Friday, April 24, 2015

Cheese bread with field garlic

Picnic in the rain

When I was little my mother baked a rustic, cheesy loaf I loved (especially toasted, smeared with love-it-or-hate-it Marmite).

I wanted a transportable treat for the attendees of my Inwood Field Garlic Walk, and this recipe has delivered a walk staple.

Garlic mustard and field garlic

We top the slices with field garlic butter or a garlic mustard pesto. 

Garlic mustard pesto

Because the loaf uses baking powder, not yeast, for leavening, it is best eaten fresh, within 24 hours. But later it is superb toast. It is still excellent with Marmite.

In a nod to our South African campsite baking adventures, I added beer, and of course you can substitute your favorite cheese.

Cheese Bread with Field Garlic

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Black pepper
2 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or field garlic oil
1/2 cup beer, plus a little extra
3 oz coarsely grated Gruyère
2 oz cheddar, grated, grated or cut into very small cubes
1/2 cup finely-snipped fresh field garlic greens (or chives)
Coarse salt to sprinkle on the top of the loaf

Variation: instead of the field garlic or chives, use 1 Tbsp of ground sumac, and substitute cider for the beer.

Preheat the oven 350'F/180'C. Butter or oil an 8.5" long loaf pan (or muffin trays, if you'd like individual servings. They will bake much faster).

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the beaten eggs, milk, olive oil and the beer. Stir gently till well mixed. Add the cheeses and field garlic or chives and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. The mixture should be quite stiff, but if it is too dry to turn easily with the spoon, add another slug or two of beer or milk. Do not overmix.

Pour the bread mixture into the prepared pan,  making a shallow hollow down the middle of the batter with a wooden spoon, lengthwise. Sprinkle the top lightly with coarse salt (or sumac).

Bake for 50 - 60 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and gently tip the loaf from its pan. Place on a cooling rack.

Cheese and field garlic bread with field garlic butter



  1. Oh, this looks so delicious, I will definitely try it. I have a recipe for a Zucchini, Feta & Thyme loaf that is also made with baking powder. It's delicious toasted with a lovely bowl of soup & a salad. If you're interested in the recipe, please let me know & I'll forward it to you.

  2. I have lots of chives in my garden, and now I know what to do with them in early summer, after they flower.

  3. This cheese bread looks homey and cheerful and hard to resist. I will surely try it. Thank you for the recipe.

  4. Interesting - I thought for sure this would be a yeasted bread! May attempt it sometime with GF flour. Wish I could join your walk...

  5. I have some garlic chives that would work perfectly with this!


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