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Cheddar & Herb Savory Quick Bread (Irish Soda Bread)

a round loaf of cheese herb bread in a cast iron pan

I don't always have time to make fresh yeasty bread or rolls to go with dinner, so the thought of a quick cheesy, herby loaf that could be thrown together in a few minutes and baked just prior to dinner time seemed like a winner to me.  I made Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick's Day and knew that with a few added ingredients, I could make a loaf that would taste delicious and be perfect alongside soup, salad or a main dish.  This Cheddar and Herb Quick Bread, (a take off of Irish Soda bread), has taken a while to get just right - but it is exactly what I was looking for!

Let me first say that I am in love with white sharp cheddar cheese.  The creaminess, the sharpness, the tang - it's the PERFECT addition to this bread and with the chives, dill and fresh parsley - it's just so yummy!  This bread is in no way dry or tasteless - this is a moist, tender, beautiful quick bread loaded with cheese and herbs which literally melts in your mouth and calls to you from the kitchen counter - slap a little butter on this bread and it can be my meal any day.  

A couple of tips for this recipe- 

  • If you don't have buttermilk, pour 1 Tbsp of lemon juice or white vinegar in the bottom of your liquid measuring cup and fill with milk to make 1 cup total.  Let that sit for 5 minutes and it's a great substitute.
  • You can use regular sharp cheddar cheese instead of the white, but don't use the pre-shredded packages.  Grating your own cheese always works better in recipes.  
  • If you don't have fresh parsley, just substitute a Tbsp of dried parsley.  
  • You can absolutely switch out the herbs in this bread for different herbs that you might have on hand.  Basil, sage, oregano - play with it and make it your own!
  • I have tried cooking this in different pans and the best result came from the cast iron skillet - but if you don't have a skillet, you could use a 9" round cake pan or a Dutch oven without the lid.
Here's how you make it!

  • 2-3/4 cups AP flour 
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried chives
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 6 oz shredded white sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup melted butter - slightly cooled
  1. Preheat oven to 375.  Line a cast iron skillet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and pepper.  
  3. Mix in the parsley, chives, dill and cheese with a fork until it's well combined and nothing is clumped together.  
  4. In a separate bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg and cooled 1/4 cup melted butter.
  5. Make a well in your dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in the center.  
  6. Use your fork to mix until the ingredients start to combine, (dough will be shaggy).  Then use your hands or a spatula to finish mixing and bring it together in to a ball.   
  7. Empty the dough on to the middle of the skillet lined with parchment paper and gently re-form in to a ball - don't push out to the sides - it will rise and spread in the oven.  
  8. Make an "X" in the top of the dough with a serrated knife.  
  9. Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes, or until it's golden brown and cooked through. (I usually do the full 45 - you can test doneness with a toothpick.)
  10. Remove the loaf from the cast iron skillet using the parchment paper and place it on a cooling rack.  Let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
  11. Serve with butter!
cheese herb bread with butter on parchment paper

cheese and herb bread in a cast iron pan


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