Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cheddar Cheese Bread for Two (or more)

I wanted to share the best, and cutest little loaf of cheese bread that I made just a few Sundays ago.  Ever since I picked up a copy of an America's Test Kitchen Cooking for Two 2011 magazine last year, I'd wanted to try this loaf of bread.  It just kept getting pushed to the back of my mind though, especially with our move to a new house.

Then, just a couple weeks ago I saw this blog post from King Arthur Flour for Creamy Tomato Soup, and wham, I had the idea to get out that ATK magazine issue and make it along with the soup, instead of the same old grilled cheese sandwich.

The recipe was super simple to put together and it was quick, since there was no yeast and no rising time involved.  As you can see from the picture above, the recipe only makes a very small loaf, in a 5 1/2 by 3 inch loaf pan, but you could slice this loaf into 4 nice size pieces and if you only had 4 people at the table each person would get their own slice.  You could also double the recipe and make two loaves.  I was just glad that the loaf was small enough that my husband and I could finish it off in one meal.

The creamy tomato soup turned out wonderful and my husband and I disagreed about whether this was the best homemade tomato soup recipe we've tried.  I thought it was.  I made a couple small changes to the tomato soup recipe.  I cut the recipe in half for one thing, since it was just the two of us.  I used a can of Muir Glen Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes (15 oz I think), instead of tomato puree.  I think it lent a nice smoky flavor to the soup.  I used a 5 oz can of evaporated milk, since they didn't have 6 oz cans, and I only used 1 tsp of sugar for half the recipe.  Their were quite a few larger chunks of tomato in the can of crushed tomatoes, so I did pour the soup into my blender at the end to puree it.  We don't particularly like chunky tomato soup:)

Here is the bread recipe,

Cheddar Cheese Bread
from America's Test Kitchen Cooking for Two 2011

1 ounce Parmesan cheese, shredded on large holes of box grater (about 1/3 cup)
3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of pepper
2 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (I used Cabot Sharp Cheddar),
    cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup whole milk
3 Tablespoons sour cream
1 Tablespoon unsalted buter, melted and cooled
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 5 1/2 by 3 inch loaf pan with cooking spray, then sprinkle 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon shredded parmesan evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Whisk together in a medium bowl the flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne, and pepper.  Fold in the cubed cheddar until it is coated with the flour mixture.  In a separate small bowl, whisk milk, sour cream, melted butter, and egg together until smooth.  Gently fold the milk mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula just until combined.  The batter will be thick.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Sprinkle the remaining shredded parmesan cheese evenly over the top of the batter.  Bake on the middle rack of the oven until golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few crumbs attached, 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

Let the bread cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
The recipe said to let the bread cool 1 hour before serving, but by that time the bread was cooled off quite a bit, so you might want to warm it up just a smidge if it has sat too much longer than an hour.  I think it is better when it is served warm.

I just love the cute little drip of cheese that formed on the one side of the loaf.  It froze there before it got a chance to follow the rest of the cheese that oozed out just a bit onto the bottom of my oven.  I'd never made cheddar cheese bread before and so I was easily impressed by the hollow pockets that were left where the cubed cheddar was, before it turned to golden melty goodness. This bread was cheesy delicious!!


  1. Looks like a fabulous quick bread. Love the cute little loaf.

  2. Oh Mel, that looks to-die-for! I love the ripples of cheese through it. As you say, it's very, very cute! :)

  3. Ooh I could eat a little loaf like that - what a treat :)

  4. what's unbleached all purpose flour? can i use regular all purpose flour? i don't know where to get the unbleached one...

    1. Hello Cecil,

      Its fine if you use regular all purpose flour in this recipe. If you can find it at some point, I would use unbleached flour though. Regular all purpose flour is a more processed flour in which chemicals are used to do this. It is not as healthy as unbleached flour. If you are baking w/ yeast, unbleached flour will give a better rise and texture to the final product.