I’ve had this Cheddar Herb bread on my Pinterest board for over a year, believe it or not. Worth the wait? Sure. But why wait? This bread is easy to whip together, and wonderfully flavorful, a nice savory treat for a change. It paired perfectly with Dave’s homemade chicken soup. I only wish I had had fresher herbs on hand at the time, it would have elevated the bread to the next level. But no complaints! I loved it.
Like so many good things in life, it started with cheese. New Zealand cheddar, to be precise.
I set that aside for the moment, after eating some of the bits that spilled over the edge of the measuring cup. I had extra.
I whisked together whole wheat white flour, wheat germ, sugar (just a tablespoon), dried parsley, dried rosemary, baking powder, and salt. I must confess that the parley and rosemary were, um, old. Quite old. Definitely older than they should have been. I am a baker but not a cook, so I don’t replenish the herbs and Dave doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of food with rosemary and parsley in it. But we had some, and since the store was closed and I had a hankering for cheese bread, having old herbs was 100 times better than not having them at all.
Now for the fun part: it was my first time ever cutting butter into dry ingredients. I’ve just never done it before. I do, however, have a pastry blender.
Do you want to know why I own a pastry blender? Up until a year or so ago, I thought the item above was specifically for chopping egg for egg salad. I did! My grandmother ALWAYS used it to chop up the egg and she made the best egg salad of anyone in the universe, ever. No one else has achieved her egg salad greatness. I bought this pastry blender once I started baking in earnest, knowing it would come up in a recipe at some point, but I also bought it out of nostalgia and love for Mama, maker of egg salad, confidante, and champion storyteller.
Here is the egg salad chopper, in non-egg salad use for the first time.
It did a good job, making the mixture crumbly as required.
Separately, I beat an egg, then added milk and whisked them together, then added that to the crumbe.
I mixed quickly, without overdoing it, and scraped the batter into a loaf pan.
It was done in 40 minutes. I gave it ten more minutes in the pan, then moved it to a wire rack.
And then we ate it.
It’s a very nice cheese bread and next time I make it I’m going to use fresher dried herbs, as ours are embarrassingly ancient, and maybe use an even sharper cheese, just to amp everything up. It’s a really nice breakfast bread with a light texture and savory flavors, and goes particularly well with soup. I had some for breakfast a few mornings in a row and really enjoyed it just as is. It wasn’t kid-friendly, but maybe that’s just because they’re used to the sweet stuff. I will definitely make this again. And look at that crumb!
CHEDDAR-HERB BREAD RECIPE (original)
My version of Cheddar Herb Bread, ever-so-slightly adapted from Eat Drink Pretty)
1 1/3 cups whole wheat white flour
2/3 cup toasted wheat germ
1 tablespoon cane sugar
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup 1% milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter (cold)
1 large egg
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease or spray a 9 x 5″ loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ, sugar, parsley, rosemary, baking powder, and salt.
Using a pastry blender (or your hands if you don’t have one), cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a small bowl, beat the egg, then add the milk and whisk well. Pour this into the large bowl and stir quickly to combine just until thoroughly moistened.
Scoop/scrape into the loaf pan and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it sit in the pan for another ten minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool.