One Dough Three Ways: Versatile baking with Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg

Pecan-Cherry Loaf

Zöe François slices into a freshly baked pecan-cherry loaf // Photo by Tj Turner

Zoë François slices into a freshly baked pecan-cherry loaf // Photo by Tj Turner

Showcasing the versatility of the basic peasant bread recipe, this loaf is studded with pecans and cherries—just elaborate enough to be a treat, but still simple enough to whip up with little effort. It’s a great way to use up leftover fruit and nuts. The egg yolk wash will give the bread a beautifully shiny crust.

Ingredients

1½ pounds dough
Butter for greasing pan
1 cup chopped pecans (walnuts work too)
1 cup dried cherries (raisins work too)
Egg yolk wash (egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water) for brushing on top

Directions

1. On baking day, grease an 8½ x 4½-inch nonstick loaf pan with butter. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1½-pound (small cantaloupe-sized) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom.
2. Roll out the dough to an -inch-thick rectangle. Use enough flour to prevent it from sticking to the work surface.
3. Spread the nuts and cherries evenly over the rolled-out dough. Starting with the long side, roll the dough into a log, knead several times to distribute the nuts and cherries.
4. Place the dough into the prepared pan, cover loosely with plastic, let rest for 90 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
6. Paint the top of the loaf with the egg yolk wash.
7. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until caramel brown and set on top.

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