It’s never too early to begin planning your Easter menu, but the great thing about this bread recipe is that you don’t only have to eat it on Easter. You can make it any time of year, especially because carrots are always in season it seems. You know how when you think of carrots in baked goods, carrot cake usually comes to mind? And how could it not? It’s sweet and delicious all by itself, but throw cream cheese icing into the mix and all bets are off. Well, this bread is the complete polar opposite, but in the best way possible. It isn’t sweet at all, but rather, it’s the king of all savory breads, flavored with Asiago cheese, a hint of cayenne and topped with sliced almonds which gives this bread the crunchiest crust you ever did see. It’s a great quick bread—reminiscent of an Irish soda bread in texture—that you can easily whip up whenever you’re in need of a tasty bread for mopping up sauces. It makes the best sidekick for stews, soups and even chilis. So what are you waiting for? Pick up the ingredients today after work so you can make it this week!
This is by all means the very definition of a quick bread recipe. It’s the easiest most interesting bread you’ll make. The first thing you want to do is mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. That’s flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cayenne pepper.
**Note: The cayenne pepper in here is just a tiny amount and so you won’t really feel a spicy kick, it’s more just a well-round flavor in the bread that goes so well with the sweetness from the carrots and the saltiness from the cheese.**
Add in the shredded Asiago cheese and give it a stir to evenly combine and distribute the cheese. I like to add it at this stage of the recipe because the flour allows the cheese to distribute throughout the bread, instead of just sinking to the bottom.
Set the dry ingredients off to the side and then grab another bowl. Whisk together the eggs, melted butter, and sour cream until smooth.
**Tip: Make sure your eggs and sour cream are at room temperature because if you try to mix cold eggs and sour cream with the melted butter, the butter will start to solidify and you won’t have a smooth mixture.**
Add in 3 loosely packed cups of shredded carrots. Two things: One, don’t use the pre-shredded stuff you can fin at the store because those shreds are too thick and too long and the texture just isn’t right for this bread, or any other baked good for that matter. And second, 3 cups is about 6 medium carrots, peeled and grated with a box grater.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and then add in the carrot mixture. Give it a stir until just combined, and there are no longer streaks of flour.
**Note: Be sure to not over mix at the batter at this point because if you do, you’ll end up with a very dry and dense bread. Also keep in mind that this is a very thick batter.**
Transfer the batter to a standard 9 by 5-inch loaf pan that has been greased with either butter or cooking spray and then dusted with flour. Smooth out the top as best you can into an even layer.
In a small bowl, toss together the almonds and the reserved Asiago cheese until evenly combined. Then just sprinkle that mixture over the top of the batter.
If you’re allergic to nuts, or just don’t want to use them, you can totally omit them and just top the bread with the cheese, BUT I will say that the almonds really make this bread for me. It’s a nice crunch on top and gives it the perfect flavor.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven until puffed and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Remove the bread from the oven and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before transferring the bread out of the pan and onto a wire rack to cool completely.
It’s crucial, as with any bread, that it be completely 100% cooled to room temperature before slicing and serving. This is because when the bread is still warm, it’ll still be soft in the middle, and so letting it cool down, allows the bread texture to get just right. Plus it makes it easier for slicing into cleaner cuts.
Any leftover bread can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container or wrapped well in plastic wrap for up to 3 days. It’s great on the side of any meal, especially soups, stews or chilis. Which as we all know, it’s the perfect weather for these meals. Give it a try soon and let me know what you think!
- 2¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ cups shredded Asiago cheese
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- ½ cup sour cream
- 3 cups loosely packed shredded carrots (about 6 medium carrots)
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with butter or cooking spray and then dust with flour. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, cayenne, baking powder and baking soda. Stir in 1 cup Asiago cheese and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs and sour cream until smooth. Stir in the carrots.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and then pour in the carrot mixture. Stir until just combined, and no flour remains. Do not over-mix or else your bread will be tough. The batter will be very thick. Transfer into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out into an even layer. In a small bowl, toss together the almonds with the remaining Asiago cheese. Then sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter. Bake until puffed up and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Transfer the loaf onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing and serving. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or wrapped in plastic for up to 3 days. Enjoy!