GARLIC CHEESE BREAD

Over the four years of college, there was one particular food item that would always be there to help me and my friends through those all-nighters for homework or serve as a great late-night snack. That food item: Mad Mushroom’s delectable cheesybread.

Fresh out of the oven, cheesybread practically melted right in your mouth, with such a rich amount of cheese and garlic butter goodness that was enough to satiate even the greatest of cravings. Alas, now that I’ve graduated, my supply to such an item has been cut off, leaving me to search for a suitable replacement.

I decided to try to come up with something that would capture the elements of cheesybread: the mountain of melted cheese, hint of garlic butter, and Ranch dressing (my personal favorite dipping sauce for cheesybread). What I ended up with was some garlic cheese bread.

Garlic Cheese Bread
Makes about 8 – 10 strips

~ 1/2 loaf of ciabatta (Italian bread or French bread works as well)
~ 3 tbsp butter
~ 1/3 tsp garlic powder
~ 4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
~ 2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
~ 2 tsp Ranch dressing

We’ll start off by making our garlic butter that will be spread onto the bread. Put your butter into a microwave-safe bowl and heat it for about 5 seconds. We just want to soften up the butter and not melt it down completely. Once softened, add in the garlic powder and stir until well blended. Set that aside.

Take your loaf of bread and cut it in half horizontally. Lay it down with the bread-side facing up, and spread the garlic butter onto the top. In a separate bowl, mix together the cheeses and the Ranch dressing (the Ranch will help to give the cheese a little more creaminess in the final product). Spread that out over the top of both pieces of bread.

Warm up the broiler on the high setting as we put the finishing touches onto the bread before it goes into the oven. Sprinkle a garnish of basil and oregano onto the top of the bread, put the two pieces onto an oven tray, and throw it into the oven for roughly 7 – 8 minutes. The key is to take it out when the cheese is bubbling, but the edges are not too burnt either. All ovens are different, so be sure to keep a close eye on the product even with the recommended time range.

Once that’s done, take it out and cut up into strips to serve. With this, you get a nice mixed layer of cheese and garlic flavor, while at the same time getting a chewiness from the bread and a crunch from the outer crust. While it might not be matching up to the level of the cheesybread that I know and love, this garlic cheese bread still does hit the spot.

Potential Adjustments:

  • In order to incorporate more garlic flavor, add in more garlic powder. The conversion factor for garlic powder and garlic cloves is 1/8 tsp garlic powder -> 1 clove garlic. So with the 1/3 tsp here, that would be right around 2.67 cloves. Next time I might try to bump it up to 1/2 tsp (4 cloves) to make the overall flavor more pronounced.
  • Increase the presence of the Ranch dressing flavor by making it 1 tbsp instead of the 2 tsp. It could make the top layer more creamy as well.
  • Let there be a pool of cheese sitting on the top of the bread. I had a total of 6 oz. of cheese, but that could be increased up to 8 oz. Also, the blend of cheeses could be changed around as well. Mozzarella and cheddar is a nice combination, but you could also incorporate some shredded Parmesan or Provolone cheese too. Note that if you increase the cheese, you will have to scale accordingly with increasing the Ranch dressing as well.

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