When you grow up in the tropics, seasons have nothing to do with the tilt of the Earth's axis. Seasons are multitudinous and overlapping and are described by crops and events. In late December it's Christmastime, certainly not winter. March/April is Easter and that leads right into mango season. There are songs about this great season (the best season, really). They instruct you to put away all your pots. You don't need them. We'll only be feasting on mangoes for a while. If you're lucky, you probably had an early crop of mangoes in January so you've been practising for the main event.
It's hard to break away from this mindset so I am always a bit thrown when I need to make something that represents one of the traditional seasons. Living in South Florida does not help. Sure, it gets a tad nippy and Floridians put on all their winter gear and cry about the freezing 60 F weather. However, for the most part, it's really hot or not as hot. While those in the north are oohing and aahing at their overflowing farmer's markets during the summer, the farmer's markets down here are closed. Yes, closed. It's the growing season so it will be another few months before they open again.
I tried to find some inspiration in what was still available around here at this time, but nothing appealed to me. I asked my mother what fruits were currently in season in Jamaica. She was too busy lamenting the end of mango season (she didn't eat enough) to give me a clear answer. Additionally, drought conditions meant that quite a few crops have been delayed. That meant looking to the north to see what people were into. Zucchinis, stone fruits and berries seemed to be standard.
(Side note that has absolutely nothing to do with this post - I'm watching an old season of America's Test Kitchen and they just visited a bakery to watch them make brioche. The total dough weight is 19 pounds. FOUR pounds of that is butter. FOUR. *makes shopping list*).
I adapted this from a recipe used by the Daring Bakers some years ago. I was curious about the use of the meringue in lieu of butter in the filling. They used their dough for tea ring style coffee cakes but I have wanted to (successfully) make a pull-apart bread for years so I thought I'd give it a go. I'm happy that the meringue worked well, here. The meringue sandwiched between dough and fruit simply melted into the dough. But the bits that were peeking out at the top were toasted and delicious. That was my favourite part. I kept looking for slices that had toasted meringue that I could nibble on. I made a few changes to the dough and it is really easy to work with. The Daring Bakers promised that the original version is pretty easy to work with as well. I am a huge fan of sweet rolls and the like so this is a recipe that I will be using a lot.
Be sure to scroll down to see how the other Bread Bakers used summer fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Thanks for hosting, Pavani!
Peach & Blueberry Meringue Pull-Apart Bread
Recipe by: Kelly Adapted from: Daring Bakers
Yield: 1 loaf
300 grams all purpose flour
28 grams sugar
7 grams yeast
3 grams salt
115 grams milk
56 grams oil
2 egg yolks, beaten (save whites for filling)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ginger 3 small peaches thinly sliced
scant 1/2 cup blueberries
2 egg whites, room temperature
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup confectioner's sugar
splash of vanilla or rum
In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a separate container, mix together milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the flour and knead until the dough is soft, smooth and elastic. If the dough seems dry add a teaspoon or two of water at a time. It should not be sticky. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover and let rise until doubled. Dough may also be refrigerated.
While the dough is rising, mix together the 2 tablespoons of sugar and ginger. Toss the fruit with the sugar mixture. You can increase the sugar if your fruit isn't very sweet.
Grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.
Once the dough has doubled, make the meringue. In a clean metal or plastic mixing bowl, place the egg whites and salt. Beat on low speed to break up the eggs and beat until egg whites are foamy. When you have reached the soft peak stage, add the vanilla and increase the speed to high. Slowly add the sugar and beat until you have stiff, glossy peaks.
Roll out the dough to a 16" x 10" rectangle. Spread the meringue evenly over the entire surface.
Cut into four 10" x 4" strips then cut each strip into five 4" x 2" rectangles.
Prop up the loaf pan on it's short end. Place a layer of sliced peaches on each of the dough rectangles. Stack as many as you can handle and then place the stack in the loaf tin. Stick blueberries in between the layers after you have placed them in the loaf pan. Continue until you have used all your dough. Cover and let rise until almost doubled.
While dough is rising, preheat oven to 350 F.
Bake the loaf for 35 - 45 minutes or until it registers ~190F. If the loaf is browning too quickly, cover with foil. Be sure to check the temperature of stick a skewer deep into the dough to test if it is ready. With all the filling, the dough can still be doughy inside after the time has elapsed.
Mix the confectioner's sugar and vanilla with just enough milk to reach your desired consistency. Pour over slightly cooled loaf.
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#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 email@example.com.