Dorie Greenspan's Cheesy-Bacony Apéro Quick Bread
Like the loaves baked in French homes, this bread is just right for serving at the cocktail hour, or apéro, cut into finger-size batons that are just right for nibbling. Use the cheese called for here or whatever you have on hand.
Unsalted butter, for greasing the pan
1¾ cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ to ¾ teaspoon ground cumin (may substitute cumin seed or a combination of ground and seeds)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/3 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1/3 cup grapeseed, canola or olive oil
4 ounces grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (1 cup)
3 ounces bite-size cubes Gouda cheese (¾ cup)
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped (See note)
4 to 6 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, cooled and chopped
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and cut into bite-size pieces
You'll need an 8½-by-4½-by-2½-inch loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease the loaf pan with butter.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and cumin (to taste) in a mixing bowl.
Use a whisk to beat the eggs and salt in a separate bowl for 1 minute. Pour in the milk and oil, whisking until blended. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and whisk gently, just to moisten the flour -- there's no need to be thorough. Switch to a spatula and stir in the cheeses, toasted walnuts, bacon and apple to form a thick, spongy batter. Scrape it into the pan, taking care to push it into the corners. Do the best you can to even the top, and don't fret when it's lumpy.
Bake (middle rack) for 45 to 55 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and a tester inserted deep into the center comes out dry. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it rest for 5 minutes. If needed, run a table knife around the edges of the bread before turning it out (right side up) and leaving it to come to room temperature.
To serve as a nibble with drinks, cut into thick slices, then into fingers or bite-size pieces. Wrapped well, the bread can be kept overnight at room temperature; it can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Note: Toast the nuts in a dry medium skillet over medium-low heat for several minutes or just until fragrant and lightly browned, shaking the pan as needed to prevent scorching. Cool completely before using.
Serves 8 to 12
Nutrition | Per serving (based on 12): 250 calories, 8 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 16 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 70 mg cholesterol, 340 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar
From cookbook author Dorie Greenspan