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French Savory Ham and Gruyere Quick Bread

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This easy, delicious French Savory Ham and Gruyere Quick Bread is the ultimate treat to bake for lunch or as part of a bigger spread inspired by sun-drenched French summers. This easy version of a popular cake salé is simple to make, and is adaptable enough to enjoy made with leftover ham or cheese.

Horizontal view of sliced French Savory Ham and Gruyere Quick Bread

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Quick breads, familiar favorites to most, become extraordinary when made in the French tradition. My delicious Savory Ham and Gruyere Quick Bread is one way of making a delicious and savory cake salé.

Side view of unsliced French Savory Ham and Gruyere Quick Bread

These French savory loaves, or cakes salés, are the expressed genius of a country known for their amazing baked bread. From baguettes to croissants, they just get it right… every time. And their cheese breads, called gâteaux by some, are simply rustic snack breads without sugar and enriched with a variety of savory ingredients. Eaten in the afternoon, almost every day.

Top view of sliced French Savory Ham and Gruyere Quick Bread on a wood serving platter

What should I serve this quick bread with?

For an easy snack, it is just delicious simply spread with a good unsalted butter. Extra good if you then sprinkle the unsalted butter with your best flaky sea salt.

I love serving this as part of a Gallic-inspired spread with a few things picked up from the market, French breakfast radishes are good, as are simply washed cherry tomatoes – they sell them in special tubs in French supermarkets to enjoy as a simple snack or with an apéritif.

You might find my guide on preparing crudités helpful!

Frequently Asked Questions

This is a simple bread, wholly dependent on quality ingredients. Here are a few tips for choosing the very best!

Do I need to cook the ham in advance?

The ham should be fully cooked u002du002d and is a great way to use up leftover ham stashed in the freezer.

Can I leave out the ham to make this vegetarian?

Sure! Just make sure your cheese is suitable for vegetarians too.

Do I have to use gruyere cheese?

No! I just have as it works really well and it is very traditionally found in French kitchens – it is essential to make a classic Quiche Lorraine, and to make the croutons for a French Onion Soup!

Just use any grateable hard cheese you have on hand.

Can I include any other add-ins?

Yes! Sliced black olives work really well, as well as drained and chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

What size pan did you use?

I use a buttered 9 x 5 loaf pan for this quick bread u002du002d but if preferred, the batter can be portioned into muffins as well. Bump up the oven temperature to 400-degrees and bake for 15-28 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Close up of a loaf of cheese and ham quick bread one a neutral background served in a long shallow olive wood bowl.

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Top view of Sliced Ham and Gruyere Quick Bread
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Horizontal view of sliced French Savory Ham and Gruyere Quick Bread

French Savory Ham and Gruyere Quick Bread


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Description

This easy, delicious French Savory Ham and Gruyere Quick Bread is the ultimate treat to bake for lunch or as part of a bigger spread inspired by sun-drenched French summers. This easy version of a popular cake salé is simple to make, and is adaptable enough to enjoy made with leftover ham or cheese.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1/8 cayenne
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely grated gruyere cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees and butter a loaf pan. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, tarragon, and cayenne.
  3. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and then add the milk and olive oil. Whisk together.
  4. Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until mostly combined. It’s important not to overmix. Fold in the ham and grated cheese.
  5. Transfer batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached.
  6. Allow the bread to cool in the pan about 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool. Before taking the loaf out of the pan, run a knife along the edges to release the loaf. Allow the bread to cool about 30 minutes before serving.

Notes

This bread is best cut using a serrated knife.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: French

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