Thursday, December 8, 2011

Savory bread

When I perused the breads that the Vintage Homes Society had for sale last year, all I saw were sweet breads—pumpkin and zucchini and so on. When I signed on to contribute, I asked if savory breads were welcome. This is what I had in mind.

Bacon blue cheese bread
Adapted slightly from David Lebovitz’ The Sweet Life in Paris
Savory quick breads are known as le cake in France and David Lebovitz mentions coming across them being served as a trendy hors d’oeuvre. I don’t know if this is still trendy in Paris, but anything with bacon and blue cheese is a perennial favorite with me. Apparently I’m not the only one; when the sale organizers saw this, they requested that we double our suggested contribution. And I've already had two requests for the recipe—hence its jumping the queue from yesterday.

8 strips/5 oz/150 g bacon
2 scallions
5 oz/140 g blue cheese
bacon fat for greasing the pan
1.5 cup/6 oz/210 g all-purpose/plain flour
2 tsp/10 g baking powder
.5 tsp/3 g cayenne pepper
.5 tsp/3 g kosher salt
4 large eggs
.25 cup/2 oz/60 ml olive oil
.5 cup/4 oz/120 g plain whole-milk yogurt
1.5 tsp/7 g Dijon mustard
2 oz/60 g grated parmesan

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Lay the bacon on baking sheets and place in the oven to cook until crisp, turning once, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool, then chop coarsely or crumble. Set aside.

While the bacon is cooking, chop the scallions finely and crumble the blue cheese. Set aside.

Use the rendered bacon fat to grease a 9-in/23-cm loaf pan.

In a large bowl, measure the flour, baking powder, cayenne, and kosher salt and mix thoroughly. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, crack the eggs, then add the oil, yogurt, and mustard. Mix with a whisk until smooth.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, then use a rubber spatula to mix until nearly, but not quite, combined. Add the scallions, blue and parmesan cheeses, and bacon, and fold gently into the batter until evenly distributed throughout.

Scoop batter into prepared pan and smooth into corners. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean (try to find a spot with no cheese bits in it!).

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