Why I’ve been introduced to so many unusual breads in the state of Tennessee I can’t explain. This yeasty, herbal cheese bread a hostess served in Memphis is one example. Dating back at least to the nineteenth century, this beguiling bread can be made strictly by hand with a wooden spoon for a coarse texture or, for a refined and somewhat lightened texture, an electric mixer can be used. Either way, the bread is traditionally baked in a casserole, must be flavored with oregano—why, nobody knows—and is never cooked less than 1 hour. Once I tried baking the bread without the oregano, and even with the two cheeses it was almost bland. Prepared exactly as directed, the bread is memorable.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast and water and let proof till bubbly, about 5 minutes. Add
With a wooden spoon, beat the batter in the bowl vigorously for 30 seconds, scrape it into the prepared casserole or baking dish, and
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