Brie Pecan Bread

This is a take-off on Martha Hall Foose's Blue Cheese Pecan Bread which I made for a school event and then after running out of blue cheese and needing to make another one for my family, I substituted the blue with a chunk of brie found in a corner of my frig.

This is an easy, quick-bread, in other words, no yeast, no rising.  In fact, it's kinda like a humongous biscuit.

The possibilities are endless.  I'm thinking gorgonzola and walnuts, manchego and almonds, goat cheese or feta with pistachios.   You could just call it the Cheese Nut Bread.  But wait.  What about cheddar, bacon and scallions?  uh-oh.......

Brie Pecan Bread
Adapted from Screen Doors and Sweet Tea by Martha Hall Foose
Makes 1 - 8" round loaf

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a large bowl, sift together:
4 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached (520g)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Using a pastry blender or two knives or your fingers, cut into flour until mixture looks like oatmeal:
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut in 1/2" cubes

Add to flour/butter mixture, tossing to coat and distribute evenly:
2 oz Brie (or substitute your favorite cheese), cut in 1/4" cubes
1/4 cup chopped pecans (or substitute your favorite nut)

Make a well in the center and add:
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg, beaten

Stir with a sturdy spoon (or this cool dough whisk!) until you have a shaggy dough.  Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently to bring dough together.  Form into a slightly flattened 6-inch round.  Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Brush with:
1 tablespoon buttermilk

And sprinkle on top:
Freshly ground black pepper

With a serrated knife, cut a shallow in the top of the loaf.

Bake for 10 minutes at 400°F.  Reduce oven temperature to 375°F and bake for 35 minutes or until loaf is deep golden brown and sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom.  Cool on a wire rack.

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