For those of you who don’t know what a quick bread is, well, it’s just that – a quick bread! As opposed to slow bread, you could say, or a yeasted bread, which can take hours to prepare and bake.
A quick bread utilizes baking powder as leavening that lightens the bread as it bakes, as opposed to yeasted breads that utilize yeast.
Besides being quick, quick breads are extremely easy. You mix up ingredients much like you would muffins or pancakes, whether sweet or savory. You just have to respect the ratio of wet to dry ingredients. Think about it. A cookie dough is different from a cake batter for a reason.
Today I decided to make a savory quick bread using some leftover raclette that I had frozen after Christmas, and a few other goodies I gathered together. If you decide to make this bread, you can completely change up the ingredients to make this bread your own.
This kind of bread is also referred to in France as a cake salé, a savory “cake” made in a loaf pan.
Raclette Quick Bread
2 ounces jarred sun-dried tomatoes in oil, slightly drained and chopped
6 ounces pancetta, diced
2 tablespoons butter
16 ounces milk
8 ounces plain Greek yogurt or ricotta
1 teaspoon salt
Leftover pancetta and fat
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh herbs, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
10 ounces grated raclette or other semi-firm cheese
4 ounces of chopped olives
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cook the pancetta and butter together in a skillet over medium heat. A little browning is good. Let everything cool, and remember to save the fat in the skillet to use in the recipe. I actually discovered diced pancetta at my grocery store!
To a large mixing bowl, add the milk, eggs, yogurt and salt and whisk until smooth.
Add the pancetta and its fat, and the herbs. Stir until smooth. I used fresh parsley, rosemary, and oregano.
Using a spoon, gradually add the flour and baking powder and stir until the flour is almost combine with the wet ingredients.
Add the grated cheese and olives and fold them into the batter gently; do not over stir. And another discovery – pitted Castelvetrano olives! Thank you Amazon.
Divide the batter in between two greased 8 x 4″ loaf pans. Place the pans in the oven for 45 minutes.
To make sure they are cooked through, use a cake tester or long toothpick to check them. No doughy substance should be sticking to the tester. If there is, the breads need to be cooked for maybe five minutes longer. An alternative is to lower your oven to 325 degrees to help the breads cook in the middle. Sometimes it works to turn off the oven and let them sit for 10-15 minutes.
There should be a little rise along the middle of the bread, and it should also be firm to the touch.
Let the breads rest in the pans for about 30 minutes, and then remove them to cool completely.
Serve these breads as part of a buffet, or for an hors d’oeuvres platter.
They’re best warm or at room temperature. When the bread is warm it’s luscious and cheesy and flavorful.
Can you imagine serving this bread with a bowl of tomato soup?!
This bread would be great with smoked cheese, bits of chorizo, and chopped cilantro. Or, roasted red bell peppers, Gorgonzola, and basil. Get creative!
For a similar bread, click on Olive Cake for another delicious cake salé, pictured below.