Friday, October 6, 2017

Quick Peppered Cheese Bread for Thanksgiving

            Years ago I remember coming across a recipe in a newspaper that was labelled as "Peppered Cheese Bread", and I was excited to try it. However, disappointment arose quickly after tasting it... guess what? It didn't taste like pepper and it didn't taste like cheese. How in the world can one put the names of certain ingredients in the title of the recipe, and not have the recipe taste like those ingredients? This is a huge pet peeve of mine with recipe creators. After that day, I vowed to create my own recipe for "Peppered Cheese Bread" and here it is! The recipe is also featured as one of the over 150 recipes in my cookbook "The Best In Your Kitchen".
            If you are a fan of pepper and cheddar cheese, then this recipe is for you and it won't disappoint. It screams of pepper and cheese flavour, and being a 'quick bread' (not

yeast leavened) it is very easy and quick to make. As a matter of fact, it would be so easy to have the wet & dry ingredients prepped separately, and as soon as the turkey comes out to rest, you would
simply mix and bake for 30-35 minutes. By the time you are de-stuffing and carving the turkey, the bread will have already finished baking and be ready for serving.
            Make sure you use fresh cracked pepper, from your pepper mill, for the 1.5 teaspoons in the mix and for the sprinkling on top. This is not the time or place for pre-ground pepper (there are not many applications where I would recommend pre-ground pepper actually). Also, make sure you are using old cheddar for the most abundant cheese flavour. Remember, we are making Peppered Cheese Bread and we want it to be recognizable as such. An ingredient involved may require you to make a trip to your local gourmet food store, or high quality farmer's market: canned Madagascar soft green peppercorns in brine. There is only one tablespoon required, so you can eliminate it if you want, but just that small measure makes all the difference in the world on how this bread tastes, and looks... so I highly recommend trying the recipe as is.
            The dough mixture will be wet so make sure the pie plate you are using to bake the bread is
prepared properly for easy removal. A thorough coating of baking spray followed by a good dusting of flour is vital. Just remember to let cool in the pie pan for at least 10 minutes before attempting to remove it. It can then be cut into wedges (as pictured above) or traditionally into slices as you normally would with a round loaf. Because it is a quick bread, it is more cake like in texture, but screaming with savory flavours, and thus makes it a perfect accompaniment for any comfort food meal. We also love to have this on the side with bowls of hearty stew, gumbo, and soups.
            I hope you enjoy the recipe. Happy Thanksgiving! And until next time... Happy Cooking!

Peppered Cheese Bread
“A quick bread with tons of cheese and pepper flavours! For best results make sure you use old cheddar and fresh cracked black pepper.”

2 cups flour (plus more for dusting)
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1.5 (one and one half) teaspoons salt
1.5 (one and one half) teaspoons freshly cracked pepper
1 tablespoon soft green Madagascar peppercorns, drained
2 cups grated old cheddar cheese (1.5 cups in the dough; 1/2 cup reserved)
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
More pepper for sprinkling

1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9-inch pie plate with baking spray and then dusting it with flour.

2.     In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Toss in the green peppercorns and 1.5 cups of the grated cheese to thoroughly coat with the flour mixture.

3.     In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, milk, and melted butter.

4.     Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Stir until just combined and spread the mixture into the prepared pie plate.

5.     Top with the remaining reserved one half cup cheddar and more freshly cracked pepper.

6.     Bake for approximately 30 to 35 minutes until the bread is solid and the cheese has browned slightly on top. You can test it with a toothpick as you would with cake batters.

7.     Let cool in the pie plate for at least 10 minutes before trying to remove it, and then let cool thoroughly on a cooling rack.

Makes one 9-inch round loaf

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