Pull-Apart Spicy Cheese Bread

My friend Bryn had me over and made this amazing cheese bread. I had nothing to do with it except photographing it and eating it! And isn’t it so pretty?! So delicious too! Bryn and I pretty much crushed it, plus red wine and salad. Like proper miladies.

Ingredients

1 round loaf artisan bread (16- to 20-ounce loaf)

1 1/2 to 2 cups (6 to 8 ounces) shredded cheese, like Monterey Jack, mozzarella, provolone, cheddar, or a mix (Bryn used a mix of Italian and Mexican blends)

Optional mix-ins: cooked bacon or sausage, minced chives or sliced green onions, red pepper flakes, chili powder (Bryn used red pepper flakes and chives)

1/4 cup unsalted butter

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice the bread horizontally and vertically into 1-inch cubes. Do not slice all the way through the loaf — leave bottom of the loaf intact with the bread pieces still attached.

Toss the cheese and mix-ins together in a small bowl. This helps make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed when you stuff the bread. Gently stuff the cheese into the bread between the slices.

Transfer the stuffed loaf to a sheet of foil. Melt the butter in the microwave, then pour evenly over the loaf. Wrap the loaf tightly in foil.

Bake the loaf for 20 minutes. Uncover the top and bake for another 10 minutes, until the cheese is totally melted and the top of the loaf is crispy.

Serve the loaf while still hot from the oven.

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