Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese

I promised to balance out all that healthy stuff I brought you on Monday, didn’t I?

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

Well, let me tell you, this Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese truly delivers. We are, after all, in the season of comfort food (and Super Bowl Sunday!) so there’s no time like the present to indulge just a little bit. Plus, we’ve got to bake allllll of the things before the weather once again gets too warm for us to even think about turning on the oven.


As I was dreaming up this recipe, I originally thought I’d just make my loaded cornbread in a classic glass baking dish and serve it up in thick, hearty squares. But then, as I was putting away dishes and reorganizing all of my pots and pans, my eyes fell upon my extremely neglected cast iron skillet and I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to give it some lovin’.

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

The last time I used my trusty Lodge cast iron skillet for a recipe on this site was way back in April of last year, when I brought you this incredibly delicious (and still a reader favorite) Greek Skillet. It turned out so well, and has continued to serve me well in times of easy, healthy dinner needs, that I’m not sure what has taken me so long to break the skillet out again and put it to good use. Now that I’ve done it, I’m eager to start trying even more cast iron skillet recipes in the very near future…Do you have any suggestions of recipes I should try??

Not only is this Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese incredibly decadent and drool-worthy, it’s also soooo easy to make. Yes, the batter is made from scratch, but I kid you not when I say it comes together in less than 15 minutes flat. With only 20 minutes of baking time, the cornbread would be a welcome addition to an easy weeknight dinner. I’m thinking it would be the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of Warming Minestrone Soup or a big Winter Kale Salad.

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

Oh, and did I mention we grease the pan with bacon fat? I know, I know, it sounds indulgent, but I’m really just jumping on the “no waste” cooking trend that’s predicted to be a huge trend in the world of food in 2017. I don’t know about you, but the hubs and I have a huge Mason jar full of bacon grease leftover from our weekend breakfasts, and prefer to put it to tasty use as opposed to having to discard of it in an old tomato sauce can. That being said, if it sounds just a bit TOO indulgent for you, you could always use butter (just know that you’ll be missing out on some delicious bacon-y flavor in this already indulgent dish!)

The only prep that you’ll need to do in preparation for this deliciousness is to cook up some Italian sausage, grate some cheddar cheese and slice some green onions. Once that’s all done, the batter will come together in no time flat, while your cast iron skillet is busy warming up (and getting seasoned with bacon grease) in the preheating oven.

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

If you’re looking for an easy dish that will “wow” your guests for Super Bowl Sunday, this Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese is your answer. It might as well be deemed a “meal” with all of that protein from the sausage and cheese, and there’s even some “green stuff” hanging out in there. I might also add that it’s incredibly tasty with a little drizzle of honey over top, or if you REALLY want to be indulgent, slather on some creamy, high-quality butter.

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

So now you have a healthy dish and this indulgent dish for your football-noshing pleasure this weekend. How about on Friday I bring you a cocktail??

Happy humpday friends!

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

Cornbread gets a delicious makeover when it's loaded with sausage, green onions and shredded cheddar cheese and cooked in a seasoned cast iron skillet.

Course: Side Dish
Servings: 8 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 6-7 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (about 2 links)
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 large green onion, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups grated cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place bacon grease in a 12-inch cast iron skillet and place in oven as it is preheating. 

  2. In a small nonstick skillet, brown the sausage, then set aside. 

  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. 

  4. Add the buttermilk, eggs and butter to the same mixing bowl and whisk until combined. 

  5. Stir in the cooked sausage, green onions and cheddar cheese. 

  6. Using potholder, remove the cast iron skillet from the oven. Pour in the batter and then return to the oven for 20 minutes. Remove when a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly before serving.

Recipe Notes

This recipe should also work fine if you only have a 9-inch cast iron skillet. The bread will turn out a little thicker, so you will probably need to increase the baking time 5-10 minutes.

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka

A classic Thanksgiving dish – reinvented!

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’m not lying when I say I have literally been dreaming of this dish since Thanksgiving of last year. It came to me a bit too late in the game to make it happen for 2015, but you can bet I’ve kept it at the top of my list for Thanksgiving 2016. Ladies and gents, today we’re talking about sweet potato casserole – in babka form!


We all know that (thanks to my dad) I’ve been experimenting a bit with different cinnamon roll flavors. I made these Pumpkin Praline Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting for the #virtualpumpkinparty last month, and I have to admit the results boosted my confidence in making goody-filled yeast breads. I also stumbled upon this great base recipe for Sweet Potato PIE Babka from A Brown Table. I knew it would serve as a great starting point for me, with just a few of my own twists. My dreams of making a Sweet Potato Casserole Babka finally seemed within reach!

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka | CaliGirlCooking.com

So let’s talk about these ingredients. They’re literally EVERYTHING you would find in the classic sweet potato casserole. We’re talking sweet potatoes (duh), pecans, brown sugar, even marshmallow fluff. Pureed sweet potatoes are both kneaded into the dough and mixed with brown sugar and almond flour as part of the sweet, gooey, crunchy filling.

The pecans and marshmallow fluff are also key players in the filling, and give the bread the perfect balance of sweet and savory.

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka | CaliGirlCooking.com

As if that weren’t enough, we sprinkle another healthy dose of brown sugar on top of the bread right before baking, which will melt into the most delicious sweet, crackly topping, the proverbial “icing on the cake.”

Now, I’m going to be completely upfront and honest that this Sweet Potato Casserole Babka is NOT a quick and easy recipe. It takes some time, but with careful planning you can totally do it. I believe in you! It’s also worth pointing out that I can almost 100% guarantee that your dough will not turn out perfectly – the filling in mine was oozing out of every possible seam and I was barely able to get it into the loaf pan in one piece.

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka | CaliGirlCooking.com

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka | CaliGirlCooking.com

But have patience my friends. This recipe is very forgiving and, in some ways, the messier, the better. The more of that marshmallow fluff-brown sugar-sweet potato-pecan filling that seeps out of the sides, the more delicious, sweet, crunchiness you’ll have in every single bite of your Sweet Potato Babka Casserole. Have no fear if it gets a little messy, it will all turn out in the end.

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka | CaliGirlCooking.com

I also love that this recipe yields two loaves. The hubs and I dug right into the first loaf, and were not shy about spreading a hefty glob of Copycat Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Cream Cheese over each slice. We popped the other loaf right into the freezer, and plan on sharing it with our family over the holiday weekend. Gotta love freezer-friendly baked goods when the crazy holiday season rolls around!

I’m going to keep it fairly short and sweet today. I have some packing and organizing to do in preparation for a quick little jaunt I’m taking to Napa over the next couple of days. Be sure to follow along on Instagram stories for all of our fun adventures.

And be sure to plan to have this Sweet Potato Casserole Babka ready for breakfast, lunch or dinner over Thanksgiving weekend!

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka | CaliGirlCooking.com

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka | 22 Totally Achievable Thanksgiving Recipes on CaliGirlCooking.com
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Sweet Potato Casserole Babka

All of the flavors from the classic Thanksgiving side dish come together in this delicious yeast bread recipe - marshmallow, brown sugar and pecans galore!

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 loaves
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 cups sweet potato puree (divided) Roast about 2 sweet potatoes in a 350 degree oven for 45-60 minutes (until soft) then peel off skin and puree in food processor.
  • 1 egg yolk at room temperature
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt divided
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole milk at 110 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter cubed, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans toasted
  • 7 ounce jar marshmallow fluff
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup of the sweet potato puree, the white of one of the eggs, 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla, almond flour, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Use an immersion blender to mix well. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.

  2. In another medium bowl, combine the two egg yolks, the other cup of the sweet potato puree, another 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and milk. Whisk until well blended and set aside.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 3 cups of flour, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and yeast.  Add milk/sweet potato mixture and mix at medium speed using dough hook, about 3 minutes. Slowly add in the butter, a little at a time, while the dough hook is still going. Stop once the dough seems fairly well combined, of not a little sticky.

  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and slowly add more flour until you can easily form it into a ball.

  5. Place dough in a medium mixing bowl coated with cooking spray. Spray the top of the dough as well. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.

  6. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. After just 5 minutes of preheating, turn off the oven and place the covered bowl with the dough in it inside. Let rise in oven for one hour. After one hour, remove the bowl from the oven and continue to let rise for another hour.

  7. Divide the risen dough into two pieces. Roll the first piece into a 10" x 18" rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Use more flour as needed (practicing some restraint) in order to be able to roll the dough out with a rolling pin without it sticking. 

  8. Spread 1/2 of the marshmallow fluff all over the rectangle, like you would spread tomato sauce on a pizza. Next, spread on half of the sweet potato spread you had chilling in the refrigerator (save for a couple of tablespoons,) and then sprinkle on half of the chopped pecans.

  9. Starting at the short end of the rectangle, roll the dough into a cylinder, much like you would for cinnamon rolls. Pinch the seams of the dough together as much as possible. 

  10. Spread the couple of tablespoons of sweet potato spread that you saved over the top of the cylinder. Then, gently pull up the sides and pinch together at the top of the cylinder, to encase this additional filling. This is where it might get messy, but that's okay.

  11. Cut the cylinder in half vertically, then gently braid the two smaller cylinders together. Place in a 9x5-inch loaf pan coated liberally with cooking spray.

  12. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then repeat the entire process with the other half of the dough.

  13. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining egg and 1 tablespoon of water to make the egg wash. Using a brush, spread liberally over the tops of each loaf. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of brown sugar over the tops of each loaf at this time as well.

  14. Place loaves in 350 degree oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until the brown sugar top has become nice and golden. Let cool completely before turning out of the pan.

Recipe Notes

This recipe was adapted from A Brown Table's Sweet Potato Pie Babka.

Sweet Potato Casserole Babka | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

This is going to be the best Thanksgiving breakfast ever!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pull-Apart Bread

We’re taking this week by the horns, and this Peanut Butter & Jelly Pull-Apart Bread is going to help us do it.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pull-Apart Bread | CaliGirl Cooking

There’s nothing like conquering a delicious bread recipe to give you some motivation and an extra boost of confidence (when it turns out well, that is.) Not considering myself an “experienced” bread baker, I have to admit that I had my doubts about this recipe throughout the ENTIRE baking process. I powered through and told myself to keep going even when the gumminess of the dough was making my stand mixer overheat. Thankfully the amount of butter in this recipe loosened things up nicely and the result was a rich, moist dough laced with creamy peanut butter and jelly.


But first, how was everyone’s weekend? We had a great couple of days with my folks, going out to eat at some tasty Santa Barbara restaurants and hitting up the Paul Simon concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl last night. It was a triple date with my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and Chris and I (the first time we had ever done such a thing) and it was a blast! The Santa Barbara Bowl is an out-of-this world outdoor concert venue and if you’re ever in the area between the months of April and October (“Bowl Season”) I highly recommend you get a ticket to whoever happens to be playing while you’re here, it is so worth it!

Anyhow, I digress. Back to this Peanut Butter & Jelly Pull-Apart Bread. This was a bit of a nostalgic recipe for me to create. I came up with the idea based off of this Pull-Apart Beer Bread with Comte and Whole Grain Mustard. It came out so well and got such rave reviews that I knew I wanted to play around with the “pull-apart” concept and come up with some different flavor combinations. If you’ve known me for any period of time, you’ll know that I am a biiiiiiig peanut butter-lover. Like, I kind of need to have it in some form or another every single day. And peanut butter and jelly are just natural partners, amiright? There’s nothing that goes better together (IMHO.)

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pull-Apart Bread | CaliGirl Cooking

So, since this flavor combo would be a little sweeter than the Comte and whole grain mustard I filled the beer bread with, I decided to go with more of a brioche dough for this bread. I pulled out my trusty Bouchon Bakery cookbook (can’t go wrong with that, even if it’s a leeeetle bit intimidating) and found Thomas Keller’s recipe for Craquelins. Technically, Craquelins are brioche’s sugar sweet cousin. They’re these cute little rolls dusted in pearl sugar with a sugar cube tucked inside each one. I didn’t go quite that far, but slightly adapted Mr. Keller’s recipe to come up with a buttery, slightly sweet dough laced with vanilla and cinnamon.

Important note: The dough needs to rest quite a bit (including an overnight rise) so you’ll want to plan in advance when making this recipe. But the waiting is the hardest part. When you break it down step by step, the actual techniques and ingredients required are REALLY easy.

The first step is to make a “starter” and let that sit for about an hour. Then we get into the mixing and kneading of the dough. We let the dough go through a rise as is before lacing it with the peanut butter and jelly, then let it rise overnight in the pan in what will eventually be its finished form. In the morning, we bake it off and less than an hour later we have a delicious, messy, sticky, sweet loaf of Peanut Butter and Jelly Pull-Apart Bread.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pull-Apart Bread | CaliGirl Cooking

Eat it right away, freeze it for later, or cut it into pieces to pack in your (or your child’s) lunch. This is an incredibly rich bread and you really don’t need very much to feel satisfied. A little bit goes a long way!

Now, go forth and make this bread! I have nothing but faith in you, you can do it!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pull-Apart Bread

Yield: Makes one 8-inch loaf

A delicious, indulgent pull-apart bread laced with peanut butter and jelly.

Ingredients

    For the starter:
  • 3 ½ tablespoons whole milk, warmed to 75 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 2 3/8 teaspoons instant yeast (about 1 1/3 packets)
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons plus ¾ teaspoon flour
    For the dough:
  • 2 ¾ cup plus 2 teaspoons flour
  • ¼ cup plus ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon butter, cut into ½ inch pieces, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
    For the filling:
  • 5 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup jelly (your choice of flavor, I used strawberry)
    For the egg wash:
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  1. First, make the starter. Combine milk and yeast in a small bowl. Add flour and mix ingredients together using your fingers. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for one hour.
  2. Place the flour, sugar and salt for the dough in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix to combine. Add the starter and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. While the mixer is still running, add eggs, one at a time, mixing each time until incorporated. The dough will be incredibly dry. Don’t stress! Mix on low speed for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on your mixer and give it a rest throughout the process if needed. My mixer got a little warm by about minute 10 so I stopped mixing and let it rest for a few minutes to cool down.
  3. Next, add the butter, a few pieces at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition until incorporated. I stopped the mixer and used my hands to incorporate the butter for the first couple of additions, until the dough loosened up a bit. Once all the butter has been added, run the mixer for an additional two minutes. The dough will be very sticky at this point.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface (you may need to use a spatula to get the dough cleanly out of the bowl.) Pat the dough roughly into the shape of a rectangle, then take the right side and fold it over to the middle. Repeat for the left side (like you’re folding a letter.) Form dough into a ball. Spray a large mixing bowl with cooking spray and place dough in bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for at least one hour, or until doubled in size.
  5. Once again, turn dough out onto a floured surface. Pat into a long rectangle. Spread peanut butter, then jelly, evenly over the dough. Roll dough up into a log on the floured surface, then cut the log into slices (each slice should be 1 ½ to 2 inches thick.) Spray an 8-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, and carefully tuck the slices of dough into the pan. When it bakes, the dough will meld together and form the pull-apart bread.
  6. Cover the loaf pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. The next morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove loaf from refrigerator and place in preheated oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until top is golden and bread feels fairly solid when tapping on the center. Check the loaf at minute 35 or so. If the top is already pretty golden, cover with aluminum foil to prevent it from browning too much. Let bread cool completely before serving.
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Peanut Butter and Jelly Pull-Apart Bread | CaliGirl Cooking

It’s peanut butter-jelly time!

Pull-Apart Beer Bread with Comte and Whole Grain Mustard

The ultimate tri-fecta.

Pull-Apart Beer Bread with Comte and Whole Grain Mustard | CaliGirl Cooking

Especially for this here day before St. Patrick’s Day/morning after a night out with some of my besties to celebrate my birthday. I mean, how much better can it get to both recover from last night and get ready for another night of celebrating? (Or, in my likely case, just eating my weight in Irish food?) I’m thinking Pull-Apart Beer Bread with Comte and Whole Grain Mustard, a slow-cooker corned beef recipe (I’m going to give this one from Half-Baked Harvest a shot), some Chocolate Stout Cupcakes with Irish Cream Buttercream for dessert, and maybe, just MAYBE, a Matcha Colada to really round out the meal. Who’s with me?


Pull-Apart Beer Bread with Comte and Whole Grain Mustard | CaliGirl Cooking

But let’s get to the point here. I really don’t want this uber-yummy Pull-Apart Beer Bread with Comte and Whole Grain Mustard to lose the spotlight, because trust me when I say it is soooooooo tasty and very worthy of the little extra effort it takes to make.

Confession: I actually copy-catted this recipe from Notch8, the restaurant in the hotel we stayed at when my mom and I went to Vancouver in January. I’m sure you’ve all seen sweet versions of pull-apart bread (like this or this), but this was the first time I’d come across a SAVORY version. As soon as my mom and I saw a menu item that listed bread, cheese, and mustard as ingredients  (in the middle of the afternoon when we were sooo ready for an afternoon snack, mind you) we knew we had to give it a shot. Let me tell you. Wowza! It was amazing. I immediately knew I had to try and recreate it at home.

And recreate it I did! I knew that I needed to make the beer bread a yeast bread (as opposed to a quick bread) so I turned to my mom’s trusty Beer Bagel recipe for inspiration and guidance. I then went out and got me some Comte cheese (if you don’t know what this is, it’s very similar to Gruyere… I found mine at Trader Joe’s) and some whole grain mustard. As you can see, the ingredients are pretty darn easy to come by so you really have no excuse to not make Pull-Apart Beer Bread with Comte and Whole Grain Mustard (say that ten times fast) in the next couple of days.

Pull-Apart Beer Bread with Comte and Whole Grain Mustard | CaliGirl Cooking

Since the bread is a yeast bread, it does take some time to rise. But that’s no biggie! I have to say that I was worried because my dough didn’t seem to be rising quite as much as I wanted it to, but everything turned out in the end. You just have to trust that your oven will do all of the work!

Once the dough has gone through its double rise, we slice it up (like you would a loaf of bread) and coat the sides with the mustard and cheese. We then line all the slices back up together in the loaf pan for them to rise and bake into each other in the oven. And of course we top it all with more cheese! Not only does the slicing before we bake ensure we can more easily pull apart the bread when it’s done, but it also helps us make sure we get the yummy fillings evenly dispersed throughout.

Pull-Apart Beer Bread with Comte and Whole Grain Mustard | CaliGirl Cooking

Okay, before I leave you with the recipe I MUST make a suggestion. Not only is this a fantastic addition to any St. Patrick’s Day menu, we also (accidentally) discovered that Pull-Apart Beer Bread with Comte and Whole Grain Mustard is THE perfect snack to pack for wine tasting. Seriously, if you think about it, it’s all of your favorite wine tasting snacks rolled into one neat little loaf! No need for an elaborately packed picnic basket or cooler when you’ve got one of these bad boys with you 😉 (Side note: I think I’m going to keep building on this idea and try a version with some sort of charcuterie added to the mix soon…Stay tuned!)

So what do you say? St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow and I know a lot of my peeps out there are wine lovers like me, so you’ll most likely be going tasting sometime in the near future. That means that you absolutely, must, just gotta make this ASAP. You’ll thank me later!

Since I won’t be posting tomorrow, happy early St. Patrick’s Day to all of you! Stay safe and HAVE FUN!

Pull-Apart Beer Bread with Comte and Whole Grain Mustard | CaliGirl Cooking

Pull-Apart Beer Bread with Comte and Whole Grain Mustard

Yield: Makes one loaf

A delicious beer bread laced with comte cheese and whole grain mustard.

Ingredients

  • 1 packet active-dry yeast
  • 2 ¼ cups flour, divided
  • ¾ cup lukewarm beer (I used Firestone DBA)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded Comte cheese
  • ¼ cup whole grain mustard

Instructions

  1. Combine yeast and 1 cup of sifted flour in a stand mixer. In a separate, small bowl, combine lukewarm beer, sugar and salt. Add to flour mixture. Turn mixer on low until ingredients are combined, then begin adding in remaining flour until a cohesive but slightly sticky dough forms (about 2 minutes.)
  2. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly for about 2 more minutes. Spray a medium mixing bowl with cooking spray and add dough, tossing to coat. Cover with a dish towel and let rise in a warm place free from drafts for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
  3. Spray an 8.5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Remove dough from mixing bowl and transfer it to the loaf pan, shaping to fit. Cover and let rise another 1-2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove dough from loaf pan onto a lightly floured surface. Re-spray loaf pan with cooking spray. Slice dough into 8 pieces. One by one, take a slice of the dough and spread about half of a tablespoon of mustard on the side before sprinkling it with the shredded cheese. Gently tuck the slice back into the loaf pan. Continue this process until all slices have been covered and added to the loaf pan. {For the end pieces, keep the mustard/cheese combo on the inner side of the slice, as opposed to the side that will be against the loaf pan, so as to prevent sticking.) Sprinkle any remaining cheese on top of the loaf.
  5. Place loaf in preheated oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes. The cheese topping will be golden. Let cool in pan for 15-20 minutes then remove to finish cooling. If not eating right away, wrap loaf in plastic wrap and store in refrigerator (if eating in the next couple of days) or freezer (if not eating for a week or so.)

Notes

Wine Pairing Notes: This bread is soooo versatile, it will literally be a great juxtaposition to ANY wine, red or white. The only type of wine I may caution against is a sweet wine. Otherwise, just go for it! All the more reason to take it with you the next time you go wine tasting 🙂

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Pull-Apart Beer Bread with Comte and Whole Grain Mustard | CaliGirl Cooking

Catch ya on the flipside.

Hummingbird Bread

This may be the.best.excuse.for.breakfast.ever.

Hummingbird Bread | CaliGirl Cooking

Who here has heard of Hummingbird Cake? If you have, I hope you are as enlightened as I was when I learned what I am about to tell you. If you haven’t, prepare to have your mind-blown. You see, I’ve known about Hummingbird Cake for quite a while now (I’ve never been one to shy away from overtly claiming my love of carbs and all things that fall under the baked goods category, see Exhibits A and B), yet it wasn’t until I was preparing this recipe for Hummingbird Bread that I learned about the dessert’s origins. Yes folks, you read that correctly, I’ve simply turned a classic cake into loaf form so it can be reasonably acceptable to ingest as the most important meal of the day –> Breakfast!


Hummingbird Bread | CaliGirl Cooking

But back to the fun little nuggets of history I discovered during my recipe research:

  • It is believed that this cake originated in the Caribbean (specifically, Jamaica) which seems reasonable since the main ingredients are pineapple, banana and spices! Where else do we find these things in such abundance?
  • The cake actually used to be called a “Doctor bird cake,” named after a type of Jamaican hummingbird called the red-billed Streamertail whose actions of sticking its long beak into the flowers were deemed similar to a doctor inspecting a patient.
  • The recipe made its way to the U.S. via press kits that the Jamaican tourist board created to attract visitors to the country.

Pretty cool, huh? You know what’s even cooler? Today I’m showing you how to make Hummingbird BREAD so you don’t even have to wait until dessert to enjoy this fruity, moist, spiced cake with a delicious cream cheese frosting. IMHO, something with this much fruit and protein from the nuts and cream cheese should certainly be acceptable to ingest prior to noon with a warm mug of coffee in our hands.

Hummingbird Bread | CaliGirl Cooking

So, confession. This recipe took me THREE tries before I was able to perfect it. Yes, that’s right. The first couple of times I tried to make Hummingbird Bread, I had ambitions of running a cream cheese swirl through the middle of the loaf and topping it with a pecan crumble. Let’s just say that (a) my batter to loaf pan size ratio was WAY off (thank goodness I put a jelly roll pan underneath to catch any drips…dodged an oven fire with that one!) and (b) my “cream cheese swirl” tasted delicious but was too heavy (and dense) to sit correctly between the layers of batter. I’d end up with an overly-browned top of the loaf with a gooey, undone center. #foodbloggerproblems

Hummingbird Bread | CaliGirl Cooking

I finally figured out that the best solution was to keep the Hummingbird Bread as true to form as possible (while still holding on to my creative idea to turn this cake into a bread), and so (after realizing how good the “cream cheese swirl” tasted on its own without even being cooked) I decided to frost the loaf with the sugary, melt-in-your-mouth, creamy cream cheese mixture rather than try to hide it inside. It made for a much more structurally stable loaf AND I must say it made it much more photogenic 😉

Hummingbird Bread | CaliGirl Cooking

I would like to point out, though, that I did not waste ANY of those failed loaves. A quick turn in the refrigerator firmed up the cream cheese swirl loaves enough so that, although not structurally stable, they are definitely, absolutely, completely edible. One down and I’ve got two more loaves to go (falling apart at the seams.) They’re just sitting in the refrigerator waiting for me on the next night I’m up until the wee hours blogging or cleaning because I haven’t ventured out of the kitchen for the past three weekends and have neglected every other part of the house and have my sister coming to visit this weekend. Oh, sorry, just me?

Well, if you’d like to come over and help me clean my house, I’d be more than happy to pay you in Hummingbird Bread…and good company?

Hummingbird Bread

Yield: Makes one loaf

Spinning the classic, Southern cake comprised of pineapple, banana, pecans and spices into a bread that's perfectly acceptable to enjoy for breakfast.

Ingredients

    For the bread:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 medium bananas)
  • ½ cup chopped pineapple
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
    For the cream cheese frosting:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
    For topping:
  • Additional ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray, then line with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Begin by making the batter. Combine eggs, sugar, canola oil, banana and pineapple in a large bowl. Set aside. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture and stir until combined. Fold in pecans. Pour batter into loaf pan and place in oven. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If top begins to brown too much, cover with aluminum foil while the bread finished baking.
  3. As the bread is getting towards the end of its baking time, make the cream cheese frosting. Using an electric mixer, combine all frosting ingredients in a small bowl. Mix until all ingredients are well-incorporated. Set aside until bread is done baking and has cooled most of the way. Do not refrigerate, because it will make the frosting too hard to spread onto the bread.
  4. Once bread has cooled, remove from pan. Spread frosting over top and sprinkle with additional ½ cup of toasted pecans and serve. Refrigerate frosted loaf if not eating the whole thing right away.
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https://www.caligirlcooking.com/hummingbird-bread/

Hummingbird Bread | CaliGirl Cooking

Holdin’ it together like a champ!