August 31, 2010

Savory Ham & Cheese Bread for a Late Summer Lunch {Naptime Everyday}

Ham and Cheese Bread

What’s Going on Today: Reminiscing about vacation in Cooperstown earlier this month. Organizing daughter’s fall wardrobe!
Naptime Goals: Start ironing labels into daughter’s clothes. Bake loaf of Savory Ham & Cheese Bread.
Tonight’s Menu: Savory Ham & Cheese Bread, Caprese Salad, White Wine.
Parenting Lesson of the Day: The fashion philosophy of a toddler: “More is more.”

Leave it to my Mom to introduce me to a new bread that I want to make, and eat, every single day for the rest of my life. As some of you might know, my mother is a total Francophile. She even went so far as to ask my daughter to call her Grandmere. It didn’t work – my daughter calls her something that might resemble an abbreviation – but she got her point across. There is no French lineage in the entire history of our family, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pretend.

Of course, the best way to pretend to be French is by eating the food. According to my Mom this savory ham and cheese bread would be the centerpiece of a French country lunch. A fresh loaf paired with a platter of fresh tomatoes and pitchers of citron presse, this would comprise a wonderfully simple summer meal. I don’t know if this is true or not, I’ve never stayed in France for more than five days at a time, but I’ll take her word for it. It certainly worked for me when we had lunch in Cooperstown.

Not only is this bread easy to bake during naptime, it really does make up the perfect snack or light summer meal. I love it’s dense chewy cheesiness studded with salty ham. I found that toasting it made it taste similar to a gourmet slice of grilled cheese. It’s pebbly texture is also very appealing, giving it a rustic quality befitting the style in which it should be enjoyed. I’ve seen breads similar to this in baskets at fancy restaurants, but I think I’ll think with eating it the French way. On the back porch, for lunch, with Mom.

Recipe

Savory Ham & Cheese Bread

adapted from The New York Times

Ingredients

1 ¾ c. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
¼ t. black pepper
3 large eggs
1/3 c. whole milk
1/3 c. olive oil
6 oz. baked ham, cut into ¼″ cubes
6 oz. Gruyere, coarsely grated

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a loaf pan generously with butter.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk flour with baking powder, salt and pepper.
  3. In a medium bowl lightly whisk the eggs, then whisk in the milk and olive oil.
  4. With a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just mixed. Fold in ham and cheese.
  5. Pour batter into loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a cake test comes out with a few crumbs attached.
  6. Cool loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then, turn it onto the rack and cool completely.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

This bread tastes best when served warm. I am always able to give my daughter a slice to try after she wakes up from her nap. It also keeps well in the fridge when wrapped tightly.

Naptime Stopwatch

Making the batter takes about 20 minutes. Baking time is 40-50 minutes.

Naptime Reviews

This is a hit with adults and children. My daughter still seems to pick the ham out of the bread sometimes, claiming she doesn’t like it, but eats it on other occasions. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

  • http://moderncomfortfood.com Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food

    Heavens this looks good! I have a French godmother who taught (or at least tried to teach) me a few dishes. I wish this had been one of them!

    • Anonymous

      This is a fun one Barbara, I hope you get a chance to try it!

  • http://lesliewienswineryadventures.wordpress.com/ Leslie

    I’ve never seen anything like this. It looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it. You can mix it up with different meats and cheeses. Yum!
    Cheers! Leslie

    • Anonymous

      Yes, definitely mix up the meat and cheese, it will be delicious!

  • Teriszoe

    Kelsey,

    This would be a great meal to make with the leftovers from Easter…Thank you!

    • Anonymous

      It is a great use for leftovers! Enjoy!

  • greatgma

    Every year I try to bake something different for Chistmas for friends.  Together with a couple of juicy apples makes the gift complete.  Thanks so much.

  • xng4555

    this is kind of old, but I initially thought it was cornbread. I wonder if it couldn’t be made that way?

    • KelseyTheNaptimeChef

      Hi! Perhaps – it is a great idea but it would require a bit of tweaking with adding cornmeal and cutting down on flour !