THIS is a great recipe to share with friends and family, either at home or camp. A twist on the humble garlic bread, this is the perfect meal to make in a camp oven. The warm pieces of cheesy, garlicky bread are impossible to resist and, with winter coming, it’s best served with a bowl of hot soup.
An unsliced round or oblong crusty bread loaf, such as sourdough, Vienna or Pane di Casa. 1 cup (or more) grated/shredded melting cheese – such as a mix of mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan. Or try mozzarella, Gruyere or provolone.
½ to 1 cup (250g) butter – melted (amount depends on the size of the bread loaf). 2-3 cloves of garlic – crushed (or use 2-3 tablespoons tube/jar minced garlic), more or less to taste. 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley – finely chopped (or a good alternative is the lightly dried parsley now available on supermarket shelves).
Salt and pepper, to taste.
• Preheat your camp oven to hot, or your home oven to 200°C or 180°C (fan-force). • Using a large, sharp, serrated bread knife, cut the bread into a crisscross (diamond) pattern, about 3-4cm wide, but don’t cut all the way through to the bottom of the bread. • Place the bread on a large sheet of foil, enough to wrap entirely.
• In a small bowl, combine the melted butter with the other garlic butter mix ingredients. • Using your fingers or a knife, pry open the cracks in the bread and evenly drizzle the melted garlic butter mix in the cracks. • Sprinkle or spoon the grated cheese into the cracks. • Cover and enclose the bread with foil. • Place on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 mins until the cheese has mostly melted, then open up the foil and bake for another 5-10 mins until the bread is nice and crusty. • Make sure you have a trivet at the bottom of your camp oven. Place the foil-wrapped-bread on the trivet and cover and bake as detailed – coals top and bottom. • Serve immediately – open up the foil and let everyone grab a piece!
• You could add finely chopped spring onions, chives or bacon. If you can’t be bothered melting the butter, just let it soften and then mix in all the ingredients and spread as evenly as you can throughout the cut bread. • The denser the bread, the better the pieces will hold together when pulled off. • You could prepare this at home prior to heading off on a camping trip, before finishing it off in your camp oven when you arrive at your campsite. To do this, wrap with both cling wrap and aluminium foil, then store in the refrigerator (or freeze it, to keep longer). Thaw before baking.
Want more recipes that incorporate cheese, then you can’t go past the ‘Perfect Italiano’ website and recipes. I used its ‘4 Cheese Melt’ product and it worked well. www.perfectitaliano.com.au/recipes