Getting back in to the routine of going to school, reading books, playing nicely in group projects… It really does take a tool on a poor gal. I mean, what about the lovely pictures and recipes she had waiting in the wing? For a few weeks, they’ve taunted me, tormenting me to no ends. I felt that they would be locked up forever in my camera, never seeing the light of day.
But, then I decided that editing some of them at work as ok, especially since I am without current deadlines.
Sshh, we can’t spread the word though.
Kristen at The Kitchen Sink proclaimed her love for stone fruits and yet her dismay over the freaking stone in them and I have to agree with her. They are so delightful, so ripe, so sweet, but that damn core can ruin the pretty picture. I normally don’t even bother with recipes using stone fruits since pitting them is the worst. I apply this same mindset to cherries, which I know, is just a travesty since cherries deserve their share of baked love. But honestly, do you expect me to sit there and pit EACH and EVERY cherry while I could be sleeping, reading, sleeping, shopping, or sleeping?
Didn’t think so.
But, the beauty about this Peach Oatmeal Bread recipe from King Arthur’s Whole grain Baking Book is that it requires minimal effort in the pitting department and produces a fresh and moist bread that will have you wishing that summer produce was year round… Good news though, last I checked, with global warming this just might be a possibility.
The recipe asked for me to poach the peaches to get their skins off but I remember some nutritious advice I picked up somewhere (Dr. Oz from Oprah… He is a doctor) about fruit’s skin. Apparently, most of the vitamins and nutrients can be found in the skin, so in this recipe, I left the skins on. All in the name of health, and not laziness… Right.
The oatmeal makes this a mushy bread, softer in texture with a loose crumb. Normally this bothers me since cutting in to these kinds of breads can be a pain but I didn’t care too much about this flaw since the bread firms up overnight. Wrap it up good, and in the morning the bread won’t be as mushy. I honestly can’t remember if I used whole milk or buttermilk. I am leaning towards the buttermilk or possibly sour cream since I don’t buy whole milk. My guess is as long as it has a little fat it in, it will be ok.
But it will be painful waiting for this bread to cool off once you get a whiff of the aroma from this bread. The taste of the peaches with the oatmeal and hints of cinnamon will have you eating slice after slice. The whole wheat flour gives the bread a nutty taste, and while the recipe calls for bread flour, I left it out and just added in more whole wheat flour.
Normally this makes for a really dense bread, but the mushy peaches and oatmeal reassured me that this bread would be soft. Also, if you don’t like peaches, I’m sure you could sub in nectarines or even plums, whatever tickles your fancy. With stone fruit season closing, I say get your butt out to the farmers market, grab some produce, make this bread, and send me the thank you card. FYI Donations are always accepted too…
Peach Oatmeal Bread
From King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking
2 cups (12 ounces) peeled, sliced peaches; thawed if using frozen slices, well drained if using canned
2 cups (8 ounces) whole wheat flour, traditional or whole white wheat
¾ cup (3 and 1/8 ounces) unbleached bread flour
½ cup (3 and ½ ounces) granulated sugar
½ cup (3 and ¾ ounces) packed light or brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup (3 and ½ ounces) old fashioned rolled oats
2 large eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon almond extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Cut the peaches into small ¼ pinch pieces; place in a strainer to drain. Stir together the flours, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large mixing bowl. Add the oats and peaches; stir to coat the peaches. Beat together the eggs, milk, oil, and almond extract in a small mixing bowl. Add to the flour mixture, stirring until just evenly moistened.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for one hour. Test the loaf for doneness; if a toothpick inserted in the center doesn’t come out clean, cover the top of the bread with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, run a table knife around the edges of the loaf to make sure it’s not sticking, then turn it out of the pan and return it to the rack to cool completely before slicing.
Yields one 9 x 5-inch loaf, 16 servings.