I can’t decide if I like this Cheddar Bread with Bacon and Sage best as the base for savory appetizers such as spicy sauteed shrimp or as a lazy Sunday morning treat to savor with butter and jam.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 slice thick cut bacon (sliced crosswise into ½‑inch strips)
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 ounce English white cheddar cheese (cut into ½‑inch dice)
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup whole milk (plus more if needed)
- 1 tablespoon losely packed minced fresh sage leaves
Set the oven rack in the center position and preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a 3 cup loaf pan or ovenproof terrine mold. Line with parchment overhanging both long sides by about 2 inches. Grease the parchment and set aside.
Place the oil and bacon into a 10 to 12-inch cast iron or heavy bottom non-stick skillet, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until crisp on the edges but still chewy, about 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne. Add cheese, bacon, egg, milk, and sage; stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. You may need up to an additional 2 tablespoons milk to achieve a consistency that remains thick but falls from the spoon when tested.
Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. It should come to the rim for best browning. Tap the pan a few times flatly on the counter to release any trapped air.
Bake until slightly puffed and golden brown on top, about 30 minutes depending on size and shape of pan. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out very clean and nearly dry.
Remove the bread from pan and allow it to cool at least 30 minutes before slicing.
Serve alone, with butter or jam, or as the base for a savory appetizer. I suggest spicy, sauteed shrimp (see recipe here: http://www.sippitysup.com/recipe/spicy-sauteed-shrimp/)