This stuff shows promise…

December 10, 2016

quick-loaf

Inside or out -- looks pretty good either way!

Inside or out — looks pretty good either way!

I wanted bread. It was cold outside, Child A was putting up the Christmas tree, there was Christmas music on, and I wanted to, by George, BAKE something.

This was the result.

For, you see, I did NOT want to mix up a batch of yeast dough, let it rise, shape it into rolls or loaves or some such, let it rise again, and THEN bake it. No, I wanted a much more rapid reward; I wanted a quick bread. And I wanted a savory quick bread, at that.

Over on the eGullet forum, someone had recently posted a recipe (linked here) for a buttermilk quick bread and contended it was one of the better quickbreads she’d had. I had saved the recipe, and figured there’s no time like the present to try it. And with a couple of tiny modifications, I think it’ll be quite excellent.

I decided to go with a bacon-and-cheese flavor profile, as I had some cooked bacon in the fridge I wanted to use, and there’s always cheese around this house. And therein lies one of the corrections I’ll  make next time. The half-cup of sugar (I used raw sugar, instead of white) is way too much for a savory quickbread. There’s a sweet taste that doesn’t play too well with the savory. It’s not disgusting, but it keeps it from being excellent. I’ll cut it back to 1/4 cup for the next savory loaf I make.

Anyway, I used about 2/3 of a cup of chopped, cooked bacon (because that was how much I had), and about four ounces of cheese. I grated half of it, and cubed the rest into 1/2 inch or so cubes. Tossed both those with all the dry ingredients.

I don’t keep buttermilk around the house. I DO keep buttermilk powder on hand, for recipes that call for it (except I did buy some today for a recipe I plan to try next week). So I mixed up some powder with some whole milk, added the egg and the butter, and put the wet stuff in the dry stuff. Stirred just enough to get everything wet, and turned it out into a greased loaf pan.

And herein lies the second change. The recipe calls for a 9 x 5-inch pan. That’s what I used. But that turns out a pretty flat loaf. Next time, I might put it in one of my 8 1/2 x 3 1/2 pans. On the other hand, it’s not a bread you’re going to use for a sandwich, so the squatty slices aren’t a bad deal for toast or with, say, soup.

I didn’t eat it warm, which is a shame. It smelled to die for, but I had a grocery run to make and Christmas play practice to attend with AGC2. So I waited until I got home, cut myself a couple of nice slabs of it, buttered them, and toasted them. (Lord, but it’s wonderful to have a toaster oven again!)

It’s a really nice texture, but like all quickbreads, it tends to go crumbly on you; pick it up by one end, and it’ll break off from its own weight. Taste — see above. I think with an adjustment of the sugar, it’d be just phenomenal. On the other hand, if you wanted to toss in some fruit or, say, chocolate chips, the sugar content would be just about perfect. I think it’d be great with dried cranberries, or pineapple and ginger, or some chopped apples and warm spices.

But I am really anxious to do the bacon and cheese version again, with less sugar. I think it’d be pretty excellent with a poached egg atop it. Or on the side with some French onion soup, or tomato soup; maybe spread with some fresh homemade ricotta cheese…

You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em come up for lunch one of these days, and we’ll give that a try. Not next week, though. Next week is Christmas treat-making, and I’m behind schedule!

 

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