Cheese and Garlic Crack Bread (Pull Apart Bread)

This is garlic bread - on crack! Great to share with a crowd, or as a centre piece for dinner accompanied by a simple salad.




Cheese and Garlic Crack Bread (Pull Apart Bread)

Ingredients

  • 1 crusty loaf , preferably sourdough or Vienna
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese (or other melting cheese)

Garlic Butter

  • 100 g / 1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter , softened
  • 2 large garlic cloves , minced
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley , finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Combine butter, garlic and salt in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave. Stir through parsley.
  3. Cut the bread on a diagonal into 2cm/1" diamonds but do not cut all the way through the bread.
  4. Use your fingers or a knife to pry open each crack and drizzle in a teaspoon of butter and stuff in a pinch of cheese. This might sound like a bit of an effort, but I promise you it is worth it! You don't need to be super neat, it's nice to have some of the butter drizzled over the crust.
  5. Brush surface with remaining butter.
  6. Wrap with foil and bake for 20 minutes until the cheese has mostly melted, then unwrap and bake for 5 - 10 minutes more to make the bread nice and crusty.
  7. Serve immediately. (See note 1 for best make ahead methods)

Recipe Notes:

1. Make Ahead - The best way to make ahead is to use softened butter instead of melted butter, mix with garlic, salt and parsley then smear into the cracks. Stuff with cheese, wrap and refrigerate or freeze. To cook, thaw then follow recipe instructions to bake.

To make ahead so that it just requires a brief 2 minute reheat in the microwave to serve, you must use a crusty sourdough loaf. Bake per recipe (including unwrapped stage), then wrap it up in foil and let it cool. Refrigerate up to 3 days, then to serve, just microwave for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes on high just to melt the cheese again. Because the crust gets so crusty in the oven, it stays crusty even when reheated in the microwave. 

2. Bread type - The denser the bread, the better the pieces will hold together when pulled off. Sourdough works best!
Use already baked bread, not uncooked bread dough.

3. "Speedy Tip"  **Update** A reader reminded me of a fabulous "SPEEDY" tip that I should share with you! Instead of melting the butter, cream it. Then cut diagonal slices (in one direction only) and use all the butter and generously spread it in each crack, on both walls. Then cut the bread to make diamonds and as you drag the knife through the bread, it will spread the butter into the new crevices you are cutting. This doesn't provide quite the same even coverage of butter but for a speedy version, it is a small compromise. Thank you to CJ for the tip!

Receipes Adapted From >>> www.recipetineats.com

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