Gruyere-Olive Quick Bread

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Bread, featuring my feet and the first new pair of jeans I’ve bought in three years.

I’ve recently had my culinary world rocked.  After fighting some nasty patches on my hands all winter long (which I thought were just dry patches), I discovered this spring that in fact I have Atopic Dermatitis, which is an autoimmune condition that is for simplicity sake a fancy way of saying eczema.  After doing lots of research (and trial and error), I’ve discovered that there are certain foods that in a “normal” person have no effect, but if you have an autoimmune condition can act as a trigger…i.e. leave me with itchy hands.  For me (and it is different for everyone) this group of foods include the nightshade vegetables (eggplant I can live without, but white potatoes and tomatoes have been slightly more challenging), nuts (which was really devastating at first),  sugar, and quinoa (which I’ve never actually really liked anyways).

BUT being (1) an athlete (2) a person who really likes to cook/eat and (3) a person who likes to socialize with other people, I’ve been working hard to make sure I (1) eat enough (2) still enjoy what I’m cooking/eating and (3) don’t force other people on this strict-ish diet and still go out to eat/potlucks.

As happens every year, the Osgood’s hosted a fabulous July Fourth potluck at their beautiful home in Putney, Vermont.  And to make absolute certain there was something I could eat (as it turns out potato salad is SUPER popular at fourth of July potlucks which makes since because it is delicious, and also tomatoes are SUPER popular which makes sense because red), I whipped up two loaves of this savory olive gruyere quick bread.

Some people with autoimmune conditions can’t handle gluten or dairy, and I’m happy to report that I am not one of these people (THANK GOODNESS).  This recipe was somewhat heavily modified from the New York Times cooking crew, and I paired it with a simple honey thyme butter spread. The whole thing came together in less than an hour, and I was so pleased with the results I’m making another batch today.

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One of my favorite things to do on cooking sites is read the comments/notes. The best are when people say things like, “I really didn’t like this bread, but I also don’t like olives so maybe that’s why.” So, if you don’t like olives, no this bread isn’t for you. If you do, then YES, this bread is for you.

It is key to use full fat greek yogurt in this recipe, as there are no other “fats”(the cheese doesn’t count) in the recipe.  Next time I might try adding some thyme or rosemary into the batter itself.  Further, don’t think of this as a traditional bread!  The batter is THICK, and could just as easily be turned into muffins (which I did) or scones (which I didn’t, but I’m sure would be delicious).  If you need a last minute potluck dish, side for dinner, or even just an excuse to put honey thyme butter on something, this quick bread is for you!

Gruyere Olive Quick Bread

Makes two loaves, adapted from the New York Times

The Stuff

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon high quality sea salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 cups full fat plain greek yogurt

2 eggs

2/3 cup whole milk

8 ounces gruyere cheese, shredded

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped

The How

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grease two 8 inch bread pans
  2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk the yogurt, eggs, and milk until uniform.  Fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined, and then mix in the olives and cheese.
  3. Separate equally among the two prepared bread pans, using a spatula to smooth the top.  Bake for 30-40 minutes, until nicely browned on top and a toothpick comes out clean.
  4. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least another 30 minutes before serving.

I haven’t tried, but I imagine this bread freezes quite well once cooked, especially if you go the muffin/scone route!

Honey Thyme Butter

Serves…well it depends on how much you like butter 🙂

The Stuff

8 tablespoons (one stick) high quality unsalted butter

2 tablespoons honey

1-2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme

1 teaspoon salt

The How

Warm butter to room temperature.  Stir in honey, thyme and salt until well combined.  Put in a little bowl (I used a leftover mustard jar) and put in fridge for 3 hours.  Make sure butter warms slightly to room temperature before spreading on anything and everything!

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dreamy!

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