Homemade bread is hard to beat, particularly on a cold wintry night, spread with butter and with a big bowl of soup - and it's just as good on a warm sunny day with a fresh salad. But it can be hard to find time to bake yeast bread, which takes at least three or four hours to rise and bake. That's when a quick bread is called for. This recipe featuring chunks of cheddar cheese and sour cream can be made in less than an hour and a half. It also makes a great toast for breakfast. (Larger image.) Makes one loaf.
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, May/June 2004.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 4 oz. cheddar cheese (the sharper the better)*
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 3 Tbsp. melted butter
- 1 large egg; lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup sour cream
1. Heat oven to 350F. Spray a 9" x 5" loaf pan** with nonstick cooking spray. Spread half of parmesan on the bottom of the pan.
2. Cut cheddar into 1/2" cubes.
3. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cayenne, salt, and black pepper. Add cheddar and toss to coat.
4. In a medium bowl, mix together milk, butter, egg, and sour cream. Combine liquid and dry ingredients folding together with a spatula until just mixed.
5. Pour into the loaf pan and top with remaining parmesan.
6. Bake in center of oven 45 to 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Note, because you may hit a pocket of cheese, use the toothpick test in two or three spots.)
7. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then turn bread out and continue cooling for 45 minutes.
*Note 1: Try substituting Gruyere or Jarlsberg for the cheddar.
**Note 2: For years I got along with cheap loaf pans, and then a friend (a professional baker) told me to get some commercial-grade pans so I bought some Chicago Metallic pans. The result was a better external crumb, a higher rise, and a more open crumb (particularly with yeast breads). I wouldn't have thought the pan I used could make such a difference - but it did (compare prices).