She’s had a long bittersweet affair with the rain. She stared out the window, her chin on the windowsill padded by a book, taking in the smells of the earth. A chill went up her spine with the forceful drumming of rain falling hard and sudden on the tin roof. She was suddenly hungry. Something savory. It came in a flash. The idea of cheese, ham, bacon, and olive baked into a loaf of bread was irresistible from taking shape.
Flour to be sifted. A quick whisk of egg and milk. Bacon-ham-cheese in the mix. It’s a breeze. Nothing quite like the smell and taste of freshly baked bread. Serve warm, right out of the oven with a dollop of butter and cream cheese, and take yourself to a fuzzy and warm place.
- 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2¾ teaspoons baking powder
- teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup whole milk
- 6½ tablespoons olive oil
- 11/2 tablespoons ham, chopped into tiny bits
- 11/2 tablespoons bacon, cooked and chopped into tiny bits
- 11/2 Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 1½ cups)
- ⅔ cup pitted black olives, sliced into rings
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease a 8½-x-4½-inch loaf tin.
- In a large bowl whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together and make a well in the center.
- In another bowl lightly beat the eggs, then whisk in the milk, olive oil, and ham.
- Pour the egg mixture over the flour mixture and stir gently to blend.
- Fold in the cheese, ham, bacon and olives.
- Bake the loaf for 10 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 375F and continue to bake the loaf for approximately 35 minutes, until it’s puffed and golden, or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let it rest for 5 minutes, then turn it out.
- Let cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm with a dollop or butter.