Want to really impress your family this Thanksgiving with a stunning loaf of bread? Make this soft and tender, three dimensional, Cheese Bread Turkey to place in the center of your dinner table. Everyone will be amazed!
When I am asked to bring a loaf of bread to Thanksgiving dinner, I almost always use a simple recipe that makes a loaf that is loaded with pockets of extra sharp cheddar cheese and topped with crunchy bits of Parmigian Reggiano. It's so easy to make that I can have it in the oven in about 15 minutes so I usually bake it on Thanksgiving morning so it's incredibly fresh for dinner.
My family loves it.
So, when I found this amazing turkey baking pan from Nordic Ware, I knew I wanted to see if I could use it to make my favorite bread. I'm always thrilled when my thoughts turn into reality and this turkey shaped loaf of bread turned out just as I had imagined.
I doubled my usual quick cheese bread bread recipe so that I'd have enough batter to fill both halves of the turkey pan. The bread baked up over top edge of the pan which was perfect. I was able to cut off the domed parts of the bread, enjoy a nice snack, then sandwich the two halves of the turkey bread together with some cheddar cheese spread.
Now I can set the turkey on a platter in the center of our Thanksgiving dinner table and everyone will have a view of it from their seat. I can't wait to cut into it and serve slices along with the turkey and all the trimmings.
Watch the video tutorial to see how easy this Cheese Bread Turkey is to make:
Get your pan from Amazon (commission earned for sales).
- 1 cup finely shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese divided
- 25.5 ounces 6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons table salt
- 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese cut into ¼ inch cubes
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 ½ cups sour cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs beaten lightly
- optional ½ cup cheddar cheese spread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spray the inside of both halves of the turkey cake pan with baking spray.
Sprinkle about ⅓rd of the shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese into the pan (except over the turkey's head).
Pour flour into a large mixing bowl.
Add baking powder and salt and stir to combine.
Add the cheddar cheese cubes and the remaining Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Toss to coat the cheese in the flour.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, sour cream, butter, and egg.
Pour it over the flour mixture and fold just until combined. (Do not over mix or the bread will be dense).
Bake for 50-60 minutes until deep golden brown on the top.
If you plan to serve the two halves separately, allow the bread to cool in the pan for 20 minutes then remove and set on a cooling rack until completely cooled.
If you plan to put the two halves together then allow the bread to cool in the pan for 1 hour, then use a serrated knife to cut the domed tops off the bread loaves.
Remove from pan and allow to cool completely.
Slather a layer of cheddar cheese spread over one loaf then press the two halves together forming a 3-D turkey.
- If you prefer, you can simply serve the two halves of the turkey as two separate loaves of bread and skip the cheese spread all together.
- You can make this loaf ahead and freeze it until Thanksgiving day.
For more festive recipe ideas be sure to check out my Thanksgiving Recipes page.
Enjoy making your Cheese Bread Turkey for Thanksgiving!
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Do you have a gluten free version
This is so cool
I don't but if you find a recipe for a gluten-free quick bread recipe it should work. You might want to double your recipe as you'll need quite a bit of dough to make this turkey.
Is the original recipe of cheese bread baked in a regular bread pan on your site? I would love to make this bread without the mold. I live in Quebec Canada and the mold would cost me too much!
The recipe seems so simple and so delicious 🙂 I love all what you do!
Thank you !
Hi Suzanne, This is my absolute favorite quick bread recipe. I make it for all of our holiday meals. I've made it a few times here but it's always baked in a shaped pan or small silicone molds. You can make it in a loaf pan if you prefer using the directions below. Enjoy!
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, plus more to grease mold
1 large egg
3/4 cup sour cream
3 oz Parmesan cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
Preheat oven to 350°F
Stir grated Parmesan cheese, flour, baking powder, and salt together.
Stir milk, melted butter, egg, and sour cream.
Pour wet ingredients into dry, and fold just until combined.
Spray a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
Sprinkle half of the shredded Parmesan cheese over the bottom of the pan.
Spoon in the batter.
Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top becomes deep golden brown.
Remove and set pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.
Remove bread from pan, set on cooling rack, and cool for 45 minutes before slicing.
That sure IS impressive and the cheese bread looks delish. Anyone else would have brought a loaf of pre made bread, but not YOU. You make a 3D turkey!!! VERY nice.
Tavette - S. Cla
Thank, Tavette. I love making this cheese bread even in a regular loaf pan but this turkey is just as easy to make and so cool looking. I'm glad you like it.