Friday, July 15, 2011

Cheddar Cheese Bread

  • 1oz Parmesan cheese, shredded on large holes of box grater (about 1/3 C; see note)
  • 3/4 C plus 2 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • pinch pepper
  • 2oz extra-sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1/2 C)
  • 1/4 C whole milk
  • 3 Tbsp sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing pan
  • 1 large egg
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 5-1/2 by 3 inch loaf pan, then sprinkle 2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp Parmesan cheese evenly over bottom of pan.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne, and pepper together in medium bowl. Fold in cheddar, breaking up clumps, until it is coated with flour mixture. In separate bowl, whisk milk, sour cream, melted butter, and egg together until smooth. Gently fold milk mixture into flour mixture with rubber spatula until just combined (do not overmix). Batter will be heavy and thick.
3. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Sprinkle remaining 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese evenly over top of batter. Bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted into center comes out with few crumbs attached, 30 to 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.
4. Let bread cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto wire rack and let cool for 1 hour before serving.

Robyn's notes: this is an America's Test Kitchen recipe, which means it's very specific and has several notes. These are theirs: Shredding the Parmesan on the large holes of a box grater and sprinkling it over the top of this bread adds a nice texture and helps prevent the cheese from burning; do not grate it fine or use pre-grated Parmesan. The texture of the bread improves as it cools, so resist the urge to slice the loaf while it is piping hot. The bread can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. These notes are mine: I did grate the Parmesan myself, and I measured both cheeses by weight, not cup measurement. Cutting the cheddar into quarter-inch cubes probably took me about as long as the rest of the preparation. The first loaf I made was cooked through (clean toothpick) after 30 minutes, but the top wasn't at all golden. I took it out and let it cool anyway, so that the inside wouldn't get too dry. It was tasty and moist but a bit dense. I'm making two more mini-loaves as gifts, so I will likely let them cook a bit longer to see how they do. The Parmesan top and bottom was a great touch.

**** 4 Stars: Very Good. Enjoyed by us both, I will make this frequently