Monday, September 5, 2011

Brethren Cheddar Bread Recipe

This bread is from the Hancock Shaker Village in Massachusetts. During the Civil War the Shakers built their communities in New England. These good people shunned all embellishment, produced their own furniture and practiced complete celibacy (very few of us are left). This makes four loaves.

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 T. sugar
3 t. baking powder
1-1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 cups coarsely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 T. minced fresh dill or 1 t. dried dill weed
2 eggs lightly beaten
2 cups milk

V.S.P. Sift together in a large bowl the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly - about the texture of uncooked oatmeal. Stir in the shredded cheese and the dill.

Combine the eggs and milk, then add to the dry ingredients all at once, stirring just enough to moisten the dry ingredients uniformly. Divide batter among four very well greased loaf pans and bake in a 400 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until loaves are nicely browned and sound hollow when thumped. Cool loaves upright on wire racks for 10 minutes, then invert and remove from pans. Slice fairly thick and serve.

These loaves freeze well. Simply wrap snuggly in aluminum foil and place in freezer. Bring to room temperature before slicing.

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