Tips for Baking with Yeast
I think most of the problems people have with baking with yeast, is treating yeast-based recipes like say, a cake recipe, where you just measure the ingredients, mix them all together and bake.
Yeast-based recipes just can never be that precise. Things like temperature, moisture in the flour your are using, the season your are baking in and rising time can differ from one kitchen to the next. All that makes yeast recipes less consistent from one kitchen to the next.
Now that you know this though, that’s more than half the battle :) Baking with yeast isn’t just measuring, mixing and baking, like a cake, for example. You’ll need to add to the mix a little trust in what you see (it looks sticky, so it needs more flour, regardless of how much flour the recipe says should go in), and a feel for the dough (does it feel smooth like a baby’s bottom when you’re done kneading?) and watching much it has grown in size as it rises (rather than watching the clock). Do that, and all will be good!
- Be careful with the temperature of your proofing liquid before adding the yeast, so you don’t compromise the yeast from the start. If the liquid is too cold, the yeast won’t activate. Too hot and it will die. The best temperature range for proofing liquid is 105-110F for Active Dry Yeast. Instant yeast is a bit more forgiving and can take temperatures up to 120F. All yeasts die at about 140°F. An Instant Read thermometer is handy to have on hand to check.
- Always treat the amount of flour specified in yeast-based recipes as “approximate”. Flours will vary from kitchen to kitchen and by season, so the amount needed to make a smooth, soft dough will vary.
- Given tip #2, I always hold back 1/4-1/3 of the flour specified in a recipe and add in only as much as is needed. If you dump all the flour in at the start, you may find that it is too much and it’s difficult to adjust well after that.
- Use a large glass measuring cup to proof your dough. It’s easy to see when the dough has doubled.
- Be patient. Rising times are also “approximate” and will vary as well. Trust what you see and not the clock.
Get the Recipe: Glazed Summer Fruit Yeast Bread
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp white sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and/or quartered strawberries
- 3/4 cup icing/confectioners' sugar
- 1 1/2 - 2 Tbsp milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Heat the milk in a small saucepan until bubbles begin to form, then add the butter. Stir to melt butter completely, then remove from heat. Set aside to cool to lukewarm.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a kneading hook, combine 2 cups of the flour, yeast, salt and brown sugar and mix together well. Add water, egg, and lukewarm milk/butter mixture and mix thoroughly. Begin adding more flour, a bit at a time, until a soft, moist (but not sticky) dough forms. Place dough into a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
- Remove dough to a lightly floured surface and gently press down to deflate dough. In a large bowl, mix together the white sugar and cinnamon. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1-inch-ish irregular pieces and place into bowl with sugar. Toss dough in sugar to coat.
- Grease two 8x4-inch loaf pans (or one 4x12-inch loaf pan, like I used). Divide chopped dough between the two prepared pans, scattering fresh berries in between the dough pieces as you fill up the pans, and then scattering some on top. Cover loaves with greased plastic wrap and set out to rise until almost doubled, 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake loaves in preheated oven for about 40 minutes, checking at 30 minute mark and covering loosely with aluminum foil if loaves are dark enough at that point. Internal temperature of bread should be in the 195-200 F. range when done.
- Allow bread to cool in pans for about 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and remove to a cooling rack to cool completely. Mix together glaze ingredients well, adjusting for consistency by adding a bit more icing sugar or milk, as needed. Drizzle over cooled loaf.
- This bread is best in the first 24 hours after baking, as the extra moisture from the fruit will begin to soften the bread. If you can't eat it all immediately, freeze it for later. This bread would also make great bread pudding!
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!
Hi! Could I make this with frozen berries?
Hi Maggie, I don’t think it’s ideal with frozen fruit, but may work. You would need to thaw them before adding to the dough, as using from frozen would greatly slow the rise of the bread. If you try it, let me know how it works out.
It worked SO well!!! I used a Costco frozen tri berry blend… I let them thaw for around an hour and I did my best to pat them dry with a paper towel. The texture of the breads was amazing! Thanks for the prompt response :)))
So glad to hear, Maggie! Good to know :)
Hi Jennifer, I ended up having to use almost 3-3.5 cups of flour because the dough was very sticky. Is this unusual? Have you ever had this problem?
Hi Grace and yes, that happens a lot with bread making :) It’s not a problem, but just a factor of the variations of flour. I always treat the flour as a inevitably variable amount and rarely actually measure it. I just keep adding flour until the dough is the right consistency, however much that is.
This looks simply incredible. Particularly that delicious craggy-top. Perfection!!
Thanks so much :)
Bravo! What an amazing looking bread. Plus am dying to try instant yeast. Thanks for the tip!
Thanks so much, Cindy :)
This bread looks so delicious and pretty! I am going to send this recipe to my wife. We are having a party soon. I believe our friends would love this.
Thanks David and do enjoy!
What a glorious summer bread, and I love the idea of using leftovers for French toast!
Thanks Laura and yes, it makes the best French toast!
How did I miss this? I’m just happy I found it! I agree with Liz – this would be perfect for the 4th of July!!
Thanks so much, Annie :) I just love bread with fresh fruit!
This is so pretty, Jennifer! Great way to highlight summer berries. And looks very patriotic too. Might have to make it for our 4th of July!
Thanks so much, Liz and yes! I noticed it was distinctly red, white and blue. Completely by accident, especially since I’m Canadian ;)
Jennifer! When I saw this on FB, I almost fell over. So beautiful and it must be incredibly delicious. Your family is very lucky, lol.
I’m fairly certain I was a bear in a former life because I could live on berries alone. This is my favourite time of year! Fantastic photos too!
Thanks Robyn and I’m the same. I always have left-over bits of berries though, so that’s how this bread was born :)
Nothing like a bit of bread baking therapy, is there ;) ? So relaxing, isn’t it? And the payoff is so good when you get all the lovely smells in the kitchen and then get to eat it! This one is definitely a beauty, Jennifer! Love all the fruit in there….means it’s healthy and I get to eat another piece, lol :) Hope you’re having a great week!
Thanks Dawn and yes, I love some bread baking therapy! And definitely, fruit = healthy ;)
This bread looks incredible Jennifer. It would be perfect for french toast! My mother comes up from Florida to visit next week and I know she’d love it! I better get my bake on!
Thanks so much, Mary Ann :) Enjoy!
Can I make this in bread maker?
Hi Dawn, You could certainly prepare the dough part + first rise in a bread maker. After that though, you would need to remove it, prepare as per the recipe and place in to a bread pan to bake in the oven. Hope that helps.
I most enthusiastically welcome your suggestion to turn slices of this beautiful fruit rich loaf into french toast. It will make for a luxurious breakfast!
Oh yes, Milena :) The French Toast from this one is definitely lovely!
This is gorgeous Jennifer and such a wonderful way to use all that beautiful summer fruit! I never think of using fresh fruit in yeast bread.
Thanks so much, Chris :) It works so beautifully, I’m surprised people don’t use it more often!
Oh Jennifer! You’ve done it again and have created some work for me! This looks so good and I know hubby will just die when I make this for him! Oops..hang on…..There! ..had to wipe the drool off my chin…lol…Thanks again girlie!
Lol! Thanks Colleen :) I think you all will love this one. When it’s fresh with butter, it’s lovely snacking bread. Enjoy!
I cannot get the print button to work on your page.
Hi Linda, I haven’t had anyone else report an issue with the print button. When you mentioned it previously, I asked if you could try the Print link at the top of the page (under the large top photo). Have you tried that one as well?
This bread is spectacular, you hardly ever see fresh berries baked up in a bread like this, and it just makes such an unusual but delicious looking loaf ~ I have everything in the kitchen I need to make it, too! Pinning and sharing this gorgeous recipe :)
Thanks so much, Sue and you’re right, you don’t see it often but it works fabulously. I make a yeast bread with fresh blueberries all the time. So nice!
OH my goodness Jennifer. Sometimes I truly believe you are baking for me because all I want to do is make your gorgeous recipes! This sweet bread is beautiful. With just a little sweetness from the glaze and a little butter – and I am a happy girl. Outstanding!
Thanks Tricia :) I never tire of fresh bread and butter and love this fruit-filled version in Summer. A great fridge cleaner, too!