What is this?! Two recipes posted consecutively one week apart? Am I sensing a trend?? I would love to say this consistency will stay, but you all know that’s not happening! At least I’m honest with you all. That should could for something, right? The inspiration for this recipe came across during one of my many frequent midnight Pinterest scrolls. I stumbled upon this recipe for Honeyed Buttermilk Bread and I was immediately hooked. I knew I needed to make that bread. It just looked so perfect. Though, how was I going to make it my own? What could I do to elevate this already beautiful looking bread? Stuffing it with roasted peaches of course!
This recipe adapting was inspired by the freshblueberry stuffed brioche bread recipe from the Huckleberry cookbook, which is arguably my favorite baking cookbook ever….yeah, I think I’m gonna say that. Using my beloved cast iron skillet, I roasted the peaches in some cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, honey, lemon and orange juice, and a touch of white balsamic vinegar to give the sweetness of the peaches a subtle tartness to them. Opening that oven door, my nostrils were bombarded with warming scents of cinnamon and caramelizing honey combined with the citrus notes of lemon and orange. Perfection.
My goal for this bread was to get the roasted peaches to spiral like in the brioche picture, but the first time I made the bread I failed to roll out the dough out long enough to achieve that, so when I cut into the bread the peaches were stuffed into one corner of the bread. After my second try, I rolled the dough out a tad farther and wider, hoping for spirals. Slowly cutting into the bread and pull back the slice to reveal…spirals! Success. Beyond the looks, the taste was outstanding. The buttermilk and the honey in the bread were subtly sweet and the flavors of the peaches incorporated in worked exquisitely as well. At the end of the day, I had some pretty dang delicious bread on my hands.
So what did I learn from all this? Bravery. As a recipe developer, I want to experiment. I want to get my hands dirty and test flavor combinations, build profiles of texture, and combine techniques to ingredients and see what transpires. I want to challenge the status quo and create recipes that are new yet easy to understand (and enjoy!). In my life, I fear too much. I fear the future, I fear the present, I fear the unknown, I fear the opinions of others, I fear my voice, my stutter, and so on. In the past, I was terrified to talk about my stutter. I hated it and feared it. It left me physically, emotionally, and spiritually handicap.
But college happened and things began to change. I began to challenge my speech, learning to talk more openly and honestly about my stuttering. Just this past week, I was able to talk about stuttering, and all challenges and triumphs that have come with it, with a friend of mine. The conversation was open and honest. He asked questions and I gave him answers. No judgement, just inquiry, and it was fantastic! Being able to share about my journey with stuttering with others is one of my favorite things. All the fear I had in the past about being judged or laughed at due to stuttering has no room here. When fear festers, creativity can never grow. What my journey with food has taught me is that we need to take chances. Fear less and dare to discover. If we spend less time worrying and more time being grateful for the chances that we’re being offered right now in this present moment, I think we would be much happier, joyous people.
Roasted Sweet Balsamic Peaches Stuffed Honey Buttermilk Bread
Yields two loafs
For the bread
1 tablespoon yeast
Pinch of ground ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup warm water (105F)
2 cups warm buttermilk (105F)
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
6 cups bread flour, divided use
¼ cup unsalted butter melted and cooled (so that it is warm to the touch but not scalding hot)
For the roasted peaches
2 lbs peaches, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground ginger
4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
Juice and zest of 2 oranges
Touch of rum or rum extract (optional)
For the bread. In a medium size bowl, mix together the yeast, ginger, sugar, and warm water. Set aside for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is foamy.
In a 4 cup liquid measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, honey, salt, and baking soda. Add to the yeast mixture. Add three cups of bread flour and mix until smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes on low of a stand mixer. Pour the melted butter and mix until fully incorporated.
Add the remaining flour, one cup at a time, on a slow speed until the dough begins to come together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer dough to a floured work surface and knead until elastic and smooth. Place the dough into greased bowl and cover with a tea towel. Place bowl in a draft-free area and allow to rise 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size.
Punch down the dough and divide it into two loaves. Take one of the two halves of dough and place onto a lightly floured surface. Roll and press dough out into a 16-by-10 inch rectangle. Position the dough vertically, with the shortest side facing you. Take half of the cooled roasted peach mixture and spread it on the top edge of the dough, spreading the peaches no more than 6 to 7 inches from the top of the dough. Gently roll the dough down toward you, into a log. Place in a greased loaf pan. Repeat with the other half of dough and filling.
Cover and allow to rise for 45 minutes. With 10 minutes left, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 30 minutes. If bread begins to brown on top too quickly (mine did both times!) then cover the bread with aluminum foil. I had to do this around the 20-minute mark. Remove the loaves from the oven and brush with melted butter. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes before removing them with a butter knife. Turn out and cool completely on a rack.