Jan’s Parsley and Cheese Bread

This was one of my sister’s favorite bread recipes.

Dear friends, I have been absent here for a while. Sadly, I lost my beloved sister Jan on the morning of Halloween after a brief and unexpected one-month battle with lung cancer. It still doesn’t seem possible she won’t walk through my door, and my heart is breaking. It takes a lot for me to have no interest in cooking, eating, or writing, but I’ve been a bit lost.

Her favorite yeast bread

I decided to make her favorite bread recipe this week; baking bread has always been a source of comfort for me. I think I may have added a few tears to the dough. Jan got the recipe from our Aunt Jeanette, a lovely yeast bread enriched with cream cheese, butter, and eggs as well. Over the years, I modified the recipe by using half white whole wheat flour from King Arthur and actually like it better this way. She always made it straight up with all purpose flour. If you use the white whole wheat, use around three cups to 2 1/2 of all purpose. With bread baking, it’s never going to be an exact measurement.

Add a different herb if you like

You can also substitute other herbs here, or a mix. It is delightful with chives and chive blossoms in the spring. While you can substitute vegan butter here, the vegan cream cheese simply does not work.

The tears are optional.

Jan’s Parsley Cheese Bread

Rich and buttery, this bread has a lovely flavor of cheese and herbs.
  • About 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 envelopes instant rise yeast
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt dissolved in 1 tbsp. water
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • Water as needed, about a cup                     
  • 1 cup parsley, loosely packed                             
  • 2 eggs, beaten                              
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted        

In large bowl mix together flour, yeast, and sugar. Set aside. Cut cream cheese in small pieces, place in 2-cup measure; add water to 2-cup level. In saucepan, on medium, heat cheese and water till most of cheese is melted.  

Add the warm liquid, parsley, eggs, and butter, all at once to the flour mixture; blend till moistened. Add the salt water.

Knead for 10 minutes, or 7 minutes in the stand mixer, adding a bit more flour if need be. 

Turn out on floured board and knead a minute or so, then place in a greased bowl and let rise until doubled. 

Turn out dough and divide in half, cover let rest 15 minutes.  Fold over on itself a few times to remove any large air bubbles, then place in greased 8-inch loaf pans, let rise again to double.

Bake in preheated 375 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Jan and I about 40 years ago, and myself and her last spring on a little holiday to the Maine Coast to enjoy lobsters.

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117 Comments Add yours

  1. terrie gura says:

    Oh Dorothy, I am so very sorry to hear this sad news. I told my husband this morning I was concerned for you because you had been so quiet, and I hate that this was the reason. I’m dabbing tears as I leave this comment, and I have parsley in the fridge so I’m going to make this bread in your sister‘s memory. So, so sorry for your loss! 💔

    1. Thank you Terrie! I have missed my friends here, but we’re all still pretty much in shock still t this point. One week ago, we had no idea this would be the end.
      I hope you enjoy her bread as much as we all do. 💕

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m so sorry to hear the sad news about your sister sending deepest condolences to you and your family

    1. Thank you, it is much appreciated!

  3. Julia says:

    You and your family have my deepest sympathy for the loss of your sister. In time, may the good memories of her bring you comfort.

    1. Thank you Julia. The memories are now all we have of her, and there are decades of those to cherish.

  4. Marylou says:

    I am sorry to hear about your sister Dorothy. My condolence to you and your family. Thank You for sharing her recipe, it is a great way to remember our love ones.

    1. It’s the best way, isn’t it Marylou. We make their food, and somehow they are still feeding us with their love.

  5. c.a. says:

    Dorothy, you have my sympathy and prayers during this most poignant time of feeling the loss of your sister.
    ❤️&🙏, c.a.

    1. Thank you so much! It is difficult, and I know I to just wade my way through it.

  6. NativeNM says:

    Dorothy, I am so saddened to hear about the loss of your sister. I hope you find comfort in the memories you shared together. Your tribute to her is beautiful!

    1. Thank you Jan – What a beautiful name! I am going through photographs for her memorial and I alternately smile and cry.

  7. lisinmayenne says:

    I’m so sorry, what terribly sad news. I hope you can find comfort in happy memories and creative kitchen busyness. Jan’s bread recipe is lovely, I’m thinking it will be the perfect seasonal accompaniment to a warming squash soup.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I think this would be delicious with a squash soup!

  8. Ronit says:

    So very sorry for your loss!
    Baking bread is indeed a great therapy. especially when using one of her recipes.
    The bread looks so good. I’m sure she would be so proud of you!

    1. Thank you Ronit. Jan was always proud of everything I did; she was an amazing soul.

  9. Americaoncoffee says:

    Oh Dorothy, how sad it is to hear of your loss. You are strong to have found your way to the kitchen. I wish I had the right words to comfort you in your time of sorrow. Sending you my condolences Dorothy. Love you XOXO

    1. Thank you my friend. It has helped today, to be back at the computer and connecting again with all of you.

      1. Americaoncoffee says:

        You are a truly a strong person Dorothy. And maybe too, you know how to gravitate to your self therapy.

      2. Trying to take care of myself, to look ahead. After her memorial service it will be a bit easier ai think.

  10. Oh Dorothy … oh Dorothy. What did the Queen say … grief is the price we pay for love. I am so sorry, so sorry … I have two sisters and we are very close (even though we live far from one another). I don’t want to even imagine what you are going through – Halloween will never be the same for you again. That said, your love for one another is a beautiful thing … and your making her bread recipe is a testament to this. Sending you a tender hug … xoxoxo

    1. Thank you so much for these beautiful thoughts. I will hold on to “Grief is the price we pay for love.” It is so true, and I know that one day all of us will part for those we love. It’s just really hard for a time. 💕

  11. jama says:

    So sorry to hear about Jan, Dorothy. Especially sad, I’m sure, since her passing was unexpected. May you find comfort in your happy memories with her. Thank you for sharing her special bread recipe and the lovely photos.

    1. Thank you so much Jama. We’re all still trying to wrap our heads around it. So unexpected.

  12. Suzassippi says:

    Dorothy, this is such a beautiful tribute and story of your sister. I add my condolences also, and the two photos of you and Jan are a lovely ending for the story. That slice of warm bread with butter looks like comfort. I will be thinking of you in the coming days.

    1. Thank you so much Suz! I love the two photos as well, she was always happy when she could see the ocean!

      1. Suzassippi says:


  13. Jenna says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss Dorothy, and Jan’s Parsley and Cheese Bread sounds like a wonderful way to comfort you and cherish her memory, it sounds so good, and I know it’s made with love…

    1. Every time I take a bite, I’m reminded of a thousand other little nibbles. Thank you for stopping by my friend.

  14. Bernadette says:

    Oh Dorothy, what sad news. Your story is beautiful and resonates with love for your sister. Sending hugs and hopes that the day comes soon that thoughts of your sister will bring smiles to replace your tears.

    1. Thank you Bernie! I know this will pass into an easier place, it’s just all about time. Still can’t imagine my life without her!

  15. brwbmm says:

    Dorothy, I check my email daily and wondered why you weren’t posting. So sorry for the loss of your wonderful sister. I hope you’ll continue to share more about her on this blog.


    1. Thank you! I guess a lot of folks were wondering what happened to me!
      I will write more about Jan when the sting is a little more quiet. We had lots of memories together.

  16. Sherry M says:

    your bread sounds delicious. how awful for you about your sister. my uncle had lung cancer, and it was all done and dusted in 3 months! so hard to comprehend. but one month! oh my. so sad and sorry to hear.

    1. Thank you so much Sherry. The doctor told us that lung cancer often does its evil work quietly and then it is like falling off a cliff, and little can be done.

  17. Jovina Coughlin says:

    This is a very difficult time for you. I thought something wasn’t right when I didn’t receive any posts from you for awhile. Sharing her recipe is a wonderful way to keep her close and remember her .

    1. Thank you Jovina. It has indeed been a trying month. In the middle of Jan’s health issues, my husband ended up in the hospital for a week with an infection! I’ve seen enough of hospitals for a while.

  18. Chef Mimi says:

    Oh my goodness I’m so sorry. Just horrible. Lung cancer can be so fast. I’m so glad you’re using her recipes! This is a good one.

    1. Thanks Mimi! I’m still trying to wrap my head around this. She never even got the chance to see the oncologist!
      I will keep her food memories alive, and make sure the youngers in the family have them all.

  19. So sorry to hear of the loss of your sister. Sharing recipes and stories is a wonderful way to remember her. I look forward to trying out your sisters bread recipe.I love the photos you included of your sister from years back and the more recent one – so sweet and nostalgic.

    1. Thank you my friend. Jan loved both of those pictures of us, so I thought it would be nice to include them. I will make her breads in her honor, and tell her story.

  20. Joni says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your sister Dorothy. Thinking of you and sending prayers.

    1. Thank you so much Joni. She was a remarkable woman, and I will write more about her later, once the tears are a bit less, if that is possible!

  21. Donna says:

    I am so sorry about your loss of Jan. I will make her bread and think of you both.

    1. Thank you so much Donna, it is an honor that you would make her bread.

  22. Dorothy I am so sorry about losing your sister. It is so difficult, my husband lost his only brother in September. Jan has to be smiling from ear to ear at the wonderful job you did making her bread. Sending hugs!

    1. Thank you Diane! It was so unexpected, and it is just now a week later that it is sinking in. I will always cherish my memories of her.

  23. I’m so really sorry Dorothy! My deepest and sincere condolences! I know that words are useless in this situations. I’m sure was not easy to make this bread but I’m also sure she would have loved it 💕

    1. Thank you so much my friend. What I always tell others is that the words don’t really matter, even if there are no words, it’s the showing up that counts, the connection whether in person or from afar. Thank you.

  24. I’m so sorry for your loss. What a sad time for you and how lovely to make this bread in memory of your sister. Sending love and hugs. X

    1. Thank you so much! She was a remarkable person, and I looked up to her always. Still do.

  25. sunisanthosh says:

    Dorothy, So sorry to hear about the loss of your sister. Spendid memories of your sister’s will continue with you. Thank you for sharing her recipe.

    1. Thank you so much! I cherish all her recipes, and will think of her whenever I make them, and a whole lot of time otherwise!

  26. Gail says:

    Tis the season for the comfy aromas of freshly baked bread. Don’t stop!!!! 🍞🥖🥐🥯

    1. Gail says:

      Jan will be with you always, not only in your heart, in your food, but especially looking over you from the Church Triumphant. 🌟✨💫

      1. Thank you Gail. My heart is breaking, but still filled with her love. She believed very strongly that we will be together again.

      2. Gail says:

        I believe it with my whole heart. 💕

    2. My starter is all well-fed and ready to go!

  27. CarolCooks2 says:

    Oh Dorothy I am so very, very sorry to hear about your sister it must have been such a shock…I thought you had been quiet and just thought as we all do sometimes that life had taken over but not this…I have lots of parsley and was wondering what to do with it and now I know I will make Jan’s bread and think of you and your dear sister as I knead that dough…Please take care…Hugs xx

    1. Thank you Carol. I am still trying to get over the shock of it all. There was no time between hopefulness and her death two days later.
      I am fortunate to have had her all these years, and cherish every memory.

      1. CarolCooks2 says:

        It must have been a terrible shock, Dorothy especially it being so quick but as you say you have memories and recipes to cherish…Take care x

      2. Thank you! I’m focusing on the good memories, and there are lots of them!

  28. Ally Bean says:

    This bread recipe sounds delicious. Very yummy. The photos of you two 40 years ago and recently are wonderful. Time has been kind to you both.

    1. Ah, thanks Ally! And Jan was 11 years older than me, and looked stunning right to the end!

  29. Nancy says:

    Oh Dorothy I am so very sorry. I can’t imagine how you are feeling. I was beginning to worry for you and now I just want to send you great big hugs.
    My heartfelt condolences to you and yours… ((hugs))

    1. Thank you Nancy! Hug received, thank you my friend!

  30. Amanda says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. The recipe is a wonderful legacy that will ensure she is never forgotten

    1. Thank you Amanda! The recipes are a great way to keep it all alive.

  31. I am so sorry to hear of your loss Dorothy and a sister who knows you so well and has been there through all life’s ups and downs is tragic on so many levels. This is a wonderful bread recipe and I will copy and add to my baking collection of memorable recipes from family and friends. love and hugs ♥

    1. Thank you so much Sally. I don’t think anyone on the planet knew me as well as she did, and that leaves a big hole that I will just have to try to keep filled with memories.
      Thanks for saving the recipe, she would be honored.

  32. So sorry for your loss! How nice to bake and post her bread in her memory.

    1. Thank you Stefan. Making her recipes will certainly help replace the last images with the reality of her beautiful life.

  33. I am very sorry for your loss. The loss of a close family member would stop all of us in our tracks. This looks like a lovely family recipe, and I can imagine baking it now and in the future will bring a flood of wonderful memories which will bring a smile.

    1. Thank you Judy.
      It made me feel a little better when I made it the other day, and it reminded me to ask my niece for her recipe box so I can put them all together for her kids.

  34. OlverIndulgence says:

    I’m so sorry about your loss. This was a beautiful tribute.

    1. Thank you so much. She was a very special lady.

  35. nancyc says:

    Yum! I can just imagine how delicious this cheese bread must be–I’m a big fan of any kind of cheese! 🙂

    1. It’s the only recipe I have for a bread that uses cream cheese, and it is a lovely flavor.

  36. Christy B says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your sister, Dorothy. My heart goes out to you! My dad was diagnosed less than a year ago with lung cancer. I send many hugs to you. Your tribute to Jan here is beautiful x Please rest and take care of yourself.

    1. Thank you Christy. I actually took a full day home alone to set myself right and find a center again. It was good.

    1. Thank you for reposting my friend!

  37. Hi Dorothy, I am so very sorry to hear about your sister. So very hard for your extended family. Thank you for sharing her recipe, it looks very good. I also find baking calming and almost meditative.

    1. Thank you Robbie. The baking definnitely helps, especially if it is one of her recipes.

  38. Leah says:

    Dearest Dorothy, I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your sister. I cannot imagine how you are feeling. I will pray for peace and comfort for you and family during this difficult time. The bread looks very good. Thank you for sharing in your sister’s memory. — Leah

    1. Thank you Leah. We had her memorial this past weekend, and the whole extended family and friends gathered to pay tribute to this marcelous person.

  39. petespringerauthor says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Dorothy. An unexpected or rather quick passing is harder to process in many ways. Wishing you a lot of beautiful memories of your sister. Did your sister also share your interest in cooking?

    1. My sister liked cooking, but she loved to bake even more, so we were a good pair; I prefer cooking to baking!

      1. petespringerauthor says:

        Many of my friends are surprised to learn that I like to bake.

  40. Americaoncoffee says:

    Hi Dorothy! I hope that you are getting stronger each day. I know that you will. Thank you for the warm pan of bread, that’s filled with the perfect ingredients for love. Sending you my love dear friend!💕☕️☕️

    1. Thank you so very much my friend. It is getting a bit easier, at least as long as I keep busy!

  41. Staci Troilo says:

    My deepest condolences on your loss, Dorothy. My family tends to express our love for each other through (among other things) food, so I found this to be a lovely tribute to your dear sister. Offering prayers for you and your loved ones.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind and comforting words Staci! It means a lot to me, all the wonderful support here on WP. 💕

  42. amreade says:

    My condolences to you and your family. Sharing your sister’s favorite bread is a lovely way to share her memory with so many people.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. She always shared everything she had with everyone, so I think it is important to share her beloved recipes.

  43. Oh, Dorothy, I am so sorry to hear of the death of your beloved sister. My heart goes out to you.

    1. Thank you so much Liz. I’m still trying to come to grips with the whole thing, it happened so fast. But she was a beautiful person inside and out and modeled kindness and compassion every day of her life.

      1. You’re welcome, Dorothy. It sounds as though Jan left behind a good legacy for everyone who knew her.

  44. dgkaye says:

    I’m very sorry for your loss Dorothy 🙁

    1. Thank you so much. It was a shock indeed, and now we’re all just trying to see where we land.

      1. dgkaye says:

        I know this business only too well Dorothy. My mantra – one day at a time. <3

      2. Yes, that’s all we have anyway!

  45. Michael says:

    I am feeling sorry for your loss, Dorothy! May your sister rest in peace. Best wishes, Michael

    1. Thank you for those kind words Michael!

    1. I am so pleased that you made Jan’s bread! She would be delighted to share that recipe with so many, and I hope you liked it as much as we do.
      I love that all your critters got a little Thanksgiving treat, especially the spared turkeys!

      1. Donna says:

        The bread is amazing. The taste and texture are incredible. We’ll be making grilled turkey sandwiches with it for dinner tonight.

      2. Perfect!
        The bread is unlike no other I’ve made, both in the process and the ultimate tasty loaf!

    2. Hmm. I did reply to this, but notice it is not here, so I’m probably spending my time in SPAM again!
      Thank you again for the link to my sister’s recipe. She would be delighted.
      And I love all the treats for your animals, including the special treat for the turkeys!

      1. Donna says:

        I see your comment above. I don’t think you are spending your time in SPAM.

  46. Mary says:

    I think your recipe sounds inviting but what do I do with the second amount of Cream Cheese? I see you mix the first lot with water etc but what about the 1 pkt cream cheese. Thanks :))

    1. I’m so glad you picked up on that! I will change it. There is no second package. In my sister’s recipe, she did not have the ingredients listed in order, and I simply forgot to remove the cream cheese after I put it up higher!

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