Red, green and gold: the colors of Christmas. And what nicer way to show the colors than in a tasty loaf of bread? This easy-to-make baking powder bread goes from start to finish in under an hour. It's a wonderful breakfast bread, served with eggs.
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup fresh-grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar, mozzarella, or the cheese of your choice
4 tablespoons softened butter
4 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk or half-and-half
3 large garlic cloves, crushed, optional
1/2 cup finely chopped scallion tops or chives, lightly packed; or green bell peppers
1/2 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, lightly packed; or diced red bell peppers, or diced pimientos
1 teaspoon pizza seasoning, optional
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan or a 9-inch round casserole.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, cheeses, and softened butter, until well combined and crumbly.
Mix in the garlic, scallion tops, and sun-dried tomatoes.
Whisk together the eggs and milk (or half-and-half). Set aside 1 tablespoon of the mixture, to brush on the top of the loaf.
Add the remaining egg mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring just until everything is thoroughly moistened.
Turn the stiff batter into the prepared pan. Using your wet fingers, smooth it to the edges of the pan. Make it slightly concave, so the edges are slightly higher than the center.
Brush the top of the loaf with the reserved egg mixture. Sprinkle with pizza seasoning, if desired.
Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes, until it's a light golden brown on top, and a cake tester or wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf will register 150 degrees F to 155 degrees F.
Remove the loaf from the oven, and run a heatproof spatula or table knife around the edge of the pan, to loosen the sides. Turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.
Serve the bread warm, toasted, or at room temperature.
Hands-on time: 15 to 20 min | Baking time: 35 to 40 min Total time: 45 to 55 min | Yield: 1 round loaf, about 12 to 16 servings
Recipe and photo credit: King Arthur Flour - kingarthurflour.com