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Sunday, November 2, 2008

bacon cheddar quick bread

bacon cheddar cranberry bread

I've never had a desire to bake my own bread, but I guess that's the next step in my adoption of the "slow food" trend. When I saw this recipe for a bacon and cheddar quick bread in the October 2008 issue of Bon Appetit, it was time to bite the bullet. It only took a few minutes to put together, and made a great breakfast. This would be a great bread to throw together if you have house guests - impressive but very hands-off.

Grocery list: 5 slices bacon, 6 oz cheddar, 1/2 cup dried fruit (original recipe called for dried pears; I used dried cranberries), 1/3 cup walnuts, 1 T fresh sage (minced), 1 3/4 cup AP flour, 1 T baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 3 eggs, 1/3 cup whole milk, 1/3 cup olive oil.

crisping bacon for bread

First, chop up 5 slices of bacon and crisp it in a pan, then drain over paper towels.

eggs milk olive oil for quick bread

Mix your "wet" ingredients - whisk 3 eggs and the milk and olive oil together.

dry ingredients for quick bread base

Stir your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, pepper) together in a large bowl. Pour the egg mixture into the flour, and stir just enough to combine (don't overwork the batter, it's good if it's chunky).

folding in ingredients for quick bread

The recipe called for 1 cup grated cheddar plus 1/2 cup of 1/4 inch cubes of cheese. For color more than anything, I used yellow extra-sharp cheddar for the grated 1 cup of cheese, and then cubed some seaside extra sharp white cheddar to make the extra 1/2 cup. Fold the cheese, dried fruit, walnuts (toasted and chopped), sage, and bacon pieces into the dough.

bacon cheddar bread ready to bake

Grease the sides and bottom of a one pound loaf pan (8.5" x 4.5" x 2.5"), and spoon the dough in. Bake at 350 degrees on the center oven rack, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. The recipe said 55 minutes (an exact number, which I interpreted as authoritative - should have checked it at 45-50 minutes, as it turned out a touch drier than I would have liked). Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen the sides of the loaf from the pan with a knife, then invert on a rack and allow to cool to desired temperature.

2 comments:

Tara said...

hey, i made this using dried apricots instead of pears and it tasted delicious. the only downside was that the bread seemed to dry out pretty quickly.

KT said...

Hi Tara,

The apricots sound like a great idea! I also noticed that the bread was a touch dry (the dried fruit would absorb some of the liquid to rehydrate during cooking, so that doesn't help exactly). I think next time I will try reducing the flour by about 1/4 - 1/3 cup and see what happens. There's already plenty of oil so I'm hesitant to add more of that just yet...

Thanks for the feedback!

KT