French Friday’s with Dorie –
This cheese and olive bread inspires my haiku today:Indifferent Breads My recipe Deja vu We’ve been there , done that The French can have them I find them way too filling But the French don’t get fat Eat the bread and wine Do you know what you have done? Spoiled your dinner. Quite delicious though Do learn a basic version and then go to town.
Its not that I don’t like savory quick bread loaves. I do. And knowing they are chic and French elevates them in my mind. Truth is I may just like them too much. I generally try to avoid appetizers that threaten to steal the attention from the main course — eating a loaf of bread before dinner tends to do just that, doesn’t it?
Yeah, give me a glass or two of wine and a few slices of bread and why even bother with dinner? Tonight I had big plans to stage French Friday’s with Dorie assignment with another of Dorie’s favorite, asparagus and poached eggs , but guess who lost all motivation after eating just one slice?
Figures. I should know better.
“Back of the Card” Cheese and Olive Bread
Even still I suppose it is a good thing to have a ‘base recipe’ for quick breads at hand in case you ever want to make one. It might as well be this. The texture and consistency here is as good as you can hope for and you can substitute just about anything (but keep proportions) to turn any languishing food scraps in your fridge into a savory loaf any Parisian would nosh on with a glass of wine or Calvados.
Here I stuck close to the recipe as printed and I wouldn’t change a thing — except to say that the lemon zest is NOT optional and I was very happy to have added a heavy pinch of black pepper which the original recipe did not include for some reason. Any future graze through my refrigerator will surely turn out something tasty the next time I get the urge to spoil my dinner with this appetizer. I’ll try pesto and peas next but I’m also eyeing the sun-dried tomatoes, parmesan rinds, pine nuts, tuna, white beans, and the lone carrot pushed to the back shelf.
Original recipe can be found here .
This is what you will need:
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup milk
- 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons store bought tapenade - I used Trader Joes
- 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere and cheddar
- 2/3 cup oil-cured pitted black olives, halved or coarsely chopped
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
This is how you make it:
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Oil or butter a 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch loaf pan, one that holds 6 cups (nonstick is nice here).
- Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. In another bowl or a measuring cup, lightly beat the eggs and whisk in the milk, olive oil and tapenade. Pour the liquid ingredients over the flour mixture and stir gently to blend. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the cheese, olives and grated zest, if you’re using it. Scrape the batter into the pan.
- Bake the loaf for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375 degrees F. Continue to bake the loaf for another 35 minutes or so, until it’s puffed, beautifully golden and a slender knife inserted deep into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack, let it rest about 5 minutes, then turn it out. Allow the loaf to remain on the rack, right side up, until it comes to room temperature.
[Note: The wine used in this photo shoot comes from Stein Family Wines out in Napa, California. What makes them a great winery (in addition to their great wine of course) is their social-conscious leadership. Stein Family allocates 5% of every sale toward funding education scholarships and other support measures for the children of their vineyard workers. How great is that? Doing that even better they donate $1 of each bottle of their “ Same Sex Meritage ” (a blended Bordeaux-style red) to the Freedom To Marry coalition. Why do they do this? Because Matt Gold and Josh Stein believe that all US citizens should be free to marry the person they love and enjoy an awesome red table wine. Naturally I had to buy a few bottles! (And no, this is not a sponsored post! Head on over to their website to purchase a few of your own. They will make great host gifts should you be lucky enough to be invited to a dinner gathering at a gay couple’s house! Thanks for doing this guys! The wine is awesome!)