Cheese Bread: How to Make the Best

Cheese Bread: How to Make the Best

 

Its no wonder cheesy bread is a favorite at parties: gooey cheese over warm bread. This seemingly foul proof snack can have some flaws such as not enough cheese to bread ratio, not enough textures, and lack of flavor depth. Don’t fret, read below for tips to make the best cheesy bread.

 

CUT AND PRESENTATION

There are two main styles of cheesy bread: a classic pizza breadstick and a dip. The classic pizza breadstick is a flat layer of bread, typical a formed dough in its own right, and a layer of the cheese This bread is then sliced into finger sized segments or small squares for optimum mini bites. This version offers a great cheese to bread ratio however it lacks a crust, offering just a singled textured bite.

The dip style takes a whole loaf with incisions throughout. Spices and cheese are added in-between the crevices. This version tends to have more texture since the pre-baked bread already developed a nice crust, but brings up the risk of too little cheese to bread ratio as cheese often sticks on the bottom on the loaf rather than the ‘fingers’ of bread.

What to do? Choose a good loaf of bread, not too soft as it’s second time in the oven will harden it a bit, but pick a good crust for that extra texture we mentioned above. Slice the loaf lengthwise, parallel to your cutting board. Flip each half up, wrapping the bottom (crust) in aluminum foil. You’ll end up with two foil/bread nests. Now for the cheese.

 

CHEESE AND FLAVOR

Sure you can just sprinkle some mozzarella on your bread and call it a day, but that lacks pizzaz. Choose 1-2 good melting cheeses: mozzarella, gruyere, asiago, cheddar, and gouda to name a few. Be sure the cheeses you choose complement each other. If you’re not sure or want to experiment, ask your cheese deli for a few samples and take bites of combinations together.

Once you’ve settled on the cheese, you’ll need an herbed butter. For one loaf, a stick of butter should suffice. Allow it to come to room temperature then mix in flavorings that complement the cheese like parsley, thyme, red pepper flakes, minced garlic, and chopped up sun dried tomatoes. If you’re having trouble getting the mix-ins small enough, consider using a food processor. Don’t forget the salt and pepper!

Some good combinations include mozzarella with a garlic, sun dried tomato, and basil butter; gruyere and asiago with lemon zest, thyme butter; monterey jack and cheddar with minced adobe chili, cilantro butter (sprinkle some pickled jalapeños on top).

Spread the seasoned butter mixture over the bread then top with the shredded cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is nice and melted, then stick under the broiler for a few minutes to ensure an even browning on top. Let the cheesy bread cool for 5 minutes before slicing up and enjoying.

 

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