Cheese Bread

December 6, 2012

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So, people.  I’ve decided to become a vegan.  No, no, not forever.  But for a month.  It’s the month long vegan challenge!  I’ve done it before, quite successfully, in fact.  But this time, for some reason, I think it will be harder.

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For one, I’m going to do this right through the holidays.  So holiday parties are pretty much going to be a nightmare: candy and cookies and chocolate, galore!  Can’t have any of it.  Second, as soon as I decided to do this, all I could think about was cheese.  This was not a good sign.  I immediately looked up recipes for parmesan crisps, and cheese straws.  I even thought about making a cheese ball as my last hurrah!

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But I decided on something a little more subtle and a bit more classy, if you will.  A quick bread filled with two full cups of different cheeses.  Delicious, especially toasted with a smear of soft goat cheese on top.  Don’t worry – you won’t have to go through this vegan challenge with me (but I will send good vegan vibes your way, if you do!).  I have some delicious, dairy-filled holiday recipes coming your way.  But me, I will miss my cheese.  Oh and ice cream.  Oooh, I think I’ll go have some now before the month starts.

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Non Vegan Cheese Bread (slightly adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)

No, people, I’m not against vegans.  That’s why I want to become one for a month!  Dairy-less holiday treats are just as tasty.  But I’ve already made some with the milk and eggs!  That’s why I’m promising you those posts.  So there.  That’s what I call a disclaimer.

On to the cheese: the recipe calls for cubing the cheese, which is oh-so-lovely when you come upon a chunk and it’s just all of this cheesy gooeyness that consumes the bite.  Yum.  But what about the rest of the bites?!  So I’m gonna be bold and suggest shredding the cheese.  For equal opportunity cheesy bites.

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

3 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. salt

4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded or cubed

1 1/4 cups milk

4 tablespoons butter, melted, divided

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 350.  Brush a 5 x 9 loaf pan with 1 tablespoon butter.  Sprinkle half of the parmesan cheese to coat the pan.

Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt.  Fold in cheddar cheese, making sure that the cheese is well coated by the flour mixture.

In another bowl, whisk together milk, 3 tablespoons butter, egg and yogurt.  Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and pour in wet ingredients.  Gently fold until everything is well incorporated, making sure that you do not overmix.  The mixture will be very thick.

Pour into prepared pan, and spread evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese on top.  Bake for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick tester comes out clean.  Let cool in pan, on wire rack, for 15 minutes, and then invert on to wire rack to cool completely.

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