But before the yeast craze, I was trying my hand at quick bread in hopes to avoid having to work with yeast. (Little did I know what I was missing!) Most were unimpressive. Dry. Heavy. Just yuck. Then I stumbled upon this recipe. Still like a quick bread but with a little yeast to give it rise and lighten it up. For some reason, it seemed less intimidating to me than most yeast breads. Like a gateway yeast bread. . . . Alright, I'm done now.
Anyway, this bread was awesome. Light and airy from the yeast, cheesy from the cheddar and slightly grainy from the grits. Like a more bread-y version of cornbread. Maybe that doesn't sound like a good description but it was delish!
1 cup milk
6 tablespoons quick cooking grits
1 teaspoon salt
5 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese (I just grated a big ol' pile and threw it in because, in my opinion, you can never have too much cheese!)
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 (1/4 oz) packet yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp if you buy yeast in jars)
2 1/2 cups bread flour (I used all-purpose and it was fine)
Bring milk to a boil over medium heat; stir in grits and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add salt and cheese, stirring until cheese is melted. Let stand for 25 minutes to cool, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, combine water, sugar, and yeast in a mixing bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Add grits mixture beating until well blended.
Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, beating until blended after each addition. Dough will be slightly sticky. Shape into a ball and place into a well-greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch dough down and shape into a loaf. Place in lightly greased 9 x 5 loaf pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until golden. Let bread cool on wire racks for 10 minutes before removing.
Note: Like I said above, this was my first real foray into bread-making with yeast and it was a huge success. This is a very forgiving recipe and easy for beginners. The flavor of this bread was wonderful and the texture was spot on. I served it sliced with butter and I think it would be great for brunches or even as an accompaniment to one of my favorite kinds of meals: breakfast for dinner!