Peach Coffee Cake

As per my Blueberry Coffee Cake‘s notes, a North American ‘coffee cake’ doesn’t contain coffee, but is meant to be eaten whilst drinking a cuppa joe. They come in all shapes & types, and commonly use cream cheese/fruit.

Here it’s a jelly-roll style GF yeasted bread. Start the night before for a first rise in the fridge, and to drain the peaches.

Serves: up to 24 (but it’s easily halved)

Ingredients
For the bread:

  • Two 7g sachets of dried yeast
  • 120ml (120g if weighing) warm tap water
    (not hot; but more than tepid – if it hurts your pinkie finger, it’s too hot)
  • 230g soured cream (almost all of a 300ml container)
  • 100g caster sugar – golden adds a better taste, but white will suffice
  • 115g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 large eggs, beaten (62-68g each when weighed in the shell)
  • 550g self-raising gluten-free flour; plus more for rolling
  • 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder (if you only have plain GF flour)
  • 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 small orange (or satsuma/clementine): finely grated zest only (save juice for the glaze)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice

For the filling (see Bread Step 8):

  • 360g cream cheese
  • 75g caster sugar – golden adds a better taste, but white will suffice
  • 1 large egg, beaten (it should weigh 62-68g in its shell)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground mace (or ground nutmeg)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • A 400-410g tin of sliced peaches

For the glaze:

  • Orange juice (see Bread Ingredients)
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Flaked almonds, to decorate (optional)

Kit

  • 2 mixing bowls: 1 large and 1 medium; plus a small bowl for the beaten eggs
  • A medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan
  • A sieve and a small mixing bowl to drain the fruit
  • A manual whisk
  • A fine citrus zester
  • A citrus juicer
  • Clingfilm
  • 2 baking sheets
  • Baking/parchment paper
  • Kitchen paper
  • A chopping board and sharp knife
  • A rolling pin
  • A cooling rack
  • A piping bag and thin nozzle (optional for glaze)

Steps
Making the bread:

  1. Dissolve the yeast with warm water in a large mixing bowl, whisking well. Leave to bubble for 10 minutes (rinse the whisk).
  2. Heat the soured cream, sugar, and butter in a pot on the hob over a medium heat, whisking until the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved, 3-4 minutes or so. Take off the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cream mixture with the 2 beaten eggs to the frothing yeast and whisk vigourously until fully combined. Let rest another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder (if using), gum, orange zest, and spices. Knead with your hands in the bowl for 5 minutes or so until it comes together as a dough (it will feel very soft and sticky). Cover the bowl with clingfilm, let rest another 5 minutes, then put the bowl in the fridge overnight to cold-prove.
  5. Set the tinned peaches to drain in a sieve over a bowl overnight.
  6. The next morning, line 2 baking trays with parchment, and dump the drained peaches onto kitchen paper: pat dry, and chop into just smaller than bite-sized pieces. Pat dry again.
  7. Flour a large section of countertop and turn out the dough. With floured hands, divide the dough into 4 pieces approx 300g each. Flour your rolling pin, and roll out each of the 4 dough pieces in turn to approx 12″ x 8″ (30cm x 20cm).
  8. Combine all of the filling ingredients except the peaches very gently in a medium bowl (the more you work the cream cheese, the runnier it will be). Spread the filling over each dough rectangle, leaving an inch border all round. Sprinkle the chopped peaches evenly over the filling.
  9. Loosely roll up each rectangle starting at a long end, and pinch the dough closed at each end once done. Also pinch the final seam to ensure it’s holding together. Place 2 rolls on each prepared baking tray, seam-side down.
  10. Cover each tray lightly with clingfilm and leave in a warm, draught-free place to rise about an hour, until almost doubled in size.
    (You could do this prove in an oven warmed to the lowest heat, then turned off, with the door closed. If doing this, use lightly dampened tea towels instead of clingfilm; remove the trays from the oven prior to heating again.)
  11. Heat your oven to 190 C (170 C fan-assisted). Remove the covering from each tray and bake for 30-35 minutes until browned, turning the trays halfway through for even baking. (The loaves should split along the top whilst baking as per the picture below.) Remove the trays to a cooling rack.

Making the glaze:

  1. Juice the orange you zested for the dough, and whisk 2 Tbsp juice with the icing sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl until smooth. Use your judgment on how thick/thin you want it – add more juice 1/2 tsp at a time until you have your preferred consistency. Leave the bowl in the fridge until the loaves have fully cooled.
  2. Drizzle or pipe the glaze over each loaf.  If you like, you can sprinkle some flaked almonds over as well. Slice slightly at a diagonal, and serve.

Alternate Fruit
This recipe would be fantastic with practically any of your favourite soft, juicy fruits. I only tested it with tinned peaches but I suppose you could give it a go with in-season fresh peaches – it’s just that tinned are: 1) available year-round and generally less expensive; 2) already peeled; and 3) the perfect texture.

Tinned apricots / mandarins / mangos would be equally tasty – but take care with your spicing to ensure it matches your fruit. I’d advocate ground ginger with most of these alternate fruit choices.

Attribution
I added chopped peaches to this recipe, converted to UK measurements, reduced the sugar, added spices, and made it gluten-free.

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