What nicer way to display the red, green and gold colours of Xmas than in a tasty loaf of bread. This easy-to-make baking powder bread goes from start to finish in under an hour. The sun-dried tomatoes and finely chopped spring onions sprinkled throughout give it a festive appearance, making it perfect on the Xmas table.
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup shredded tasty cheddar, mozzarella, or the cheese of your choice
- ¼ cup softened butter
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup whole milk
- 3 large cloves garlic, crushed (optional)
- ½ cup finely chopped spring onion tops or chives, lightly packed; or green capsicums (bell peppers)
- ½ cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, lightly packed; or diced red capsicums (bell peppers), or diced pimientos
- 1 teaspoon pizza seasoning, optional
- Preheat the oven to 175°C. Grease a 23cm round cake pan, or 23cm round casserole dish.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, cheeses, and softened butter, until well combined and crumbly.
- Mix in the garlic, spring onion tops, and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Whisk together the eggs and milk. Set aside ¾ 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 is a light golden brown on top, and a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- 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.