Over the holiday weekend we had friends over for our first grilling and chilling of the season and as I was flipping through American Bistro for inspiration, I decided to try Diane Rossen Worthington's herbed garlic cheese bread. Even though I didn't have all the ingredients (Whole Foods was out of thyme and oregano) and messed up the assembly a bit (chalk it up to long weekend brain haze), the bread was spectacular -- a hit with kids and grownups alike. Below is the annotated recipe -- enjoy!
Herbed Garlic Cheese Bread
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine all of the spread ingredients (butter through salt + pepper), except for 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese.
2. Slice bread in half lengthwise. Spread each cut side with half the herbed butter mixture. Sprinkle halves with remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Cut bread vertically into 2 inch wide slices, cutting only 3/4 of the way through (so the bottom of the bread holds together). *This is where I spaced out. I was using a sourdough boule and after spreading and sprinkling the two halves, I put the halves back together like a sandwich and cut the slices. So, the top layer cut all the way through and the bottom did not. Also, some of the spread squished out the sides but I simply scooped it up and spread it between the top slices. The presentation actually looked really fun!
3. Wrap each bread half in foil and close ends tightly. Place the wrapped halves on a baking sheet and bake 10 minutes. Remove foil, return halves to the oven and bake another 5 minutes until the top is golden and the bread crisp. *Since my boule was reassembled I simply wrapped the loaf in foil and put it in the oven while the roasted potatoes I was making were finishing. I skipped the final step of removing the foil -- and instead just opened the foil to ventilate -- it worked great!
You can prepare this bread up to 4 hours ahead up to the baking step and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. The bread also re-toasts well if you have leftovers.