Peach Pecan Bread

Most Saturdays I head for the farmer’s market as soon as I wake up, as a lot of things sell out early. For the last year or so, I also treat myself to a couple of pastries from Black Rooster Bakery – including my favorite croissant, which is a very traditional Parisienne style that I crave. Twice in the last couple of weeks, they didn’t have my croissant, and I opted instead for a peach pecan scone.

Tuesday nights I play mah jongg with a group of women, and sometimes I like to bring dessert. Last week I made this Cannoli Pound Cake. This week, I was trying to decide what to make and I think the scone popped in my head, because as soon as I thought “Peach Pecan Bread” I was filled with a sense of wonder, and excitement.

Rather than looking online for a recipe, I decided to adapt my Strawberry Loaf Cake recipe, making a lot of changes. I substituted turbinado sugar for the granulated sugar, wanting a little caramel flavor but not the rich molasses of brown sugar. I wanted to add some crunch along with the turbinado, and subbed in some semolina flour for some of the all-purpose. I also added some vanilla extract and cinnamon for flavor.

It made a nicely rustic textured bread, with good flavor. It got good reviews from its tasters – some wanted more peaches throughout and thought it would benefit from more cinnamon and vanilla (neither were really detectable) and others thought it was great as it is. In the recipe below, these are given as ranges, for you to choose which options appeal more to you. Also, please read the notes on the recipe for substitution notes. Enjoy!

Peach Pecan Bread

Peach Pecan Bread

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups turbinado sugar, plus extra to sprinkle on top (see note)
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour (see note)
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2-4 cups medium to fine diced peaches, skins left on
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of two regular loaf pans or three medium loaf pans (see note) with parchment paper and spray the pans with nonstick spray.
  • Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together, either by hand (if the butter is very soft) or with a mixer. of a food processor, and process until it is fully creamed together. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix together.
  • Stir the all purpose flour, semolina flour, baking powder, and salt into the mixture; it will make a very stiff batter. Crush half of the peaches in your hand as you add them to the bowl, just enough to release some of the juices. Add the remainder of the peaches and the pecans to the mixing bowl, and stir to fully combine.
  • Divide the batter between the loaf pans and smooth the top. Sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar.
  • Bake for around 45 minutes for the medium pans, and probably closer to 1 hour for a regular sized loaf. The loaf is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Notes: I prefer medium loaf pans, because I think the slices are a better width for serving, especially with other sweets, when full-sized loaves are often cut in half. I haven't been able to find "real" pans in this size, so I buy disposable aluminum pans (the medium size is widely available) and just wash and reuse them.
  • I chose to use turbinado sugar (also sold as "sugar in the raw") for the faint caramel tones which pair well with the peaches and pecans; if you don't have it or don't want to use that much, you can use all granulated sugar, or use 1 cup granulated plus 1/2 cup brown sugar.
  • I like the texture that semolina flour adds, but if you don't have it or don't want to buy it, you can substitute all purpose flour, using a total of 2-3/4 cups flour.
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