Wednesday, 30 December 2009
Here in the UK, we have the best cheddar cheese in the world. Originating from the village of Cheddar in Sommerset, rich and tasty cheddar cheese remains the most popular cheese in the country. I do have to admit that we in this household eat a fair bit of it, and Todd finds it very annoying when we go over to the continent to France, and he can't find Cheddar . . . he's such a Brit! To him, the only cheese worth eating at all is cheddar . . .
Cheddar Cheese Bread is one of our favourite types of quick breads that I make here in my English Kitchen. I like to sprinkle Parmesan cheese that I have grated on a box grater on the bottom of the loaf tin and again on the top of the batter before I bake it. This gives it a lovely crunch and texture . . .
You don't have to use cheddar if you don't want to. Asiago cheese, crumbled into small bits is pretty good as is Gruyere cut into small chunks. When I use Gruyere I also like to add little bits of chopped ham or crumbled bacon. Yummy good.
But . . . our favourite cheese to use is extra mature Cheddar, for it's rich tangy flavour. If you really want to make it special, mince a small onion and saute it in a bit of butter and add that along with the cheese before baking, or a bunch of spring onions, sliced and slightly wilted in some butter is mighty tasty as well.
mmmm . . . cheese and onion . . . a favourite flavour here in the UK.
In any case, this bread is a real pleaser and goes wonderfully well with soups, stews, and chili's . . . try it sliced and spread with butter and served with cold meats and chutney's, for another tasty treat.
Any way you cut it . . . this tasty bread is just wonderful . . . seriously.
Just think . . . crunchy cheesy crust on the exterior . . . rich pockets of cheese on the interior.
What's not to like???
*Cheddar Cheese Bread*
Makes one 8 inch loaf
This bread is the perfect go with to have with soups or stews. Try it toasted and then buttered for breakfast with your eggs next time. Absolutely fabulous! You want to cut the cheddar into small chunks instead of grating it so that you end up with lovely pockets of lucious cheese interspered throughout the loaf.
3 ounces Parmesan Reggiano cheese, grated on the large holes of a box grater (1 cup)
12 1/2 ounces flour (2 1/2 cups)
1 TBS baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp coarse ground black pepper
4 ounces extra sharp cheese, cut into small cubes (1 cup)
(Do not grate)
250ml whole milk (1 cup)
2 heaped dessertspoons of sour cream (about 1/2 cup)
3 TBS melted butter
1 large egg
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Butter a 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. Sprinkle half of the grated parmesan cheese evenly over the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Stir in the cheddar cheese, making sure it is well coated with the flour and each piece is separate.
Whisk together the milk, egg, sour cream and melted butter.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet, stirring only to combine without overmixing. The batter will be thick and heavy. Spread into the prepared loaf tin, smoothng over the top. Sprinkle the remainder of the grated Parmesan over top.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, turning the pan around halfway through the baking time. The loaf is done with a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Allow to cool for at least an hour before cutting.