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Ham and Goat Cheese Bread

This is good not only in a basket of breads for the dinner table, but also as a tangy breakfast item. Either this way or that, pop it into the oven until it smells marvelous. You can bake the entire amount of dough in a loaf pan and make one big bread, but I prefer the small muffin-sized version. If you can get it, use the New Orleans-made Chisesi ham, which has the perfect taste and texture for this.

  • 8 oz. fresh (not aged or feta) goat cheese
  • 4 oz. cream cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. Creole mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 lb. smoked ham, thinly sliced then cut into pieces the size of quarters.
  • Generous pinch cayenne
  • 3 cups unsifted self-rising flour

1. Combine the goat cheese and cream cheese in the bowl of a mixer, and mix until fluffy.

2. Add the eggs, one at a time, while the mixer is running. Wait until the mixture is smooth before adding the next egg. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go.

3. Gradually add the buttermilk, mustard, salt, and cayenne, and mix till completely blended.

4. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Fold in the ham, and then add the flour. Mix the flour in with a wooden spoon to make what will be a very wet dough.

5. Spoon the dough into buttered muffin tins, filling to just below the top. Or put the dough into a buttered 9″x5″x3″ loaf pan.

6. Bake the muffins at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, or until puffed and brown. If making a loaf, lower the heat to 350 degrees and bake for one hour.

7. Let the loaf cool completely before attempting to slice. Refrigerate or freeze any unused part of the loaf.

Makes one loaf or twelve muffins.