|Resting bread. Can you guess which loaf has bacon in it? |
I'll just tell you. The one on the right. The better-looking one.
This loaf ruled. Calder suggests you serve it before a dinner party, something to tide people over before the meal. I love this idea. It's very sophisticated. Very French. But you can serve this any old time - I think it would be a nice snack, and would also be a punchy little breakfast bread. Or be all Paris (pronounced Par-eeh) and serve it as an aperitif (pronounced a-pear-a-teef - just kidding, I know y'all know how to pronounce that).
And again, the best thing about this is how hella easy it is to make. No intimidating bread-like elements like kneading or yeast, or special paddle attachments for your special stand-mixer. Just a couple of bowls and a loaf pan (or two loaf pans, if you're me - I did one with bacon and one without - guess which one was better).
Bacon, Olive, and Sharp Cheddar Bread
This is a recipe of the aforementioned Laura Calder, whose website is at www.lauracalder.ca
|I brought these to a meeting. |
Yes, I had a meeting where I was required to bring snacks.
1 and a half cups flour
1 and a half teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup, plus another tablespoon butter, melted
a big handful of chopped green olives (you could use black olives, but I think the green lends the whole loaf more of a consistent earth-tone kinda thing)
6 slices of bacon, chopped into 1/2 inch squares and fried/broiled (Calder's recipe called for four slices, but that's such a joke - use 6)
1 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese (you could also use Gruyere, parm, asiago - anything that is grate-able and has a nice strong, sharp taste)
a pinch of salt (but seriously, go easy - you've got bacon, cheese, and olives in there - a lot of salt action already)
2 tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary (this was a nice addition, but totally not necessary)
So here's the drill: preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a loaf pan, and then throw a tablespoon of flour in there and shake the pan around, so the flour covers the butter. Your pan has now been buttered and floured.
Mix the flour, baking powder, and ground pepper together in a mixing bowl. Beat the eggs lightly, then add them into the flour, mixing all with a wooden spoon. Then stir in the melted butter. Don't over-mix, just stir until everything is incorporated. Now add the cooked and chopped bacon, chopped olives, and grated cheese. Again, just try to evenly distribute, not more than that. Overworked batter is no good.
Spoon the batter into the loaf pan, and stick her in the oven for about 45 minutes. You'll know it's ready when it's slightly browned on the top and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
|Let me tell you, making this bread kind of made me feel like some kind of pioneer.|
Let it cool slightly, and then remove it from the pan. Slice it up. And then definitely follow Calder's instructions, which are to 'serve with drinks'. I mean, unless it's breakfast.