Monday, April 29, 2013

Cheddar Batter Bread

To go with my delicious farm apple butter, I made Art Smith's Cheddar Batter Bread. This bread is wonderful in that it is a yeast bread, which means it has all the delicious smells and taste associated with those beautiful bubble-making creatures, but it's a quick rise bread, meaning it only goes through one 45-minute rise before it's ready to cook. I've used this bread with the apple butter, but also as a side for my meatball soup, to make a quick sandwich, for cheesy croutons, or just as a quick snack. This is a versatile bread and can be changed quickly by using Swiss instead of cheddar! Think homemade bread is out of your reach? Try this bread out - you'll love it!

Cheddar Batter Bread
4 tbs unsalted butter
3/4 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup water
One 1/4-ounce pkg active dry yeast
3 large eggs
1 tsp hot red pepper sauce
4 cups AP flour
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tbs water, for glaze

1. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the buttermilk and water and heat just until warm to the touch (105 to 115° F). Pour into a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk to dissolve the yeast. Whisk in the eggs and hot sauce.

2. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually stir into the liquid to make a thick batter. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and 3/4 cup of the Cheddar (or Swiss) cheese.

3. Lightly butter two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pans. Spread the batter evenly in the pans. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.

4. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375° F.

5. Brush the tops of the loaves with the egg mixture. Bake 25 minutes. Sprinkle the tops of the loaves with the remaining 1/4 cup of shredded Cheddar and bake until the loaves are golden and sound hollow when removed from the pans and tapped on the bottoms, 10 to 15 minutes.

6. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks and cool completely. (The breads can be made 2 days ahead, wrapped in aluminum foil, and stored at room temperature.)

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