Savory Christmas Bread

It may be a few days after Santa popped down the chimney, but if your tree is still up, there’s no reason you can’t keep baking like it’s Christmas!  After all the cookies I’ve been eating lately, I was in the mood for something savory to bake.  King Arthur Flour once again did not let me down – I stumbled upon this savory Christmas bread full of cheese, green peppers, and sun-dried tomatoes and figured I’d give it a try.

If you want a delicious-tasting bread that takes less than an hour to make, this recipe is for you!

Ok, let’s start off with the recipe found in my King Arthur Baker’s Companion:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (12 and 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces provolone cheese, grated (approximately 2 cups)
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 ounce) finely chopped green pepper (or fresh chives or green part of scallions)
  • 1/4 cup (1 and 1/2 ounces) finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (or drained pimientos or red bell pepper)

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Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cheese.  Add the beaten eggs, reserving 2 tablespoons for glazing the bread before baking.  Mix in the evaporated milk, garlic, and vegetables, stirring to make a soft dough.

Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface and form it into a smooth ball.  Roll the ball into a log shape about 10 inches long.  Place it on a greased cookie sheet.  Brush with the reserved beaten egg.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown.  Cool thoroughly.  To serve, cut into very thin slices, fanning slices onto a plate.  Bread is delicious as is, or can be spread with butter.


So from the directions above, you can see why I decided to give this a try – it looks simple and sounds delicious!  Ok, now here’s how I did it, along with pictures for those visual learners out there:

Like the directions stated, first thing I did was to preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Next, I took the bowl of my Kitchen-Aid mixer and dropped in the flour, baking powder, salt, and cheese.

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When I ran out to the grocery store for provolone to grate, I had a heck of a time trying to find any.  I ended up settling on a bag of pre-shredded cheese which was a mix of provolone and mozzarella, and it worked just fine for me.  (Another bonus, it was an 8 ounce bag, which is exactly what the recipe called for!)

I mixed the dry ingredients with the cheese (using the bread hook to stir and a spatula to move the flour from the side of the bowl to the center).  Next, I added in the beaten egg (after taking out 2 tablespoons of egg to use for later).

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I then mixed these ingredients together on low for about 30 seconds.  Next, I added in the evaporated milk, the sun-dried tomatoes, and the green peppers.  I turned the mixer back on and mixed it on medium-low for about 3 minutes until it looked like this:

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I then generously floured my countertop work space, and used a spatula to turn the dough out onto the floured area.  I rolled the dough around until I had a nice, smooth ball:

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Next, I used my palms to roll the dough ball into a 10-inch log.

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I then placed the log onto a cookie sheet lined with a silicon baking mat and brushed the log with that remaining 2 tablespoons of beaten egg.

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I then popped the loaf into the heated oven and checked it after 30 minutes.  Mine still needed a little more time, so I let it bake for the full 35 minutes.  I then took the loaf out and placed it on a wire baking rack to cool completely.

Cooling.jpg

Looks pretty dang tasty, doesn’t it?!

Let me assure you, it was delicious!  It just so happened that I also had a southwest pork soup going in the crock pot – the bread accompanied it perfectly.

Just in case you wanted to see how it looked again all sliced up, here you go:

Final Product

If you decide to try this recipe out, let me know how it goes for you – I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Holidays to everyone and here’s to hoping you all have a wonderful 2018!