Savory bread with sun-dried tomatoes, herbs and cheddar [Vegetarian]

Jaymi's Notes:
It is a big treat to have savory, cheesy rolls or bread with lunch or dinner, and having a slice of this bread -- jam-packed with sweet sun-dried tomatoes, sharp cheddar and fragrant herbs -- is heaven.

I love that this recipe calls for hardly any sugar and an option to use olive oil instead of butter. I didn't have buttermilk and knew that I'd waste more than I'd use if I bought it, since I almost never use buttermilk. So I made my own substitution with 1% milk and some lemon juice. The bread mixed up really fast and filled the kitchen with an amazing smell while it baked.

For someone who isn't much of a baker (measuring cups and I don't get along very well and I prefer to do without them when I can, something that is impossible in baking) this is a very forgiving and simple recipe. And one that will add a lot of personality to the plate at dinner time. I think the next time I make this recipe I'll put dollops of the batter on a baking sheet and bake it as biscuits.

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© Jaymi Heimbuch

Kelly's Recipe:
My daughter made some fantastic cupcakes yesterday, so now I have an almost full litre of buttermilk sitting in my fridge. Too often buttermilk gets pushed to the back of the refrigerator shelf and quietly turns sour (well, more sour than usual), so today I was determined to find a use for at least some of it. I got this recipe from the website The Kitchn Apartment Therapy. The recipe is for basic buttermilk and then they give you ten variations to try. Some are sweet and involve fruits or nuts, and some are savoury like this cheese bread. Not only that, I had some sun-dried tomatoes left over from the spinach and chickpeas I made the other day, so a happy day all around.

This is such a great quick bread recipe for a lazy Sunday breakfast or brunch. It takes about ten minutes to assemble and then 45 minutes or so to bake. Have your coffee and read the paper while it bakes and then you have this really delicious loaf to have with some scrambled eggs. I had it, pictured here with some of my homemade asparagus pickles. The recipe gives you the option to use butter, olive oil, or vegetable oil and I went with the olive oil. It doesn't specify what kind of cheese to use, but I used cheddar. If you feel like something with a bit of heat, add a little cayenne pepper or a bit of hot pepper flakes to wake you up.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Herbed Sun-Dried Tomato and Cheese Bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 c. grated cheese
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
2 tbsp minced sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsalted butter, olive oil, or vegetable oil

1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease or spray with nonstick cooking spray a standard 9x5 loaf pan.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Melt the butter, if using. Whisk butter or oil in a separate bowl with the buttermilk and the egg.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

3. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients. Gently stir and fold the remaining ingredients until all the flour has been incorporated and a shaggy, wet batter is formed. Be careful not to over-mix.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and pat it into the corners. Bake for 45-50 minutes. When finished, the loaf should be domed and golden, and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing and slicing.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Wrap baked loaves tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. Baked loaves can also be wrapped in plastic and aluminum foil and frozen for up to three months.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

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