A lovely yeasted sweet dough, topped with peach halves and a brown sugar topping.
2 1/4tspactive dry or instant yeastnot rapid/quick rise
1/4cupbutterat room temperature
For the topping:
4-5fresh peachesunpeeled, halved and pitted
1/2cuplight brown sugar
For glazing after baking:
3-4TbspApricot preservesslightly warmed
Add the lukewarm water to a large bowl (and use a wooden spoon) or to the bowl or a stand mixer fitter with the paddle attachment. Stir in the 1 tsp of white sugar and sprinkle yeast over-top. Let stand 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix well. Remove paddle attachment, then cover bowl with plastic wrap (or a dampened tea towel) and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Fit the mixer with the kneading hook and mix well. Add the 3 Tbsp white sugar, the milk, butter and 1 more cup of the flour. Mix well until smooth. Start adding the last 1 cup of flour in small increments, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and wraps around the kneading hook. *The dough should be moist and sticky. You can add a bit more flour if needed, but add only enough to bring the dough together. Remove the kneading hook, cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or a damp tea towel) and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Grease a 9x13-inch sheet pan (quarter sheet pan) or alternately a 9x13-inch baking pan. Spoon dough onto the pan and using your finger-tips or a silicone spatula, spread the dough evenly into the pan, covering the entire bottom of the pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap or and let rise 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400F. Prepare your peaches by splitting in half and removing and discarding the pit.
Prepare the brown sugar topping: In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and cornstarch. Add the cold butter and using your fingertips, rub the cold butter into the sugar mixture until you have a coarse, even crumb. Set aside.
When dough has risen, place peach halves on top of dough, pressing slightly into the dough. Scatter brown sugar mixture over-top.
Place your baking sheet on top of a larger baking sheet (*to catch any bubble-overs!) and place into the oven.
Bake in preheated 400F for 25 minutes, then check the cake for browning. If it is browned enough at this point, lay a sheet of aluminum foil loosely over-top and continue baking for an additional 5-10 minutes. **Cake will look done before it is actually done. Be sure to leave it in the oven at least 30 minutes and most likely about 35 minutes, to ensure it cooks through. Use a cake tester and test in the centre of the cake to be sure. If using two smaller pans, expect it to cook more quickly.
Remove cake from oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Heat the apricot jam until it is thinned and brush on top of the cake.
This cake is best enjoyed on the day it is baked. The cake will absorb the some moisture from the peaches as it sits into the next day.Be sure to read the Baking Tips above the recipe card, for more tips on making this recipe.