Rustic Bacon & Cheddar Bread

1 May 2012

Post image for Rustic Bacon & Cheddar Bread

I love savoury cakes and this particular recipe is a firm favourite of mine.

Given my New Year’s resolution to cook more vegetarian food, this has frequently been in the form of vegetable soups. After several days of eating rich food like Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce or Boeuf Bourguignon with Baguette Dumplings, a simple and soothing bowl of soup is a great way to restore the body’s balance.

But those who know me will know that I can’t just simply sit down to a mere bowl of soup for dinner. Maybe as a starter, but for a complete meal, I need something a bit more. Some bread on the side is a must, and this Rustic Bacon & Cheddar Bread is a quick and simple way to bulk up a meal.

This recipe comes from Rachel Allen’s baking compendium, aptly called Bake (or Rachel’s Baking Secrets in the US). Although it is called a bread, it is really a savoury cake owing to the absence of yeast. A savoury cake might sound unusual to some, but I love them. Like savoury muffins, they are great at breakfast or brunch, to take along for picnics, or – my frequent choice – served at dinner to help that bowl of soup go further. They are delicious served warm and are equally good served cold.

This particular Rustic Bacon & Cheddar Bread has a mild cheesy flavour which is balanced by the piquancy of the grainy mustard, with a savoury, salty burst from the bacon throughout.

You can fiddle with the ingredients a bit, if you like, replacing the cheddar with perhaps a Gruyère (which I often do for a stronger taste), leaving out the bacon for a vegetarian option, adding some fresh or dried herbs like thyme or oregano … the possibilities are endless.

The recipe lends itself well to halving to bake in a smaller tin, or even made as muffins, in either case you should reduce the baking time accordingly.

I find that I make a lot of savoury cakes but this recipe is one I return to quite often, not just because I usually always have the ingredients to hand in the fridge and pantry, but also because it simply tastes great.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Carole 1 May 2012 at 1:50 pm

Yum, lovely! I am out of milk and too lazy to go out and get some but I will definitely make this recipe tomorrow because it looks absolutely delicious! I love cheddar cheese. There is a British food stand at the Markhalle in Zürich that sells an amazing cheddar. I never fail to get some when we go there. Have you tried it? highly recommended! :) Anyway, thanks for this good-looking recipe!


eat, little bird 1 May 2012 at 2:02 pm

Hi Carole!

Is this the Markthalle im Viadukt? Near Escher-Wyss Platz? I have to admit that I haven’t been there yet … must rectify that soon if there is a British food stand! I often buy my cheddar from the cheese counter at Co-op, or I do without and just buy Gruyère instead if I am shopping at my local Migros (which is a really small one).

Please let me know if you try this recipe. Hope you will enjoy it!


Carole 6 May 2012 at 3:46 pm

I finally found the time to make this bread and just as I expected, this recipe is a keeper! Easy and quick to make and tastes absolutely heavenly…what else can you ask for!? I am eating a slice as I am writing this..hmmm so good!
Thanks for this delicious recipe!


eat, little bird 6 May 2012 at 3:50 pm

Oh that’s wonderful to hear! I’m glad that you enjoyed this recipe :-) I bet it tastes really comforting on a gloomy day like today. Thanks for letting me know!


Christoph Freh 1 May 2012 at 4:39 pm

One of the Most beautiful blogs I have ever seen – your recipes are fantastics especially the fotos the fonts – everything – I would love to buy a cookbook from you ! Great work


eat, little bird 1 May 2012 at 5:17 pm

Oh thanks, Christoph! That means a lot to me :-) Thank you for visiting my blog! I’m always a little nervous when close friends and family see my blog but then I get a big feeling of satisfaction when I hear how much they enjoy it :-) I have some Austrian recipes in the pipeline which I hope you will like :-) Thanh xx


Carole 1 May 2012 at 4:48 pm

Yes, that’s the one! We enjoy going there on Saturdays and do a sort of breakfast-brunch from the different food stands. My husband always enjoys the ‘tapas’ from the fishmonger. I usually have a Hungarian strudel and a piece of cheddar :) The British pot pies are really good too. Last time, there was also a lady selling some delicious homemade cupcakes. There is also a stand where you can get some fresh and really good fruit juices. Even though it is not very big and it is not cheap (but then nothing is in Zürich), we always have a good time there.
I will let you know how my cheddar and bacon bread turns out..I am sure it will be great!


eat, little bird 1 May 2012 at 5:22 pm

Oh great! Thanks for letting me know! It’s so rare that I have a local visitor to my blog so I really appreciate your foodie tips. I will definitely visit the Markthalle later this week. I must admit that, apart from the Freitag store, that area is pretty much unexplored on my part. I’m loving the sound of the Hungarian strudel! And everything else you have mentioned has really tickled my tastebuds. Hopefully the weather will pick up by this weekend so we can also enjoy the outdoors a bit. I’ve noticed that the park area around the Viadukt is really popular with kids and families. Good luck with the bacon and cheddar bread!


Denise 1 May 2012 at 10:16 pm

I love savoury cakes and it’s been way too lang since I had one. It’s gonna change soon and this recipe is on the menu for sure!


eat, little bird 2 May 2012 at 12:52 pm

I hope you will enjoy this recipe, Denise :-)


Jo 2 May 2012 at 8:46 am

This looks so good Thanh – what a gorgeous yellow colour the bread comes out. I feel I’m allowed to bake bread rather than sweet stuff whilst I’m battling the weight loss demons so this is something I might just have to do soon. I’m rather shocked I’ve never even *seen* this recipe in Bake – and I call myself a big Bake fan lol!


eat, little bird 2 May 2012 at 12:53 pm

LOL!! That’s what Carrie said as well. It’s funny the different recipes which jump out at us when we flick through the same book. This was one of the first recipes which caught my eye :-)


Julia 2 May 2012 at 9:59 am

Now was it my picnic bread that prompted this post?!? Lol probably not! I just made delias savoury rustic sage cheese and onion bread which i’m sure you’d also love. Its also yeastless but definitely bread like rather than savoury cake.

Yours looks lighter and really lovely. I really like savoury cakes/muffins with soup and I’ll definitely give this a go next time.


eat, little bird 2 May 2012 at 12:58 pm

Ah I actually made this before you mentioned your sage, cheese & onion bread, but Delia’s recipe sounds delicious! I’ll have to look this up. Hope your picnic turned out well :-)

I would call this more of a cake than a bread, but only because it is lighter and more crumbly than your usual bread. I make savoury cakes quite often and hubby also makes one which we both really love … now perhaps I can try to get the recipe out of him …


Ira Rodrigues 2 May 2012 at 6:07 pm

I bumped into your kitchen through foodgawker and I’m glad to found your blog. love all your works here. warm hello form Bali :)


eat, little bird 3 May 2012 at 8:25 am

Hi Ira,

Thank you for visiting my blog! Off to have a nosey at yours …


Anita Menon 3 May 2012 at 5:41 am

Looks so good. Very rustic!


Bobster 3 May 2012 at 6:27 am

Looks great – I wonder if you make them into savoury muffins as well instead of a loaf? I might give it a go!


eat, little bird 3 May 2012 at 8:16 am

Yes, you certainly can make these into muffins (I’ve mentioned it in my post ;-)) You will just need to adjust the cooking time as they will need much less than 50 minutes. Enjoy!


Liz Headon 3 May 2012 at 11:52 am

This sounds delicious… and NO YEAST so not scary !


eat, little bird 4 May 2012 at 4:30 pm

Exactly my thoughts, Liz! Although it’s not a “true” bread, it’s very, very yummy :-)


Me And My Sweets 3 May 2012 at 6:55 pm

This sounds like a keeper and a must try! Savoury cakes and muffins are so great for picnic or afternoon snacks. I will host a party at my blog during may and I would love you to join. It’s called My Sweet Party:-) Please visit my blog for more details.



eat, little bird 4 May 2012 at 4:33 pm

I hope you will get to try this recipe. Thanks for the invitation to your party … popping over to your blog now for details!


la signorina pici e castagne 8 May 2012 at 11:43 pm

This bread is perfect for a picnic or a lunch by the sea.. or… something to munch on before dinner! :O)
I think I’ll try to do it next weekend!
great, great… you’ re great…..


eat, little bird 9 May 2012 at 9:28 pm

This bread is definitely great as picnic food. I do hope you will try it!


Merisse 6 June 2012 at 10:18 pm

I made this delicious bread, when I was bored on a Sunday. (I love baking and cooking when I’m bored).
It wasn’t hard to make the bread and it turned out great.

Thank you for putting this great recipe on the internet!!


eat, little bird 6 June 2012 at 10:26 pm

Thank you for letting me know that you tried this recipe :-) I’m so happy to hear that it turned out great for you. It is a rather simple recipe, isn’t it? I think that’s part of its charm. And I agree that getting busy in the kitchen is a great way to kill boredom, and a rather productive way as well!


Caroline 12 November 2013 at 10:11 am

Right, so I finally baked this years after you first mentioned it to me. Am now proceeding to slap myself (if I can free a hand while snaffling a bite). Just too darn good. Have already had three fat slices. At this rate, it won’t see dinner time! Thanks for sharing!


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