the bake off bake along, week 3

week three in the bake off bake along is bread week! hooray, bread! but of course, i have to choose from between a quick bread, a baguette, and the show-stopper, an elaborate bread-sculpture. in keeping with staying far away from the show-stopper challenges, and i’m not a fan of baguettes (just not a sandwich kind of girl) left me with the quick bread.

immediately, i had an idea for my loaf that i had to run with. throughout my childhood, my mom would buy this cheddar jalapeño loaf at safeway and it was soooo good. mountains of cheddar, the spiciness of the


that left you wanting a tall glass of milk, i have loved that bread. i actually forgot to buy a loaf (do they still make it?) when i was home in washington this past summer so trying my hand at making a quick bread version of it seemed like the best idea.

now, this so far, was the least time-consuming and yet the trickiest of all of the bakes. i did find a sort of cheddar


quick bread recipe, but as the rules state, i am not to use a loaf pan, and i didn’t want to mix in my ingredients. really, this was going to be a different sort of beast. you see, traditionally, the cheddar and jalapeños sit on top of this loaf, but i didn’t think that would be impressive to paul and mary, so i wanted to fold in the ingredients near the top. we’ll see how that goes…

so i’ve got my ingredients here again. and yep, i am using scottish cheddar and

jalapeños together. kind of weird, huh? i mixed together my wet ingredients (yogurt in lieu of sour cream, two eggs, and oil, omitting sugar because why) then i mixed together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, one teaspoon each of baking soda and baking powder) then mixed them together.

the mix came out so sticky that i was feeling generally unsure about myself. after re-watching the quick bread portion of the most recent GBBO episode, i decided to add more flour as most of the contestants loaves were much drier than mine.

so, then i had a loaf. with no toppings mixed in it. in the spur of the moment, i just started laying out all of the toppings so it started to resemble a pizza (oh geez) before folding it all in, scoring the loaf, and topping it with the rest of the cheddar.

into the oven it went for about forty minutes at 150 C (fan oven). i’ve never felt more nervous for a bake since i was waiting for the crack to appear in my madeira! all of the bakers were right: the fact that this bread doesn’t rise before the bake is so unnerving!

although forty-five minutes was the absolute minimum on the recipe, i took it out five minutes sooner to test for doneness. when the knife (then fork, then other knife) all came out clean and the top was lightly browned, i called it good.

in the end it did NOT taste how i expected it to. don’t get me wrong, it tasted nice, but i didn’t expect it to be so moist and crumbly– no doubt from the yogurt and wet

jalapeños! i liked how the layering of the toppings inside from folding it turned out, and the

jalapeños were in a glom just like the original bread.

then i sent in alex to give it a shot.
“I really like it”.
can you tell me more?
“it’s moist, good flavor… i almost want to say that the consistency is more like a cake than a bread!”
uh-oh, you’re right. so if you bought this at a store and came back to try it, would you be pleased?
“oh, definitely!”

phew. he did point out something i never thought of… that it definitely was almost cake-like! it is so crumbly that it would probably be hard to spread butter on, but i do remember that paul wanted a crumbly cake, didn’t he? not quite like the more traditionally “bready” consistency of the loaf i’ve loved from my childhood, so i have to be honest and say i was just a might disappointed by such a moist, crumbly consistency, but that’s a quick bread for you, i suppose!

i leave you with my favorite moment from last week’s great british bake off episode…