My wife found this recipe in Cooks Illustrated “All Time Best Bread Recipes” and decide to make it one afternoon. I helped her by dicing and grading the cheeses. This is a quick bread but came out really nice with cheesy flavor. Deviating a bit from the original recipe, we used two kinds of cheeses; cheddar and smoked gouda.
This is just after the bread cooled down to room temperature. Some cheddar has melted but gouda remained. As usual, even distribution of the cheeses did not happen.
3 oz Parmesan Cheese, shredded (1 cup) (We grated and used 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups (12 1/2 oz) AP flour
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp black pepper
4 oz extra-sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (1 cup) (we used 1/2 cup cheddar and 1/2 cup smoked Gouda)
1 cup whole milk
1/2 sour cream
3 tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Heavily grease a loaf pan. Spread half the parmesan on the bottom of the pan. Mix the dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, salt, peppers together in a bowl. Mix the wet ingredients, milk, sour cream, melted butter, and egg together in another bowl. Mix the cheddar and gouda cheese into the dry ingredients and mix until they are coated with the flour. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. The batter will be very heavy (don’t over mix). Put the batter into the loaf pan and cover with the remaining parmesan cheese. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until it is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean (the skewer may have residue on it if it hit a pocket of cheese. In which case move to another central area and try again.)
Another variation would be to add bacon and caramelized onions omitting the butter. (How could that possibly taste bad?)
This bread was extremely good with a very cheesy flavor. The peppers added a nice little zing that kinda caught up with you after several bites. The cheddar melted entirely and disappeared into the bread. The smoked cheese did not melt completely (as is the case with smoked cheeses) leaving a pocket of concentrated smoked cheese flavor that was very nice. The parmesan cheese on the top did not form a crust and it mostly fell off when the bread came out of the pan. Next time it would probably be better to add the parmesan to the batter. This bread works well. I can already taste the bacon in the next loaf.