I’ve been avoiding all Super Bowl everything (is Super Bowl even two words? or one? SuperBowl?) because, frankly, I couldn’t care less about football. I am just not a football watcher, nor have I ever been, and therefore: the SB (can we abbreviate?) has always been a day too close to my birthday to be spent doing something I don’t care about. That said: I love a good snack. Or dip. Or chicken wing. So, in that spirit, I give you my ONE SB 2014 food. Cheesy Garlic Herb Pull-Apart Bread! Woop woop!
I actually had no intention of posting anything snacky for your Seahawk/Bronco showdown, but when I saw Deb post this a few days ago… whew. I knew I had to make it. ASAP. I’ve been making a LOT of bread lately, from this fabulous book (more on that eventually!), and I bake two loaves at a time. We do a good job of eating 90% of both loaves, but always have a little bit of the second one left when I make a new batch. Usually I turn those into croutons (like THESE!), but this week I decided to go cheesy. Garlicky. HERBY. Can it get any better?
If you need a bread recipe, my favorite no-knead no-fail bread would work perfectly. Or you could buy a boule somewhere. Most important: fabulous bread knife. Our is lackluster, and it took quite a bit of patience for me to cut the loaf without destroying it! When we get back from Asia, whenever that might be, I WILL get a new bread knife. I will. Remind me, ok?
This recipe is really customizable. I used garlic, fresh oregano, fresh thyme, and dried red pepper flakes. It was amazing. I also used a blend of cheese: gruyere, cheddar, fontina, pecorino, and parmesan. Hard cheese for flavor, soft cheese for stringy gooeyness. Next time I make this, I’m adding more gooey cheese. I’m not sure why I didn’t do that this time… Have I met me? You can use whatever cheese you think might be tasty, along with whatever herbs float your boat. I considered throwing some rosemary in there, too!
It’d be really easy to assemble and do the first bake, keep the boule wrapped in foil as you go to your
snacking football party, and then do the second bake once you’re at your destination. The first bake warms the boule, the second bake melts the cheese — so keep an eye on it and take it out once it’s nice and melty!
- 1 round (about 1 pound) loaf bread (sourdough works well)
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt (if butter is unsalted)
- 4 medium cloves garlic, minced very fine
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup minced fresh herbs (I used a combination of oregano and thyme)
- 1/4 cup minced green onion
- 2 cups finely grated cheese (use a combo of hard and soft cheeses, such as parmesan/pecorino romano and cheddar/fontina)
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Slice the bread, taking care not to go all the way through to the bottom, into 1″ cubes (slice horizontally one way, then the other).
- Melt the butter in the microwave, then add the salt (if using unsalted butter), and garlic. Microwave again for 20 seconds.
- Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes, then use your fingers to separate the bread fingers and soak as much of the bread as possible with the butter. Try to distribute the garlic evenly as well, so as not to have it all in one location. I found the easiest way to do this was with my fingers, pouring directly into the bread, or using a spoon.
- Next, again using your fingers might be easiest, press the fresh herbs and green onion (reserving a big pinch of each for finishing) down into the crevices. Do the same with 1 cup of the cheese.
- Place the boule on a baking dish, and cover with foil. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove and top with the remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for another 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately.