I love quick breads because they usually don't require an electric mixer — a little elbow grease and a rubber spatula is enough to whip them up. But they're usually on the sweet side, with banana or pumpkin bread being the most common varieties. It turns out quick breads are also a great base for savory flavors, too. This one is seasoned with all the flavors of a fresh homemade ranch dressing and made with under-appreciated cottage cheese for the best overall texture.
To get the classic flavors of ranch salad dressing, I skipped the premade seasoning packets in favor of onion powder, garlic powder, and lots of fresh dill and chives. And just like ranch dressing, this bread has buttermilk for flavor and a touch of tanginess. Cottage cheese is folded in at the end and melts into the bread as it bakes up, keeping it tender and moist.
This quick bread is delicious on its own, but the leftovers are wonderful sliced, toasted, and buttered the next day for breakfast. It also freezes nicely and would be great tucked away for when you need a little bread to go with a hot bowl of soup in the future.
Ranch Quick Bread
Cooking spray or butter, for coating the pan
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons fine salt
1 teaspoon no-salt onion powder
3/4 teaspoon no-salt garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives (about 1 large bunch)
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese, preferably large curd
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Generously coat a 9x5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or butter; set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, baking soda, and pepper in a large bowl; set aside.
Whisk the eggs, buttermilk, butter, dill, and chives in a medium bowl until combined. Add the cottage cheese and stir to combine. Pour this mixture into the flour mixture and stir and fold with a rubber spatula just until the flour is incorporated, being careful not to overmix.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, push it into the corners, and smooth the top. Bake until golden-brown and a tester inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 50 minutes. (Test in several places, as you may hit a piece of cottage cheese.)
Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Flip the bread out of the pan onto the rack (run a knife around the edges first if needed) and let cool for at least another 15 minutes before serving.
- Storage: Although best eaten fresh, this bread can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.