This bread reminds me of a fall cheese board someone might serve at a party-except in bread form. Juicy crimson pears, sharp cheddar cheese, and crunchy walnuts are all things I’d pile on my little appetizer plate, so it just made sense to pile ’em in this bread. And if the thought of savory cheese mixed with sweet fruit has you scratching your head…not to worry. I promise it all comes together deliciously here. Plus, this recipe is one-bowl easy. The hardest part is waiting for the bread to bake and cool enough to cut. My family looooved this fall bread, and I bet yours will, too.
Mix the dry ingredients with the wet just until combined-do not beat vigorously. Then fold in the good stuff. I’ve made this with shredded cheese and cubed (very small) cheese. You can see the tiny cubes in the photo. While I like the way the shredded mixes in-and I can shred eight ounces of cheese in moments in my food processor-I feel like I taste more “cheesy” flavor when it’s in tiny cubes, which I like. However, I will tell you that when the bread with the cubed cheese is completely cooled, it tends to have a somewhat chewy texture in spots. Some family members didn’t mind the chewiness, but one did, so it’s just a matter of personal preference. When the bread is warmed, it doesn’t seem chewy. So the choice is up to you.
I held out five very thin, unpeeled slices of pear to decorate the top of my loaf. Purely optional, and I didn’t even include it in the recipe. I would, however, recommend the optional sugar/cinnamon sprinkle prior to baking. It makes a nice crunchy, sweet coating during the long baking time, and is a wonderful contrast to the moist bread.
Don’t underbake this loaf. If you choose ripe pears (push on the pear near the stem end-if it yields to pressure, it’s ripe), they’ll be soft and juicy. Combine that with a copious amount of cheese-and this bread is very moist. It can be gooey right in the top center if you underbake. So don’t underbake. If it still looks wet, sticky, or gummy on the top, it probably isn’t quite done.
I used crimson pears in my loaf, but only because they were the ripest at the grocery store. You can use any kind you like. Pears ripen just sitting on the counter, so let any unripe pears you purchased sit out, checking them daily. I hope you enjoy this yummy bread as much as my family has (this is like magically disappearing bread at our house). It’s great for breakfast, but if there’s nothing available for dessert I notice it becomes dessert. Pack a slice alongside a salad for your lunch or serve as an after school snack. We enjoy it slightly warm with butter. I hope you enjoy it sometime soon.
Pear Cheddar Walnut Bread
- 2 ½ c. flour
- 2/3 c. sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ginger
- ¼ tsp. cloves
- ¾ c. milk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ c. butter, melted
- 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, cubed very small or shredded
- 1 ½ c. peeled, chopped pears (about two pears)
- 2/3 c. coarsely chopped walnuts
- sugar and cinnamon to sprinkle on top before baking, if desired
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9” X 5” loaf pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper. Spray the paper with non-stick spray.
- Step 2 In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
- Step 3 Stir in milk and eggs, then butter. Stir until combined (no streaks of flour visible), but don’t overmix.
- Step 4 Fold in cheese, pears, and walnuts.
- Step 5 Spread batter in prepared loaf pan and sprinkle with a little bit of sugar/cinnamon mix, if desired.
- Step 6 Bake 68-75 minutes. Don’t underbake.
- Step 7 Let bread cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes, then remove the bread using the parchment paper overhang. Place the bread (still on the parchment) on the rack and leave it until it’s just warm. Slice and serve with butter, if desired.
- Step 8 Wrap completely cooled bread in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. Rewarm slices in microwave.