Homemade bread is one of those things that I can absolutely never tire of. Eric and I love making bread together, and we even had a starter for quite some time. Yeast breads are certainly our favorite, but a great quick bread recipe is hard to beat. It comes in handy when you want homemade bread but don’t want to wait all day for it.
This bread has so many things going for it that I’m finding it hard to describe without sounding overly effusive. First and foremost, there’s cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. Not only is there cheese inside and on top of the bread, there’s also cheese on the bottom crust, thanks to a sprinkling of Parmesan in the pan prior to baking. Cubes of cheese are baked right into the bread, leaving behind gooey, cheesy pockets. There’s not a bite of this bread that doesn’t have cheese in it. The crumb is rich and moist, everything a quick bread should be. Cayenne and black pepper add just a hint of spice and plenty of flavor. The bread is so aromatic that it’s hard to resist cutting into it as soon as it comes out of the oven. It’s worth the wait, though, and will stay good for a few days (if you can keep it around that long).
Quick Cheese Bread
Makes 1 9-inch loaf
3 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 cup)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sour cream
Place oven rack in center of oven and preheat to 350º. Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray, then sprinkle 1/2 cup of the Parmesan evenly over the bottom of the pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cayenne, salt and pepper. Mix in the cheddar using a rubber spatula, breaking up any clumps, until all the cheese is well coated with the flour mixture. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, egg and sour cream. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined, taking care not to overmix. THe batter will be heavy and thick. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan evenly over the top of the batter.
Bake until deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Remember when testing for doneness that a pocket of cheese may look like uncooked batter. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then turn out and continue cooling for an additional 45 minutes before cutting.
Source: The New Best Recipe