This is not a recipe for the faint of heart. If you are a calorie-phobe or watching your cholesterol you should probably look away now! A perfect barbecue or picnic food, this goes down equally well as a dinner party starter. We managed to pretty much finish it between four of us. And it was sinfully delicious.
'Blooming' or pull-apart breads are a bit of a Pinterest sensation in the US. I was inspired by this recipe over at The Girl Who Ate Everything but used my favourite homemade pizza toppings (seriously, try them on pizza - sensational). I have to admit that the feta did not melt completely, so you can leave it out and just use goats cheese and Stilton (or any other blue cheese). I used my first sourdough loaf for this recipe and it was great, but I imagine any crusty bread would work well.
1 loaf of sourdough bread (homemade or store bought) 1 jar caramelised onion chutney (need around 250g) 200g barrel-aged feta 200g Stilton (or other blue cheese) 200g goat's cheese 50-80g butter, melted (or more to taste) Generous amount of olive oil to drizzle (or more melted butter) smoked sea salt crystals freshly ground black pepper handful of chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley) 2-3 slices of pancetta (made this for vegetarian friends so didn't use) minced garlic or garlic paste (didn't use)
Line a baking tray with 2-3 large sheets of strong baking foil and preheat the oven to 180C.
Dry fry your slices of pancetta in a pan. Drain on kitchen towel paper and crumble into small pieces.
Using a sharp, serrated knife, cut the bread lengthwise in rows about 1 inch apart. Be careful not to cut through the bottom crust. Repeat width wise.
Use a small knife to spread as much onion chutney as you can down the bread crevices. Pull the bread apart and pour the melted butter over it. It would be useful to have a helper spread bread apart while you do this - not easy to do one handed!
Cut your feta into thin slices and stuff it down the bread. Repeat with the goat’s cheese and stilton (they may crumble rather than slice). You may not need to use all the cheese but the more you can stuff into the bread, the better.
Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the pancetta on top. Mix your chopped herbs (and garlic if using) in with the oil (or butter) then drizzle over the bread. Don’t be skimpy! I must admit the sheer amount of oil and butter scared me a bit, but the recipe is better for it.
Place the bread on top of the foil and wrap well. Bake for 15 minutes, then open the foil and bake for another 20. You may want to bake longer if the cheese has not melted or put under the grill for a few minutes. This recipe can be made in advance and reheated in the oven for 10-15m when you want to serve. Go on, try it. And then come back and let me know how it was.
Will submit this to Yeastspotting - a great place for yeastinspiration!