A marvelous breakfast bread, and it toasts well too. Try a Savoury Ham & Cheese Loaf for next your weekend brunch.
Love a good savoury loaf, don’t you?! This recipe contains three eggs, so it’s almost like a quick bread brioche. I like it warm, with a bit of melted butter, but once fully cooled it slices and toasts so well you can use it as sandwich bread. The best cheese for this type of baking is a hard aged cheese, think: cheddar, smoked cheddar, or gruyere. Soft cheeses like a brie or havarti contain too much moisture, so they melt away to nothing.
Thinking I would lighten things up a bit, I used olive oil instead of butter in the original photos. But not entirely keen on the results. The residual olive taste was too fruity for my liking with this combination of flavours, so I’ve switched back to my old friend butter, and listed olive oil and an option in the recipe below.
Options are good. But that option maybe better for a more Mediterranean lean with sun dried tomatoes, feta and spinach. (This is dough that can go many ways.)
I’ve often made this recipe as an Upside-down Savoury Ham & Cheese Loaf with the ham and cheese loaded, or marbled, on the bottom. A little savory loaf twist. Try it for fun. Here’s how:
Separate half the ham and cheese, add half of each to the dough, once mixed as noted below. Put about a half inch layer of dough in the bottom of your prepared loaf pan, spread it out with a spatula or your finger tips. Layer remaining ham and cheese on top of the dough, add remaining dough on top and bake as directed. The result is a gooey, crispy ham and cheese-y bottom/marbled streak.
What to do with leftover ham? I got you… it’s Ham & Cheese Loaf time, Baby! This recipe contains three eggs, so it’s almost like a quick brioche. Wonderful warm, with a bit of melted butter, but once fully cooled it slices and toasts well too, so you can use it as sandwich bread.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup melted butter (optional: olive oil)
1 cup baked ham, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cups cheese (cheddar, smoked cheddar or Gruyere), cubed
Preheat oven to 350ºF (200°C). Coat pan well with non-stick spray, or liberally coat with butter. Whisk flour with baking powder, salt and pepper together in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl whisk eggs, milk and melted butter (or olive oil). Fold the wet ingredients into the dry with a spatula until barley mixed. Fold in ham and cheese in the same manner. Just three or four tuns of the spatula, being careful not to over mix.
Roll dough out of the bowl and into loaf pan, smooth the top with your spatula. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a cake test comes out clean, but crummy. Cool loaf in the pan for 5 minutes or so then, turn it onto the a wire to cool completely before slicing, cutting and consuming with glee.
The best cheese is a hard aged cheese, think: cheddar, smoked cheddar, or Gruyere, so check your fridge for what needs to be passed, and use it up.
Cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer, recipe blogger and Food Business Consultant. A Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn, ten years in catering, and has been sharing all things delicious - right here - since 2010.