I was going to post a different recipe today, but I just finished baking and eating a quick cheese bread. The sweet, cheesy smell is still lingering in the air and I’m actually trying very hard to not go back for more, unlike some people…
Last month, I came across the BellaVitano range of cheeses by Sartori. They are a sweet, parmesan-cheddar hybrid with edible, flavoured rinds, and they are quickly becoming an obsession of mine.
There are seven or so cheese in the BellaVitano range, but I’ve only tasted three of them. The espresso features a smoky coffee rind, the balsamic is dipped in Modena balsamic vinegar, and the raspberry is soaked in New Glarus Raspberry Tart Ale.
I’m not sure I would ever cook with the espresso cheese, it’s just too tasty on its own. As is the raspberry, but I can also see this cheese becoming a star in certain recipes… that is, if I can ever get my hands on it again…
The Balsamic BellaVitano on the other hand is just perfect for adding to recipes you would usually use a mild cheddar for, and it brings with it a creamy, tangy sweetness that is just perfect for bread.
Yes, I acknowledge that there is a fair amount of sugar in this bread, and yes, the balsamic cheese is sweet as well, but I promise that it is not cloyingly sweet. But then again, it depends on what you plan to do with the bread.
So far this morning, I have served it hot with butter, warm with cream cheese and toasted, with additional slices of Balsamic BellaVitano and sliced tomato. As tasty and rich as it was toasted, it was beautiful with real butter.
I can imagine it being a great dipping bread for herbed oils or a balsamic vinegar and olive oil sauce. It would also be a great bread to serve with a nice, thick soup. But I believe it would be best as a bread served with a cheese board with fruit pastes, nuts and wine.
Quick Cheese Bread
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 cup Balsamic BellaVitano cheese* (shredded)
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- Butter for greasing
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- Lightly grease a 23cm x 13cm loaf tin with butter and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and thyme. Using a metal spatula, stir gently to mix.
- In a separate large bowl, add the egg, milk and vegetable oil and beat to combine.
- Add the cheese to the flour mixture, and than working very quickly, add all the dry ingredients into the egg and milk mixture.
- Stir with a metal spatula until just combined and moistened – do not over mix, and lumps are okay in this quick bread.
- Pour batter into the prepared loaf tin, tap the tin on counter to burst and trapped air and immediately place in the middle shelf of the preheated oven.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a metal skewer comes out clean and the bread is golden brown.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack slightly before attempting to cut into it.
Note: Feed the Piglet… has great advice and tips for baking quick breads, not to mention fantastic quick bread recipes.
* If are unable to find Balsamic BellaVitano cheese, or you don’t want to, a mild cheddar would work just as well in its place. Perhaps a few drops of balsamic vinegar added to the wet ingredients before mixing might create the same results… Let me know if you try this out.