Remember those classic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups commercials where the girl and the guy are both dancing their way down the street listening to their respective walkmans until they collide, mixing up his peanut butter and her chocolate?
Well, that’s sort of what happened here, when the two cookbooks with which I am currently in love collided. “Hey! You got multigrain on my cake salé!”
According to Dorie Greenspan, Cake salé is a French savory cake, or more accurately a quick bread. I had marked her recipe for Savory Cheese and Chive Bread in my copy of Around My French Table (along with about twenty other recipes!) and meant to try it at the earliest opportunity. And then, when I was assembling a crock pot full of chili for Superbowl Sunday, it occurred to me that cheesy, oniony bread would be the perfect accompaniment. However, I generally prefer whole grain breads, and it just so happened that I had a jar of multigrain flour mix handy, the recipe for which came from Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain. Hmm!
The offspring of this collision was all that I could have hoped for.
I had a chunk of gruyere in the fridge, so I used that. Its delightful tasty stretchiness worked perfectly in this bread, although I’m sure cheddar or just about any hard, meltable cheese would also be a success.
I considered calculating the exact quantities of wheat, oat, barley, millet, and rye flours in the multigrain flour mix for this recipe, but frankly, why do the math? I recommend that you simply stir up a batch of the multigrain flour mix, or a half batch if you prefer, and measure out the 1 ¾ cups needed for this recipe. Save the dividend for pancakes, popovers, muffins, or whatever you bake next.
The use of the multigrain flour in this bread did not result in a heavy or dense loaf, but rather one that was somehow at once light and still substantial, with a bit of crunch in the top, a vein of chewy cheesiness, and the mildly nutty flavor allowed plenty of room for the bright notes of salt and green onion to shine through.
It was good straight out of the oven and barely cool enough to handle. We ate slice after slice, with steaming bowls of chili. It was really good alongside my scrambled egg on Monday morning, lightly toasted and slathered with butter. And it was still excellent Monday evening as a pre-dinner nibble. Then it was all gone.
This bread is best when you can share it, as is true of most homemade breads, and most food for that matter. If you bake a loaf while you are all alone in the house, you may find that you can’t stop eating until it’s all gone. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Cheesy Multigrain Bread
- 1 3/4 cups multigrain flour mix
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup coarsely gruyere cheese
- 2 ounces gruyere cheese, cut into very small cubes
- 1/2 cup minced green onions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a loaf pan.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl.
Whisk eggs in a medium bowl for about 1 minute, until foamy and blended. Whisk in the milk and olive oil.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and gently mix just until the dough comes together. Stir in the cheese and onions. Turn the dough into the buttered pan and smooth the top with the back of your spoon.
Bake in center of oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the bread is golden and a slender knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack. After about 3 minutes, run a knife around the edges of the pan and turn out the loaf. Invert and cool.