This asiago cheese & sun-dried tomato bread is a savory quick bread made without yeast. You’ll cut cold butter into dry ingredients, which is the same technique utilized in scones, pie crust, and biscuits— this helps promise a deliciously flaky exterior. We usually make it with asiago cheese and fresh basil or parsley, but you can use your favorite cheeses, herbs, and even swap out the sun-dried tomatoes for corn, olives, chopped cooked bacon, and more. See flavor options below.
Savory Quick Bread Details
- Flavor: Though the recipe calls for asiago cheese, fresh basil, and sun-dried tomatoes, the flavor can really be whatever you make it. This bread batter is very forgiving and we’ve tried it with plenty of add-ins including bacon, olives, feta cheese, and more. The base flavor is buttery and savory, with a hint of fresh pepper and garlic (feel free to add more!). Creamy nutty asiago cheese fits right in if you want to try that first!
- Texture: It may be difficult to wrap your head around a savory quick bread, especially when you’re used to banana bread and cranberry bread. But despite its loaf shape, this quick bread isn’t really like either. The bread’s crumb is more similar to cornbread— though there’s no cornmeal in the batter– and its exterior reminds me of biscuits or scones. It’s soft, moist, and slightly dense.
- Ease: This is a quick and easy recipe, but the butter step could be new to some beginner bakers. A pastry cutter or food processor makes this step quicker and more manageable, but you could certainly use a fork if needed. You’ll appreciate that this recipe delivers big as a bread and that there’s no dough rising or large time commitment required. It’s wonderful as a side dish for most dinners including soup, chili, salad, meatballs, and more. (And if you need a suggestion, we enjoyed it with lemon herb salmon and a side salad!)
Recipe Testing This Savory Quick Bread
When I began working on this recipe, I started by using olive oil as the fat in the batter. The resulting texture was too cake-like– honestly, it was just a confusing piece of bread/cake because the texture screamed “sweet!” but the flavor was savory and salty. It didn’t go over well with many taste testers! I tried melted butter, but the results were mediocre at best– still a lot of that contradicting flavor and texture.
*Cut in Cold Butter: Using the same amount of butter but adding it in a different way was the fix the bread (and all of us!) craved. The texture had an instant improvement. Oh, the magic of butter. Make sure it’s extra cold and work the butter into the dry ingredients until coarse crumbs form:
After you cut the butter into the dry ingredients, mix in the cheese and add-in (sun-dried tomatoes, if using), then mix in your wet ingredients. The batter is thick, chunky, and sticky. You cannot bake this batter on a baking sheet because it’s quite loose. For other pan options, see the recipe notes below.
Think of this bread as having 3 add-ins including (1) cheese, (2) herbs, and (3) extras like sun-dried tomatoes. You can swap and substitute your favorites as long as you stick with the base recipe including buttermilk, eggs, flour, baking powder & soda, sugar, salt & pepper, and cold butter. Here are some suggestions– there are endless variations!
- Herbs: I recommend 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil and parsley here, but feel free to substitute your favorite herb. If you’re using a fresh herb that isn’t leafy such as rosemary or thyme, reduce the amount down to 1 Tablespoon. If using dried herbs, reduce down to 1 teaspoon.
- Shredded Cheese: Asiago cheese is a favorite, but I’ve tested this batter with parmesan cheese, crumbled feta cheese (I reduced down to 1 cup feta, but feel free to use the full amount), sharp cheddar, white cheddar, gouda, and pepper jack. Avoid super soft cheeses. You can leave out the cheese if you’d like, but you’ll lose some flavor. If skipping the cheese, add extras like another few Tablespoons of chopped sun-dried tomatoes or any of the other options described in Extras next.
- Extras: I stick with 1/3 cup of chopped sun-dried tomatoes because this amount adds enough flavor without overpowering the bread. If you want to use other extras, you could definitely increase that amount to about 3/4 – 1 cup and use chopped or sliced olives, corn (cooked or canned, and if using frozen, thaw first), finely chopped pepperoni, or chopped cooked bacon. 1 finely diced jalapeño is another great option and would pair wonderfully with cheddar cheese and 1 Tablespoon of fresh oregano as the herb. I haven’t tested this with wetter additions like roasted red peppers, but if you do, use about 1/2 cup chopped and pat it dry with a towel before adding to the batter.
Let me know if there are any other combinations you try!
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This asiago cheese & sun-dried tomato bread is a savory quick bread made without yeast. We usually make it as written, but you can use your favorite cheeses, herbs, and even swap out the sun-dried tomatoes for corn, olives, chopped cooked bacon, and more. See flavor options described above.
- 1 cup (240ml) cold buttermilk*
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon (12g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup (6g) chopped fresh basil or parsley*
- 5 Tablespoons (72g) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 and 1/2 cups (190g) shredded asiago cheese*
- 1/3 cup (50g) chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes*
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with butter or nonstick spray.
- Whisk the buttermilk and eggs together until combined.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, garlic powder, sugar, salt, pepper, and basil/parsley together in a large bowl or pulse together in a large food processor. Add the cubed butter and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or by pulsing several times in the processor. Cut/pulse until coarse crumbs form. If you used a food processor, pour the mixture into a large bowl.
- Stir in the cheese and sun-dried tomatoes until combined, then pour in the buttermilk mixture and stir to combine. Batter is thick, chunky, and sticky.
- Pour/spread batter into prepared pan. Feel free to lightly sprinkle with additional fresh pepper and/or cheese. Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Start checking at about 47 minutes. Halfway through bake time, if you notice the top is quickly browning, tent a piece of aluminum foil over the loaf pan to help the bread bake more evenly.
- Cool bread in the pan set on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving or cool completely in the pan.
- Cover leftovers tightly and store bread at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Freezing Instructions: Baked and cooled bread freezes well up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
- Buttermilk: Buttermilk is required for this recipe. You can make your own DIY version of buttermilk by measuring 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring glass. Add enough milk (whole milk is best– lower fat or nondairy milks work in a pinch, but the cake won’t taste as moist or rich) in the same measuring glass to reach 1 cup. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The soured milk will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in your recipe.
- Garlic: Feel free to skip the garlic powder and replace with 3 cloves of minced garlic. Add it when you add the garlic powder.
- Do not leave out the sugar. You really need it to balance out the robust salty and savory flavors– the flavor is quite flat without it.
- Cheese & Herbs: For other flavor options such as a replacement for the asiago cheese or if you want to use dried herbs or other fresh herbs, see details above.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Use sun-dried tomatoes that are packed in oil. No need to pat dry, but try to avoid getting a lot of excess oil in the batter. We found dry sun-dried tomatoes dried out the texture of the bread.
- Muffins or Other Size Pans: Feel free to bake this batter in a greased or lined muffin pan to yield about 12 muffins. Prepare batter as directed, then use the same baking instructions as banana muffins. (Steps 1 and 3.) You can also bake this batter in a greased 9-inch square baking pan or a seasoned 9-inch or 10-inch cast iron skillet. Bake time at 350°F (177°C) is at least 25 minutes, but use a toothpick to test for doneness.
Keywords: savory quick bread, asiago cheese sun-dried tomato bread