Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cheesy loaves

As you can see I am in love with my mini loaf pans and this time I ventured to make savory loaves. Dorie Greenspan's new book My French Table has a very easy recipe for making a cheese and olive bread. It is more like a savory cake since it is a yeast free quick bread. The original recipe calls for tapenade and while we all love olives, we are not big fans of tapenade. Hence I used her basic recipe and made two different kinds of loaves to go with my spring asparagus soup that we had for dinner, along with a side of roasted broccoli with pine nuts and lemon zest and roasted potato wedges with rosemary and lemon pepper. It was a very filling and satisfying meal.

My loaves had basil pesto, olives and cheddar cheese in one, and basil pesto, sun dried grape tomatoes and cheddar cheese in the other. I had used a mild cheddar cheese, which did not contribute enough flavor to compensate for the calorie count. Next time I will use an extra sharp cheddar. Also the sun dried tomatoes were homemade which really enhanced the flavor of the bread.

I had some left over grape tomatoes from a pint container which were getting dry on the counter. Hence, I decided to speed up the process by putting them in a 200 F oven for 4 hours to dry them. It was really simple - I cut them into half, laid them cut side up on the baking sheet, drizzled some olive oil, salt and pepper and let the oven do the rest of the work. Once done, and cooled, I put them in a glass jar covered with olive oil and refrigerated them. This trick was also from Dorie Greenspans book. And if you like French food and are a carnivore, you should check out her book - it has some really great French fare.

Cheesy Loaves

Cheesy loaves - Adapted from Dorie Greenspan's My French Table

1/2 + 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup 2% milk
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon basil pesto
3 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese coarsely grated about 3/4 cup
1/4 cup pitted chopped olives 
1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon sun-dried grape tomatoes in olive oil coarsely chopped
Grated zest of 1 lemon

Equipment required: 2 non-stick mini loaf tins

Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400°F. 

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt, together in a medium bowl.
In another bowl lightly beat the eggs, then whisk in the milk, olive oil and pesto. Pour the liquid ingredients over the flour mixture and stir gently to blend. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the cheese and the lemon zest. Divide the batter equally among the two mini loaf tins.

Fold in the olives in one of them and the sun dried tomatoes in the other. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn oven down to 375 and continue to bake for another 20 minutes or so until it’s puffed and golden and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer pan to a cooling rack and let it rest for 5 minutes, then turn it out. Cool completely on rack.

Wrap and store for 3 days at room temperature or freeze for 2 months. Thaw in wrapper.

July 17, 2011 : I froze one of the loaves and ate it after one month - it did not taste the same. Best to eat it fresh.

1 comment:

  1. I would recommend the olive bread. It is awesome!