Friday, March 4, 2011

ffwd - savory cheese and chive bread

This is yet another recipe that I'd been drawn to when I first looked at Around My French Table. I think that quick breads are wonderful - flavorful and homey. I love chives (and other fresh herbs), and who doesn't like cheese?? Also, it was an easy recipe to get back into the swing of French Fridays. I needed that after a bit of time away (though I really want to figure out when I can make those shortribs and green beans!).

This was super-simple, and as Dorie suggests, lends itself to whatever you might have on hand. I can totally see this in the summer too, when fresh basil is at its best, or maybe thyme - and of course, one of my favorites - rosemary. This along with a nice vegetable soup (I made Dorie's asparagus soup a couple of weeks ago) would make an amazing summer evening meal.

Ok, but here's the fun part! The only trick to making quick breads is in the final mixing. It's always better to undermix than overmix.

so here are our ingredients (well, minus the chives...)

cheese, shredded and diced
I used comte (my new favorite cheese, thank you Dorie!)
a nice 1/4" dice and fine shreds

fresh chives, sliced and ready to go

you can tell here that I diverged from the recipe
I like to add herbs, cheese (fruit, nuts) to the dry ingredients
I simply add them, once the dry ingredients have been fully mixed together
that way they are evenly distributed, and I don't overmix the dough by adding them later
I didn't happen to have any walnuts on hand, though I think they would have been terrific

this is exactly the point when you stop mixing
I know that there are a couple of flecks of flour that you can see
and it's lumpy! but that's what you want
overmix this, and you will end up with a really tough, chewy bread

exactly as a quick-bread should look
mine isn't quite as smooth as Dorie's, I think because I didn't
"even the top with the back of a spatula or spoon"
what can I say, I like rustic 
while I knew that I should wait until it was cool
I couldn't resist taking one slice
even warm, it sliced beautifully!
but I did like this better after it had completely cooled

I really liked this bread. I liked the crispy exterior, and that you could taste the different flavors (use some nice olive oil here!). I thought it would be terrific with other flavor combinations, and with the addition of nuts as suggested. Other herbs, other cheeses - even the olives or sun-dried tomatoes as suggested would be great. One thing that I thought would be terrific with this would be to pair it with a blue-cheese spread. I make one that's layered with some type of blue cheese (often Stilton, but could be Gorgonzola, or Maytag), alternating with a butter/cream cheese mixture (no, not good for you at all!). I often make that during the holidays, and that combination would be pretty special. Of course, the other thing that this just screamed for was a good cup of tomato soup! What a nice bread that you can either dress up or down, and easy enough to make at the last minute!!


  1. I love your description of the tastes and textures. Great post!

  2. Oh I completely agree that this will be excellent to try again with some fresh herbs in the spring and summer! Great write-up and lovely photos - looking forward to cooking with you (and of course Dorie) some more :)

  3. I have ideas for other flavors. This was a fun recipe and it would be good with a cup of tomato soup! Yum

  4. I loved that crispy outside! Your bread looks fantastic. :)

  5. Your bread looks delicious! I think a bleu cheese spread would so tasty with this. Thanks for commenting on my blog. I've added you to my Google Reader and look forward to reading your future posts!

  6. I love the look of your rustic loaf...and it would be fabulous with your blue cheese spread~

  7. I like the texture on top of the loaf - it makes it more interesting. Overmixing quick breads used to be my bane when I was a girl. Not that I did, I was just worried that I would, or I wouldn't mix it enough and get a dry spot. Oh, youth!

  8. This bread would pair well with so many things, for sure! I loved the crunchy texture from the baked cheese and the soft crumb. Very nice.

  9. Mmmh, delicious pairing with the wine. It was a great week for FFwD!

  10. Nice pictures! I agree that this loaf would be perfect with a cup of tomato soup.

  11. Hi thanks for visiting my blog and leaving such a nice comment. I really liked this cheesy chive bread too. I also want to try the orange tart. Around my French table is full of so many good sounding recipes, can't wait to try more;-)

  12. Super step by step photos ! Glad you got to try the recipe this week. Nana and I enjoyed it as well (esp how easy it was...) and look forward to trying the many variations.

  13. I loved the crispy exterior too - that was part of what made this bread so special. I'll have to give the Comte a try.

  14. Process photos are always great:) I use some variations to the theme, but this bread was a winner in every way. I had to stop myself from mixing too much, and as a reward I got a beautiful loaf that the whole family loved.

  15. After making the bread per Dorie's instructions, I wished that I'd mixed the cheese with the dry ingredients. Your loaf looks great!

  16. I thought about cream cheese too. So not good for you, but so delicious.