Deliciously light and flaky peach pull-apart bread, with fresh peach and a vanilla sugar filling and glaze.
It's been crazy hot here the last while, so thank heavens for air conditioning, so I can still bake! This Vanilla Peach Pull-apart Bread was the first thing I baked with the first nice peaches that arrived in my kitchen.
For this bread, I slightly roasted off the peach sliced before adding them to the bread. The result after baking was perfectly soft and flavourful peaches, that still hold their shape well.
I never tire of pull-apart bread. It's wonderfully flaky and soft and I love just tearing off a thin slice for a nice treat. You can enjoy this lovely bread any time of day.
Peaches: I like to roast off the fresh peaches a bit before adding to this bread. Just 15 minutes in a moderate oven is all it takes, then let them cool. This cooks off a bit of the moisture and softens them, and ensures that the peaches are lovely and soft, but still hold their shape in the finished bread.
Look for nice large, ripe but still firm peaches. I always peel my peaches with a nice sharp Y-shape peeler, which does the job quickly with very little waste of the lovely peach flesh.
Vanilla: I've pretty much abandoned pure vanilla extract in my kitchen and replaced it with Vanilla Bean Paste. The two can be used in the same measure, but you get the extra vanilla flavour and those lovely brown specks with the vanilla bean paste. If you don't have vanilla bean paste, just use a nice pure vanilla extract.
As this bread is enriched with eggs and butter, it is best enjoyed in the first day after baking. Well-wrapped, it will be fine into the second day as well. For longer, I'd suggest freezing to enjoy the rest later.
This bread may look done before it is done. It will need 35-40 minutes in the oven. Check it around the 30 minute mark and if it has browned enough, lay a piece of aluminum foil loosely over-top to prevent further browning and allow to cook longer.
I've baked my bread up in my 4x10-inch tea loaf pan. If you don't have that pan, you can use a 9x5-inch loaf pan instead. I've included some slightly different instructions for this size pan in the recipe notes.
Vanilla Peach Pull-apart Bread
For the bread dough:
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast or see (*Notes below for active dry yeast)
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1/3 cup milk
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
- 2 large eggs
For the vanilla sugar filling:
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter (melted)
- 2 large fresh peaches (peeled and thinly sliced and roasted *see instructions)
For the vanilla glaze:
- 1 cup confectioners’/icing sugar
- 1 Tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or pure vanilla extract)
- Make the bread dough: Stir together 2 cups of the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, the yeast and salt in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
- In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter over low heat just until the butter is melted. Alternately, warm in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Remove from the heat and add the 1/4 cup water. Set aside until cooled to just warm (120 to 130°F for instant yeast or about 110F for active dry yeast), about 1 minute. Stir in the vanilla.
- Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and, using a rubber spatula or the paddle attachment, mix until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing just until incorporated after each addition. Stop the mixer and add the remaining 1/2 cup flour.
- If using a stand mixture, remove the paddle attachment and place the kneading hook on the mixture. Resume mixing on low speed, adding additional flour as needed to make a smooth, moist and just slightly sticky dough. If making by hand, knead with as little additional flour as needed until dough is smooth.
- Place the dough in a large, greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.
- Roast the peaches: Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scatter peach slices evenly on pan. Roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet until completely cool.
- Make the vanilla sugar filling: While the dough is rising, in a small bowl, mix together the sugar and vanilla. Set aside. The sugar will become a wet sand consistency, so don’t be alarmed when you see this.
- Assemble the pull apart bread: Preheat the oven to 350°F with the rack in the centre of the oven. Spray a 4 x 10-inch tea loaf pan with cooking spray. **Alternately, use a 9x5-inch loaf pan and see Notes at bottom for cutting strips. Set on to a baking sheet and set aside.
- Place risen dough on a lightly floured surface and gently deflate the dough. Roll the dough into a 12-inch by 21-inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife and with the long side closest to you, cut the dough into 6 strips even strips about 3 1/2 inches wide from top to bottom, making 6 strips 3 1/2-inches wide and 12 inches long. Using a pastry brush, spread the 4 Tbsp melted butter generously over each of the strips of dough. Scatter all the vanilla sugar mixture evenly over-top of the strips as well.
- Gently layer all the strips on top of each other into one pile. Using a sharp knife, cut the pile into 6 even pieces, each about 2 inches, making 6 piles about 3 1/2 - 2 inches in size. Arrange the piles in a rowl in your prepared tea loaf pan. Scatter any vanilla sugar the was left behind on your work surface over-top of the loaf.
- Gently slide cooled, roasted peach slices in between the dough slices here and there across the loaf, about every two-three slices of dough and alternating from one side to the other (so the slices aren't all in the middle or in on one side).
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until puffy and almost doubled in size, 30 to 60 minutes.
- Bake the loaf on top of a baking sheet, until golden brown and they sound hollow when tapped, about 35 minutes or until it reaches about 190-195F when tested with an instant read thermometer. If the top seems to be at risk of over-browning, cover the top loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil and continue cooking. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and remove loaf to a cooling rack set on top of a baking sheet. Allow to cool completely.
- Make the vanilla glaze: In a medium bowl combine the icing sugar with the milk and vanilla until the mixture is smooth and pours easily off a spoon. *You may need to add a touch more milk. Drizzle glaze over cooled loaf.