Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Three Savory Quick Breads the French Way

Years ago a girl's rite of passage included the making toll house cookies and a quick bread or two. Since then I've made a ton of cookies, but quick breads, for whatever reason, fell victim to benign neglect. There was an occasional pumpkin or cranberry bread but most other recipes were tucked away for a someday that never came. Then came a challenge - a quick bread challenge. Now, if I tell you I know why folks climb mountains - they're there and the climbers aren't - you'll understand how I feel about a healthy challenge. I pulled six recipes from my files, put on an apron and went at it in a big way. Today's breads are French, sassy and come to the table with lots of attitude. They're gutsy and delicious, but - and it's a big but - I don't know when you'd actually serve them. I've been told they should be cubed and served on toothpicks as an appetizer or h'orderves. Maybe. The problem is, while quick, they're competing with other finger foods that are easier to prepare. That's my prejudice. I won't make them again, but I recommend that you give them a try. They are really very good and if you're looking for something with a wow factor these breads just might do the trick.

Walnut Bread

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2/3 cup whole milk
1 large egg
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2-inch loaf pan. Set aside.
2) Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
3) Place milk and egg in a large bowl. Add sugar. Whisk to combine. Stir in flour mixture and beat with a wooden spoon until ingredients are combined. Mix in walnuts. Turn into prepared pan.
4) Bake in center of oven until puffed and golden, about 45 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees; continue baking until cooked through, about 15 minutes longer.
5) Remove from oven. Let sit for 10 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap in plastic wrap and allow to age 24 hours before serving. Yield: 1 loaf.

Recipe adapted from the French Farm House Cookbook by Susan Herrmann Loomis

Olive Bread

1-1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 large roasted red pepper, coarsely chopped (from a jar is fine)
1 cup pitted Greek-style black olives, coarsely chopped
4 cups (loosely packed) then minced basil leaves
6 large eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Liberally grease and flour a 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2-inch loaf pan.
2) Sift flour, salt and baking powder together onto a piece of waxed paper. Set aside.
3) Place eggs in a large bowl; whisk. Add oil, basil and garlic; whisk until combined. Stir in flour; whisk until just combined. Add pepper and cheese. Fold in olives and roasted peppers. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake in center of oven until golden, about 45 minutes. Remove and cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 1 loaf.

Recipe courtesy of Susan Herrmann Loomis

Herb Bread

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup minced fresh thyme leaves

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease and flour a 1 quart bread pan. Set aside.
2) Place flour, baking powder salt, eggs, yogurt and mustard in bowl of a food processor. Blend thoroughly. Add cheese and herbs and process to blend.
3) Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in center of oven until firm and golden brown. Remove from oven. Let cool for 10 minutes. Turn onto a rack to cool to room temperature. Yield: 1 loaf.

Recipe courtesy of Patricia Wells

I'm sending these recipes to Mansi who is hosting this month's event at Fun and Food. BBD is a popular food-blog event that was started by Zorra of Kochtopf.


Donna-FFW said...

HMMM. If I had to pick one, Im thinking the herb bread would pair so well with soup!!

Unknown said...

oh my goodness, which one should I try, they all sound to tempting!
Happy Twirls,

Martha said...

I've made the walnut bread and thought it quite good. I agree with Donna-FFW, the herb bread might go well with soup. The olive bread . . . I agree with you! I've also made a pain d espices that was quite tasty.

Schnitzel and the Trout said...

You put in a lot of time getting these three beautiful loaves together. I have Susan Loomis' cookbook and have seen these recipes. You are right, when do you really put them into a meal or before meal treat?

Dewi said...

Unbelievable, not just one but all three love look gorgeous. I am they are very delicious as well mary.

Unknown said...


you are the best

Netts Nook said...

Mary: This is my weakness can't wait to try they look tasty.

Cathy said...

They certainly look good, Mary. I'm thinking about that olive bread with a big pat of butter. Oh dear, I would probably eat the whole thing.

Usha said...

All three of these breads looks so inviting ! My favorite one is the herb bread :-)

Allie said...

Wow that herb bread is calling my name!

NKP said...

I am so impressed that you did three! I love a study on a theme.
That olive bread is striking in all it's colours.
I have my peaches thawing for my BBD quickbread.. there's your hint! And no, it's not cake.
I think your quickbreads look wonderful - and as for where or when to serve them? I think brunch is a good time - with some nice whipped cream cheese and sliced cucumber, perhaps some smoked salmon...
Just let me know when to be there, I will make the bellinis!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Natashya, I loved your suggestions. Cream cheese would be great with the walnut bread. The other two might work with a cup of simple soup, but they are strongly flavored and will insist on a starring role. They'd overwhelm smoked salmon. As to the three, actually six, my "box" of untried recipes is growing again and this is my way of weeding out.

Anonymous said...

The olive bread has my mouth watering.

Mary Bergfeld said...

Cathy, the olive bread is good,but it can overpower other food. If you make it serve it with a simple soup.

Anonymous said...

If I had to choose one, I'll have to go with the walnut bread. So heavily studded!

Anonymous said...

awesome flavors!all of them... Love the Olive Bread!

Karen said...

Love that olive bread... it's so pretty and I bet it tastes out of this world!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Gals, all three of these breads are delicious and worth making. To reiterate....my problem is they are strongly flavored and I don't know what to serve them with. Ideas are welcome.

cikmanggis said...

I like breads!I must try your recipes...awesome,look very tasty

Mary Bergfeld said...

cikmanggis, thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you'll visit often.

La Bella Cooks said...

Oh wow, I would LOVE to try the olive bread! It looks mouthwatering and so savory.

Lori said...

I think they are great breakfast food. Kind of like a slice of a muffin. Thats when I would eat them. Oh and with tea in the afternoon with my Mom or something. They look real delicious Mary. I so need to make that savory one. My husband would just flip over it.

Allie said...

Oh, want. These look amazing.

Siri said...

Gorgeous- I've actually made the herb one before! Next on my list would be the walnut bread. You've got a lot of motivation to make all three at once!

Thanks for sharing,

Chats the Comfy Cook said...

It pays to search your blog. Just look what I found, not 1, not 2 but three recipes that my husband will love. Thank you so much.

I will like them too but I love cooking for him and he is more fussy than I am because he has celiac. All of these can be made gluten free without losing the good qualities.

SamJLinnane said...

That olive bread will make a gorgeous christmas party hors d'oeuvre as mini-muffins. How much oil goes in though? I've been looking for good savory quick breads for a long time, I think this will be perfect. I've been very much enjoying your blog!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Sam, thanks so much for catching my omission. I've added the olive oil to the ingredient list. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Mrs K said...

The bread round-up is brilliant,I had earlier read your post on the coconut bread,and I had no clue there were so many posts on so many more,honestly after seeing all these it is difficult to pick one or two,but I love the olive bread,it has all my favorite ingredients:)I wish I was your neighbor;)

Jill said...

Wow factor all over my mouth! LOVE the herb bread recipe. I altered the recipe to accommodate the ingredients I had on hand. Substituted white spelt flour (1 ¼ C) and included sundried tomatoes, dried thyme and fresh basil instead of other listed ingredients (I’m sure the recipe is brilliant as it stands—just didn’t have the ingredients on hand). Upped the cheese to approx 1C of Asiago. I had to stop myself from eating more than 2 pieces! I served it with a hearty Tuscan minestrone soup. My family LOVED it. And it was SO QUICK AND EASY! Thanks for the great recipe. Can’t wait to try the olive bread!

mtalley2tx said...

I made the herb bread today. It is so yummy. I will have to make some roasted tomato and red pepper soup for dinner. Thanks for the recipe. I blogged you over at www.somethinsouthern.blogspot.com. I will have to try the olive bread next. It is enticing! Monica

Maria said...

Maria, se ven tan deliciosos que los probaré...!Me encantan!!
Besos y mios mejores deseos para usted.

Anonymous said...

cheese fondue fest :-)

Cami said...

I just made the olive bread and it its to die for!!!!! I will use it as an appetizer bread with an antipasto. Thanks so much . I have been looking for an olive bread recipe for a while now.

Related Posts with Thumbnails