Savory Quick Breads as Appetizers

French Fridays with Dorie

Savory Quick Breads

Parisians must do a lot of sitting around drinking wine and nibbling on savory cheese breads as I’ve been crossing paths with several recipes lately and all them talk about sipping wine with them. Back in December while sifting through my my new amour’s things when he wasn’t paying attention, I discovered a recipe for a savory loaf — he referred to as a ‘cake’. He positioned it as a great appetizer “to go with pre dinner drinks or a glass of Calvados.” I am rarely sipping on a glass of Calvados but, eh, if David likes it then that is good enough for me! I rushed right out and bought a bottle — just in case he should ever come for a visit. I was quite anxious to try this one out since the lemon/fennel seed combination really peaked my interest.


No sooner did I actually make this stuff than the Dorista Grand Poobahs announced our first March assignment would be Dorie’s Chive and Cheese Bread. My cup runeth over with Calvados and cheesey bread. Essentially, this is another one of Dorie’s non-recipe recipes highlighting a dish that can really take just about anything you dish out at it. This of course makes it perfect as all you really need for this type of quick bread is 1 tablespoon of baking powder and some salt. (And eggs, and flour…you get the idea.) After that just about anything you have taking up space in the fridge can be baked into a loaf to go with your Calvados.

So…guess who forgot the baking powder on his first go at this recipe? Uh huh. I caught my mistake after 10 minutes and briefly entertained the idea of writing about Dorie’s Cheesy Chive biscuits but I changed my mind since I had plenty of cheese and chives on hand and could start another round. The subsequent loaf turned out beautifully.

If this were a contest I would have to give it to the Apricot Almond Lemon Loaf Cake thingie. Its much finer texture and sublime depth of flavors mixed perfectly with the nutty Gruyeres. This quick bread is something special in a way that the obvious pairing of chives and cheese could not be. And before you jump all over me I’m not dishing Dorie here –both quite good and when you have two similar things within days of each other its impossible not to draw comparisons.

Lets just say that the next time I make Dorie’s version, my Bonne Idea will be to omit the chives and walnuts and in their place I’ll add lemon zest, almonds, fennel seeds and dried apricots.

Just sayin’. Since it is my new secret crush’s recipe I will make again and again so I will post it here. Dorie’s recipe is, as usual, in her book. You can email me if you want it but I think you really want this one instead… Just sayin’.

Oh, and if you don’t plan on drinking Calvados before dinner you can always do what I did and pop a slice of either one of these breads into the toaster and serve them with a big bowl of tomato soup.
Savory Quick Breads

Savory Quick Breads

Savory Quick Breads Savory Quick Breads

Savory Quick Breads

Savory Quick Breads

Apricot, Almond and Lemon Bread (Adapted from David Lebovits as adapted from Susan Loomis.)

This is what you will need:

  • 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 rounded teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 rounded teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 7 ounces dried apricots, coarsely chopped
  • 6 ounces Gruyère. Emmental cheese works great too, grated (2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • grated zest of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

This is how you make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Butter a loaf pan generously. David suggests lining it with parchment paper and buttering the paper but I found this unnecessary with my heavy duty loaf pan.
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl. Mix in the black pepper. (I added a couple shakes of cayenne too.)
  3. Whisk the eggs by hand in a large bowl until frothy and then stir in the dry ingredients being careful not to overmix. Mix in the melted butter well and then fold in the apricots, cheese, fennel seeds, lemon zest, and finally, the almonds. Obviously you can go crazy on your add-ins here but I found this combination to be sublime.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the bread rest for five minutes and then remove it from the pan and set on a cooling rack to cool. Cut into slices and serve with Calvados.

Savory Quick Breads
(I think she would have preferred the apricot-lemon cake with her Calvados too. )


About Trevor Kensey

To be truthful, I don’t know what “Sis. Boom. [blog!]” means either. The name implies something explosive just happened I suppose I would like it if each post would make made a small ‘boom’ in your day or at least a fizzle. Even though a recipe is included with every post I have a hard time calling this a “food blog” or even myself a “food blogger”.

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  1. Both versions look beautiful. I’ll have to try Mr. Lebovitz’ version some time. Good choice on your crush, by the way – you already know he can cook.

    The Princess Di plate! Don’t you worry that it’s a little indelicate to serve a Parisian bread on it, considering?

  2. Oh my, now that I’m reading your post, I’m not sure I remembered the baking powder in my go either! If I did, I didn’t taste a difference, nor did any of my family say anything. Maybe they were just being nice? Ha! Your bread looks great!

  3. All thoughts of whatever I was going to say were instantly banished when I saw the Princess Diana plate. That is just incredible. Your bread looks good and that’s all that matters!

  4. Glad you recovered so gracefully from the baking powder incident, and I LOVE your suggestions of adding almonds, lemon zest, apricot, & fennel – sounds yummy. And WOW, the Princess Di plate!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think this recipe could be salvaged by taking some of these ingredients — the fennel, almonds, lemon zest — and making them into a delicious salad or perhaps a garnish for some rare yellowjack. But bread? You cannot be serious.

    And, I’m shocked to see you dishonor the memory of our svelte Princess Diana by covering her in carbs.


  6. Oh how I love David Lebovitz! Both of your breads look delicious, but I think I would prefer David’s over Dorie’s.

  7. I don’t even know what to say about the Princess Di plate – perhaps several large slugs of Calvados would render me witty??? Funny post.

  8. If you don’t already follow David on Twitter, you should – he’s a hoot! And your crush loaf is beautiful!

  9. I’d forgotten that David had a version of this bread too! I must give it a try. I really enjoy your writing.

  10. WOW…nice post. And, thanks for sharing David’s apricot version…now that really gets me excited. And, good for you to start over, and your bread looks like a winner.

  11. Beautiful new layout! I guess I’ve been gone too long! 🙂 Lovely looking breads, as well!

  12. Great post–now I have a ton of ideas for my next go round!

  13. Princess Diana plate…love it! I have to say, I agree with you that David’s version sounds wonderful! I will have to give it a try. I love the addition of apricots. I’ll also have to get a bottle of Calvados to go with it!! Both of your breads look great! As always a fun post!!

  14. I have plate envy. Thank you for the crumb trail to your new love’s recipe. I will give it a try! Here’s a news flash for you: I don’t think your “secret” crush on DL is secret anymore, now that you’ve blabbed–I mean blogged about it. Call me quick. Just don’t call me quick bread! Har! I need some Calvados.

  15. I love the tomato soup suggestion. Though must try David’s loaf, sans Calvados.

  16. I already have Dorie’s recipe but now you’ve got me intrigued with the almond apricot bread. That may be my next project. Plate is awesome, btw. 😉

  17. Oooh, I love the sound of the almond apricot bread…don’t think my family would like it any better than the cheesy chive version, but I’d devour it!

  18. I liked Dorie’s cheddar and chives loaf, but would like to try her recipe with the dried pears. The apricot, almond and lemon combination sounds great – who wouldn’t love that?! Thank you for sharing the recipe. It surprises me that you have a piece of royal memorabilia. I don’t know why – it just does. 🙂

  19. The David L version looks like a winner. Fruit, cheese, and fennel. Can’t wait to try it out. And you say it’s originally from Susan Loomis? I have all of her cookbooks. Love the way she cooks.

  20. I’m eager to try David L’s bread too. We loved Dorie’s though. Both of yours look good.

  21. I enjoyed your bread comparison! Without having tasted it, I’m not sure I like the sound of the apricot, almond, lemon bread.

  22. Nana and I were following David before Dorie but did not realize he had a version of this recipe as well. We will definitely have to check it out and appreciate all the info you shared. Love Dorie and FFWD but we also enjoy EVERY one of David’s posts. He is hilarious. I even bought his “Sweet Life” book and shared it with Nana. Hilarious….

  23. Oh, Trevor, you enlighten my days! I cannot believe that you forgot the baking powder! That’s so silly and funny at the same time.
    Are you in SoCal, too? (I saw your Twitter exchanges with Michael a while ago:)
    I love quick breads and this one satisfied my whole family. But I added ham and scallions, omitted walnuts and white pepper, just because. And it worked.
    FFwD was a revelation for me. I have encountered a few really wonderful people and you are at the top of the list:)

  24. Love ur lady Di plate! both loaves look great 🙂