Cheese is a food that’s nutrition-packed, full of flavor and versatile. By checking out the local supermarkets, especially those that have a deli section, you can see that there’s multitudes of cheese to choose from, according to your personal taste. One of my favorite things to do with cheese is very simple: enjoy it with a cracker.
Throughout my years of baking, I’ve come across numerous recipes for cheese breads. The recipe I’m sharing is one that I’ve had for many years and it’s rather unique. “Walnut Cheddar Bread” is a quick bread, meaning there’s no yeast involved. It contains sharp Cheddar cheese, as well as dry mustard. Dry mustard is a spice that lends itself very well with cheese dishes. It also contains some Worchestershire sauce, which adds more flavor. It’s all bound together with buttermilk, which gives this bread a tender crumb. Walnuts add a flavorful crunch, also.
When making a quick bread like this one, there are a few rules to follow to ensure success. Since no yeast is used in the bread, it gets its rising power from baking powder and baking soda. Therefore, one cardinal rule about working with this type of bread is not to overmix the batter. As with any quick bread, the dry ingredients are combined separately from the liquid ingredients. Then, they are combined and mixed ONLY until the flour is dampened and no more. Continued mixing would cause the finished bread to have tunnels throughout its texture and have a heavy consistency.
This bread smells great while it’s baking and it makes great toast. The slices are too small for the conventional toaster but of course, you can lay the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast them under the broiler. I like to butter this bread before toasting to add additional flavor. This bread will go very well with any soup or stew.
A while back, I shared another quick bread that reminds me a lot of gingerbread, for “Quick Bran Bread.” Here’s the link in case you didn’t get it the first time:
If you’re a fan of cheese, then you’re sure to enjoy this flavorful, nutty bread!
WALNUT CHEDDAR BREAD
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon EACH dry mustard and baking soda
Dash of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
1 egg (at room temperature)
1 cup buttermilk (at room temperature)
Grease and flour a 8-1/2 x 4 -1/2 inch loaf pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (if using a glass baking dish, set the oven at 325 degrees.)
In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. With a pastry blender or your fingertips, work in the shortening until it has a coarse texture. Stir in the grated cheese and the walnuts. In a separate bowl, beat together the Worchestershire sauce, egg and buttermilk. Stir this into the flour mixture until flour is dampened, but no more. Turn immediately into prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake for about 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean and dry. Remove bread from the oven and immediately turn out onto a cooling rack to cool before slicing. (If not completely eaten within two days, wrap the remaining bread and refrigerate.) Yield: 1 loaf.