Whole Wheat Nectarine Bread #BreadBakers

I think we can all use a little peace, love and understanding these days. We need to find a ray of light wherever we can and if that means finding joy by sharing something as simple as food, so be it. Food is comfort. (Sometimes TOO MUCH comfort, if you get my drift…) Food is community. Food is love. So let me share this with you so that you can share it with others.  Herewith, I give you Whole Wheat Nectarine Bread. World peace in a loaf of bread.

I Google recipes for fun. Other people watch Real Housewives. We all have our guilty pleasures. I found this one while randomly Googling nectarine recipes just because I really, really like nectarines and I had a bunch thisclose to turning to mush. It was pure coincidence that this month's #BreadBakers theme happened to be stone fruit. Pure coincidence, I tells ya. (It really was.) Who knew I would turn up this throwback, from the July 3, 1984 edition of the Southeast Missourian? A recipe so old that it was only available as a scan. I was definitely intrigued. And once I made it, I was an unabashed fan.

Okay, so on the surface, this bread isn’t the prettiest one I’ve ever made, not by a long shot. But who cares about looks. It’s what’s inside that counts, amiright? What this bread lacks in surface pretty, it makes up for in taste. Pureed nectarines are the liquid in this loaf and that’s what gives it its slightly sweet, slightly tangy notes and moist crumb. Even more diced nectarines (and some diced dried ones too, if you like), scattered throughout and rolled up jelly roll style, bake up to a jammy consistency. And you can really gild the lily by spreading some quick nectarine jam over a toasted slice. Should I mention that it makes a kick-ass French toast? Because it does and you don’t want to miss it.

You also don't want to miss seeing what the rest of the #BreadBakers came up with for this month's Stone Fruit theme. It's a long list but they're a talented bunch so it's worth checking out each one. Thanks to Mireille at The Schizo Chef for hosting!

Whole Wheat Nectarine Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3–4 nectarines (enough for 3 cups diced)
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest (or more to taste)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp neutral oil (like safflower)
  • 2-1/4 tsp. instant yeast
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3–4 dried nectarines halves, cut into small dice (optional)
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water
  • Pearl or sparking sugar (optional)

Directions

  1. Dice 3-4 nectarines, enough for 3 cups. Set aside 1 cup and place the remaining 2 cups in a blender with the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and egg. Blend until smooth.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the whole wheat flour, 2 cups of all-purpose flour, yeast and salt and stir to combine. 
  3. Add in the oil and nectarine mixture and using the paddle attachment, mix to bring everything together. Switch to the dough hook and knee on medium speed, adding just enough of the remaining all-purpose flour to make a smooth, firm and elastic dough. 
  4. Form into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled container, cover and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled (this can take up to two hours).
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 13 x 9 rectangle. 
  6. Spread the remaining diced nectarines (and dried nectarines, if using) over the top of the dough, then roll up from the short end, tuck under the ends and place seam side down in a 10 x 5 greased loaf pan. Cover and set aside to rise until doubled. 
  7. Just before baking, brush the top with the egg and water mixture and sprinkle with sugar (if using.) 
  8. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for about 35 minutes, tenting with foil if needed to prevent the top from over browning. 
  9. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before turning the loaf out onto a wire rack to cool completely. 
  10. Serve with nectarine jam.

Adapted from the Southeast Missourian

Nectarine Jam

Ingredients

  • 200 g ripe nectarines
  • 100 g jam sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 vanilla bean split in half
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 50 ml water

Directions

  1. To make the nectarine jam, chop the nectarines and place in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan with the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.
  2. Bring the mixture to a low boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes, stirring frequently. The fruit will soften and the jam will thicken. To test for readiness, drop a small amount on a cold plate and let cool. If you push the cooled jam with a spoon and it wrinkles, it’s ready.
  3. Remove the vanilla bean, transfer to a container and set aside to cool.

Adapted from waitrose.com

Notes

The dried nectarines are totally optional but they definitely added a bit of zing.

I ended up needing only 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour to make a firm dough.

The first time I made this, it split when baked, which is usually a sign of under proofing. But I baked it two more times, and each time, no matter how long I let it proof in the pans, it still split. I think I could have let it proof til the cows came how and ended up with the same result. Just the nature of the bread? Who knows. Like I said, not the prettiest bread but I'm not complaining.

This is also a HUGE bread. The original recipe says to use a 9x5 loaf pan but even before proofing, the bread was already filling the pan. I used a 10x5 pan and it was still too small. Third time, I used two 8x4 pans. Small loaves but at least they don’t look like they’re going to eat YOU, instead of the other way around. I’m tempted to buy an 11” loaf pan just for this bread. Talk me out of it, willya?

I discovered jam sugar (or jelly sugar or Gelierzucker) thanks to my obsession with The Great British Bake Off. Basically, jam sugar is sugar with pectin already mixed in and it's great for small batch, quick jams. I haven't found a US equivalent and those darn Tate and Lyle people won't ship to the US from Amazon UK, but Amazon US does carry Dr. Oetker's Gelling Sugar, which is the same thing.  Even though I like making pectin-free jams, this stuff is the bomb.

I keep a bunch of small plates in the freezer so I'm ready whenever I need a jam fix. It's a great way to test for jam readiness.

#BreadBakers for June: Stone Fruit

This month's theme is Stone Fruit, hosted by Mireille of The Schizo Chef. Our breads could include any kind of stone fruit (that's fruit with a pit), including peaches, plum, apricots, mangos, and whatnot, in any form—juice, fresh, dried… The only no-no was that it couldn't be a jam or jelly that was spread on the bread AFTER it was baked; it had to be IN the bread. Thanks, Mireille!

BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.