Pull Apart Peach Bread

Adapted from a recipe by my grandmother Rowena L. Lark, this yeast-based bread is the perfect accompaniment for various fruit fillings ranging from stewed prunes and cherry pie filling right down to marmalades and jams.  Originating from China, Franciscan Monks introduced peaches to St. Simons and Cumberland islands along Georgia’s coast in 1571 [New Georgia Encylopedia]. Taking advantage of the Georgia peach season that runs from mid-May through August, even if not indigenous to the area, I would be remiss by ignoring the state’s “peach” icon. Because no preservatives are in this fresh peach bread, it should be refrigerated after day one and used within three days.  

1 Mixer with stand, with paddle and bread hook beaters

1 12-cup Bundt pan, prepared with baking spray


3 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1/3 cup granulated sugar

½ tsp salt

1 pkg. rapid rise instant yeast

1 ½  tsp cinnamon

1 ¼ cups 2% milk

2 TBSP unsalted butter


2 TBSP unsalted butter

½ cup light brown sugar

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

2 TBSP milk

1 ½ cups diced fresh peaches.


2 TBSP milk, adjusting consistency

½ cup confectioner’s sugar

1 TBSP butter

½ cup glazed pecans, optional

  • Add 2 ½ cups of the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast to the mixer bowl. Using the paddle beater, blend at a slow speed.
  • Add the butter to the milk and microwave for 1½ min to 120 degrees. *
  • Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and beat for 2 minutes until smooth, increasing speed slightly. Continue to beat for about 4 minutes, stopping the mixer and scraping the dough as needed to ensure all the dough is mixed.
  • Remove the paddle and scrape the dough off the beater, adding flour as needed, one tablespoon at a time, to get a sticky consistency that doesn’t stick to your fingers.
  • Replace the paddle beater with the dough-hook beater, and increasing the speed, beat 7 minutes, continuing to scrape dough off sides of bowl.
  • Place dough in a butter-greased bowl, cover with a clean dish towel and let sit in the microwave to rise for one hour. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. After one hour, test the dough to see if it has risen enough by making an indentation using two fingers. If the indentation remains, the dough is ready.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a couple of times to remove any air. Cut dough into fourths using a plastic dough cutter, making about four balls from each section. Layer the balls into the prepared Bundt ban. These balls will make the pull-apart.
  • Pour the peach mixture over the top of the dough and return to the microwave to sit to rise for another 30 minutes.
  • When the dough is risen, remove and place in the preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes.
  • Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick. If the toothpick comes out clean, bread is done.
  • Cool, add to a cake plate, and drizzle with topping, adding pecan halves on top.

*Using an instant thermometer, be sure milk and butter reach 120 degrees. Any less than that may not activate the yeast, and the dough will not rise properly. Heat above 130 degrees may kill the yeast, and your dough will not rise.