Sunday, July 18, 2010

Savory Ham and Guyere Bread

I read this in the New York Times Dining section last Wednesday. The article hyped it so much, I couldn't wait to try it. It was disappointing-maybe the article led me to expect too much or maybe I didn't have a glass of wine or cocktail in hand while I was sampling the bread. The article alluded that the French used this bread as an excuse to open a bottle of wine. It is sort of the poor cousin of Gougere. The recipe uses a quick bread or muffin type recipe, without the sugar, and replaces the sweet with a rich savory quality. It is called a cake because it is baked in a loaf pan or muffin tins.

I added olives to the recipe, and the olives were the best part of the bread, it just seemed so bland. No one hated it, but no one really liked it either, One of the cooks said it was good when he dipped it into his cup of spicy gumbo, another said it would be good with grape jelly-We had a chuckle at that laugh line-then I had him clean the fryers. Read the original article here.

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoonsbaking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup olive oil
6 ounces ham, diced into 1/4 inch dice-about 1 1/2 cups
6 ounces Guyere, 1/2 coarsely grated, 1/2 diced into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup roughly chopped olives

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray your loaf pan with a release spray

Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, salt, and pepper.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the mile and olive oil.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, do not over mix. Fold in the ham, cheese, and olives.

Scrape the batter into the loaf pans and spread evenly.

Bake until golden and a pick coomes out clean, about 40 minutes.

Cool the loaf slightly, and unmold onto a wire rack-wait an additional 1/2 hour before slicing or the bread may crumble.

Afterthoughts:It might have been helped with a topping or spread like a chutney, tomato relish, or something mustardy.

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