Let's Bake Bread

Sunday, November 6, 2011
I planned to start baking bread again this fall.

I used to love baking bread.  I started when I was a twelve-year-old in her first 4H club.  If you aren't familiar with 4H clubs, the H's represent head, hands, health and heart, the four ways in which we could serve our families and our community.  I remember waiting impatiently until I turned twelve; with a birthday late in the year, I had to wait an extra term until I could join my older friends in the club.  There were two clubs a year, one each in the spring and fall, and they generally alternated between cooking clubs (which I loved and excelled at) and sewing or craft clubs (not so much).

That fall when I turned twelve, the club was based on the theme "Let's Bake Bread", and that's when I started my first recipe file.  I still have the member's pamphlet that I received when I joined, and I was surprised at how well it stands up over time.  It's full of common sense advice:
- "To make dishwashing easier, soak pots and pans immediately after use."
- "Avoid touching hair or face when working with food."
- "Recipes should be selected carefully and only those which the club member and her family would enjoy, or which are popular for entertaining, should be included in the recipe file."

My love of cooking and baking first came from being in the kitchen with my mother and grandmother, but being a 4H member helped me branch out and learn new recipes and techniques. And none have stayed with me longer than the first club I took, when I learned to bake bread.

Having said all this, I haven't been baking yeast bread this fall.  For one thing, I've been back at my writing, and I really want to focus on that.  But I did discover this easy recipe for bread that doesn't require yeast or risings, and that tastes absolutely wonderful.  Savoury Cheese and Chive Bread is so simple and quick to make that it's hard to believe how great the flavour is.  It would do any 4H alumnus proud!

Savoury Cheese and Chive Bread
(from Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table)

1 3/4 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 generous cup (about 4 ounces) Gruyere or cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
2 ounces Gruyere or cheddar cheese, cut into very small cubes (1/2 to 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup minced chives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease an 8" x 4 1/2" loaf pan.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl for 1 minute, until foamy, then whisk in the milk and oil.

Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and gently mix until moistened.  Stir in the grated and cubed cheese and the chives to form a thick dough.  Transfer to the loaf pan and spread to make the dough even on top.  Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the bread is golden and a slender knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 3 minutes, then run a knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the loaf.  Turn it out and let it cool right side up before cutting and serving.

51 comments:

LDH said...

Good morning, Beth!

I was involved with 4H for just one year. I joined a Cooking Club and a Knitting Club. I made a rather difficult pair of slippers as I recall.

For cooking, our final project was to make a menu and prepare it. Can you believe that I forgot to include dessert and therefore only received a VG ribbon at the fair? I have spent the rest of my life correcting that dessert problem :)

I have chives in my freezer and this recipe sounds perfect with a dinner I have planned for this week.

And I will remember to soak the pan immediately after use.

allieksmith said...

It was very cool to learn a little bit more about 4H clubs and bread baking! I like to hear about your past :)

Also, sometimes non-yeast recipes just make life so much easier! Yay! I'm glad you are focusing on your writing, good luck!!

Jess said...

Wow, this sounds fantastic! When I saw the title of this post, for some reason I was thinking of sweet breads like banana and pumpkin, so this savory bread is a wonderful surprise.

We didn't have 4H where I was, but I loved hearing about it! It sounds like the type of club I really would have enjoyed. Thanks, as always :)

Belinda said...

With bread likes yours, I'd love to start! We never had 4Hs, unfortunately, but I have always such wonderful things.

Linda Hoye said...

This looks absolutely delicious! Thank you for posting the recipe!

Monet said...

I loved learning about your culinary history...your influences and early days. And of course, this bread looks delicious. I'm making a walnut cherry loaf right now. Thank you for sharing another batch of deliciousness with me. I hope you are having a restful and happy Sunday!

Joanne said...

What a special passion, stemming from that comfort of kitchens and mothers and grandmothers. Cooking is such a great family connection ...

Lena said...

I love baking bread, but I seem to lack time for all the kneading and waiting usually involved. This sounds like a delicious and easy bread to make, I think I'll give this a try.

Elaine said...

Your bread looks so delicious! I enjoyed making this so much for FFwD because it was so easy and I loved the flavor, but my husband not so much because it was the first time he ever ate a savory muffin and he did not care for it at all. I enjoyed reading about your 4H and baking memories. Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

Heather said...

I always enjoy making quick breads. This one would be especially good with a big bowl of soup. Thanks for sharing!

Barbara said...

That's an easy bread to put together, Beth. And all the gruyere sounds wonderful. The more cheese the better. Wonderful with a salad or soup.
Your club "rules" are fun to remember!

Brownieville Girl said...

My type of bread - sounds utterly delicious. I'd love a slice or three with a big bowl of vegetable soup - yummmmmmmm.

Valerie said...

This bread looks scrumptious (and I love the fact that it's yeast-free)!

"To make dishwashing easier, soak pots and pans immediately after use." Great advice. :D

Lizzy said...

This was one of our French Fridays with Dorie assignments early on...and I loved it! Your beautiful photos have me wanting to bake this again. Hope you're having a nice weekend~

Carol said...

I am somewhat baking challenged but I'd love to try this, it looks delicious, and such great flavors!

laurie said...

I have many happy memories of 4H too. Your bread looks delish!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I used to bake bread. Now my husband does the bread baking. He hasn't quite perfected the crust yet. Our house shakes everytime he cuts a slice. ;)

Yummy looking recipe. I'll have try it out. We grow clives in the spring.

Bonnie said...

4-H was such a big part of my growing up in a small rural community. I liked it all. I still have my recipe box somewhere.

The bread looks absolutely divine. I have been craving baking bread lately, but have been sidetracked by life. In my best Scarlet O'Hara voice, I will think of it tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day. Hugs! Bonnie

Jennifurla said...

This looks really wonderul, I could have it all on it's own for dinner. Delish

tenaciouslyyours.com said...

The last 4H point is so sage and so true! I was just going through my recipe binder the other day and purging all of the recipes that weren't quite pulling their weight in that department.

My mother has such ferocious chive plants in the summer - I'm going to have to save this recipe for next year and do a mass baking, I think. Bookmarked for sure.

Reeni said...

I can't help but love a quickbread like this! So easy to throw together with such delicious results!

Sue said...

You've convinced me that I must try this! My husband's favorite cheese is gruyere:)

Joanne said...

I love that you've been baking bread since such a young age! This savory quickbread looks delicious!

yummychunklet said...

What a great looking herb loaf! I love that recipe by Dorie. It's so versatile.

sweetpumpkins.com said...

I love love love home baked bread. This may sound like a pathetic excuse but I now do my home bread baking by bread-machine as tendon problems in my shoulders and back prevent me from kneading too much. Sad but true! I may, however, have to get my husband to do the kneading and try your delicious looking recipe. Have a great day. Natalie.

Kayte said...

Love 4-H!! I was a 4-H leader here in our county for 30 years, retired last year when Matt finished his 10 years. I started the 4-H Scrapbook project in our county and it went national...we were the first to have it, so I am very proud of that and how well that is doing. 4-H just gives so much to so many, so happy to see you promoting it, too! Bread is wonderful...looks delicious. I wish you lived closer...we have a lot in common!

Beth said...

Thanks to all of you for your lovely comments. Seems everyone loves homemade bread, or 4H, or both! Kayte, I wish you lived closer too. I'll be in touch -- I'd love to hear more about your scrapbook project!

sally said...

There is nothing like homemade bread! I'm hoping to make some this season too!

Miriam said...

That bread looks melt-in-your-mouth heavenly!! Miriram@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

lisa is cooking said...

I was a 4H member too. I remember learning to make biscuits as a project. I think I also learned to make spaghetti sauce. My cooking obsession started early! Your bread looks fantastic with the gruyere and chives.

Jeanne said...

Bread is one of my favorite treats to make! It's always wonderful to find old recipes that have been stashed away for years. Thanks for sharing this recipe - it looks fabulous!

comfortablydomestic.com said...

The recipe selection rule is very sound advice for life. Only keep what you enjoy. Quick breads are the best for busy nights when you are really craving the comfort of freshly baked bread. I love the use of both grated and chunk cheese!

Kirsten

Rita said...

Love making bread, but this one is so much easier; with that cheese; it had to be good! Thank you for sharing this one.
Rita

Christina Lee said...

Oh.My.
Okay at first glance I thought it was rosemary, but I'll take chives too!

Simply Life said...

there's really nothing better than homemade bread!

Mary said...

This bread sounds heavenly. I bet it be excellent with a vegetable soup!

Claudia said...

There are chives in my garden still.... and cheddar in the fridge .... all right already! I'll make it!

scrambledhenfruit said...

What a gorgeous bread! Quick breads like this one are perfect to make when time is tight- which is pretty much all the time in my case. It would be wonderful with a nice bowl of soup for dinner.
I'm a farm girl and was in 4H for many years. No cooking or sewing for me though. Would you believe I won ribbons for soil judging? That's where all of the cute boys were! :)

Bizzy B. Bakes said...

It has to be a Dorie recipe. She has so many good ones. I made this with another cheese because that is what I had and it was delicious. If I remember correctly, I had some Gouda, in the house and used that.

Seeing your delectable bread, I realize, it is time to make this again.

Michelle Teacress said...

I love bread that doesn't use yeast. Thank you, Beth. *adding to my recipe file*

sweetandcrumby.com said...

I think I would eat the entire loaf before anyone in my family could get a bite! This looks scrumptious!

lapetitepancake said...

Seriously, any bread with cheese in the recipe is a friend of mine. Add chives to the mix? Big win!
I usually fail at bread-making, but one of my fall goals is to make a no-knead bread until it's perfect.

grace said...

yeast bread is a whole different beast, that's the truth. this is just as good in my eyes; after all, there's cheese! :)

Chiara "Kika" Assi said...

Sounds like a great recipe. I'm not very good at using yeast, so this is the kind of bread that is easy enough for me to make.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Lovely looking bread. I like cheese in anything, but bread? I'm sold. I'd think with writing, though, that yeast bread might be a good thing. Yes you do have to take a few minutes from time to time to punch it down, shape it, etc - but we're not talking a whole lot of time here. Just a few minutes spread out over a period of time. Nice little breaks from writing? My mind, at any rate, works better if I can relax it for a few minutes every hour or so. Anyway, good recipe, good post. Thanks.

Medeia Sharif said...

I'm not a baker, but I've had loved ones bake a variety of breads, and they came to mind when I saw this post. Some day I'd like to conquer the kitchen and bake my heart out.

nancy at good food matters said...

I've been baking bread too this fall--it seems to be the best time of year for yeast bread inspiration. Even so, this quick bread has the look and texture of a nice focaccia.

Catherine said...

Dear Beth, This bread looks absolutely delicious!! Just beautiful. Blessings, Catherine

Julie said...

This looks amazing. I love baking bread, problem with that is, I also love eating it :)

Angie's Recipes said...

I wish I had seen this one earlier, then I would have a great breakfast (rather than just yogurt) today. Love the chives in this savoury bread.

Becki Jacobs said...

I was in 4-H and spent a few summer weeks at 4-H camp...memories:-). Love Dorie's recipes and this sounds like it is right up my alley. I am not a yeast bread baker so when I see a recipe like this my interest definitely piques. Sounds wonderful!

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