Saturday, October 29, 2011

Parmesan and Cheddar Cheese Bread

There is nothing better than a terrific homemade loaf of bread.  Except for maybe a homemade loaf of bread that is filled and topped with melted cheese.  Ever since I got back from Michigan this past summer, I've been motivated to try making a delicious cheese bread.  While I was there, my best friend Christina, introduced me to this great local bakery, where we picked up a fresh loaf of cheddar jalapeno bread.  Ever since then, I've been craving more.  Unfortunately, I have not found any bakeries quite as good around me, which is why I decided to do the next best thing.....make it myself! 

I know that making homemade bread can sometimes be intimidating, because there are so many steps in the process.  It can also be quite time consuming, due to the fact that you have to wait for the yeast to rise.  However, this specific quick-bread recipe does not call for any yeast, meaning it couldn't be simpler to make!  In addition, it doesn't take long to assemble, which means that you have scrumptious bread in no time!

Parmesan and Cheddar Cheese Bread
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3 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 cup)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
4 oz. extra-sharp cheddar, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup sour cream

Move an oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray and then sprinkle ½ the parmesan cheese evenly across the bottom.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.  Whisk together until well blended.  Add in the cubed cheddar squares and stir around, with a rubber spatula, until the cheese is well coated with flour.  (Make sure to break apart any clumps of cheese that stick together)  In a medium bowl, combine the milk, butter, egg, and sour cream.  Whisk the ingredients together, until well blended.  Using your rubber spatula, gently mix or fold the wet ingredients into the dry, until just combined.  It is important to make sure that you do not over mix!  The batter should appear thick.  Using your spatula, lightly scrape the batter into the loaf pan, making sure to level out the top.  Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese over the top of the bread.

Place the loaf pan in the oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the bread has a deep golden brown color to it.  Cool in the pan, on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, and then turn the bread out of the pan and continue to let cool completely.

Cut, serve, and enjoy!  This bread is even better toasted!



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