Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cheese, Olive and Buttermilk Herb Bread

This recipe find came about when I was explaining to Amy how I had all this buttermilk that I needed to use and didn't know what to do with it. She promptly sent me this recipe. Right away I knew Isaac would like it. Cheese and bread... two of his favorite things. But, I must say, I think I liked it even more than he did! It is delicious. I just made a few alterations in the recipe. I left out the olives and doubled the sundries tomatoes.  Also, this is a British recipe, so I had no idea what "spring onions" were and bought a real onion at the store instead, only to discover afterward that "spring onions" are just green onions. I used chives instead of those and it worked out fine.

The best thing about this bread recipe is it doesn't require yeast. I hate cooking with yeast. It intimidates/frustrates me. So, please try this bread. It is very easy to make, and incredibly delicious!

Cheese, Olive and Buttermilk Herb Bread


2 1/4 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
60g freshly grated parmesan
60g grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup green olives, sliced
8 pieces sundried tomatoes, sliced thinly
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup mixture of spring onion and Italian parsley
2 tsp thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried thyme
2 eggs
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 cup buttermilk (or use 1 1/4 cup less 1 Tbsp fresh milk + 1 Tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice. Set aside for 10 minutes before using)
Egg wash (optional) made from 1 egg yolk beaten with 2 tsp water
Extra thyme springs and sea salt, for topping


1) Preheat oven to 180C or 350F. Generously butter a large loaf tin (23 x 13 x 6cm) and either line it with butter parchment paper or dust with flour. Set tin aside.

2) Sift flour, baking powder, soda, salt, pepper and mustard powder into a large bowl. Whisk with a whisk to incorporate the dry ingredients. Add both cheeses, olives, sundried tomatoes, spring onion, parsley and thyme and stir them thoroughly together.

3) In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, then whisk in the oil and buttermilk until they are well combined.

4) Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir together to form a thick, sticky batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared tin and spread it out evenly.

5) Brush the top of the batter with the egg wash and then srpinkly some thyme leaves and sea salt onto the loaf.

6) Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. If the top starts to burn, place a piece of foil to cover the top of the loaf and continue baking. Leave in tin for 5 minutes before turning ot onto a wire rack.

7) This loaf is best served on the same day. Wrap left overs tighly and store in fridge. Gently reheat in oven if serving left overs.