Quick breads are a bread lover’s dream come true: fresh, homemade bread in an hour, with no special equipment. (Bowl? Check. Spoon? Cheeyeck.) And, oh, the things you can put in it. Beer. Cheese. Herbs and spices. Nuts. Olives. Peppers. Onions and garlic. Ham. Bacon. Gettin’ hip to the groove? I thought so.
SoupAddict likes the quick breads.
Okay, she’s not going to lie to you: SoupAddict likes the multi-day, yeasty loaf, too.
Basically, I like bread in all its forms, ‘kay? And I’m fairly certain that when Karma decides it’s really time to kick my butt, she’s gonna give me gluten intolerance as payback.
Savory Cheese and Chive Quick Bread
adapted with only minor changes from Around My French Table
Unsalted butter, for greasing the pan
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (depending on what cheese you’re using)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (may substitute a pinch of cayenne pepper)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1/2 tablespoon prepared brown mustard
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 generous cup (about 4 ounces) coarsely grated Gruyere, Comte Emmental or cheddar cheese
2 ounces Gruyere, Comte, Emmental or cheddar cut into very small cubes (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
1 bunch chives, minced (1/2 cup; may substitute thinly sliced scallions)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted (optional; see NOTE)
Position a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Use butter to grease an 8-by-4 1/2-by-2 3/4-inch loaf pan, preferably Pyrex.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt to taste and the pepper in a large mixing bowl.
Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl for 1 minute, until foamy, then whisk in the milk, mustard and oil.
Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture; use a sturdy flexible spatula or wooden spoon to gently mix together until moistened, then stir in the grated and cubed cheese, the herbs and walnuts to form a thick dough. Transfer to the loaf pan and spread to make the dough even on top. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the bread is golden and a slender knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 3 minutes, then run a round-edged knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the loaf. Turn it out and cool right side up before cutting and serving.
NOTE: Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned. Shake often to keep the nuts from burning.