New York Times food writer and cookbook author Melissa Clark shares her recipe for ham & cheese quick bread, stuffed with either Gruyère or sharp cheddar. 

Pro Tip: You can bake the loaf up to 3 days in advance. Store it, well wrapped, in the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature before serving. Or, freeze it for up to 2 months—this is best sliced and served toasted and warm—and spread with butter if you like.

For another one of Melissa's recipes, check out her American riff on a very French recipe—Poule Au Pot Pie!

Adapted from Dinner In French by Melissa Clark. Copyright © 2020 by Melissa Clark. Used with permission by Clarkson Potter. All rights reserved.


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (½ stick), melted and cooled, plus more for the pan
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped ham
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, white and green parts (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 cups grated Gruyère or sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk


Serves: Makes 1 loaf


Heat the oven to 350˚F. Butter and flour a metal 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and set it aside. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Stir in the chopped ham, scallions if using, thyme, and 1 ¾ cups cheese, reserving the rest for topping. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, eggs, and buttermilk. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine. The batter will be thick. 

Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and spread it out evenly, smoothing the top. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup cheese over the top. Bake until the top springs back when lightly pressed and a skewer inserted in the center comes out with some moist crumbs attached, 45 to 55 minutes. 

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let it cool for 10 minutes. Then remove the bread from the pan and let it cool completely on the wire rack.