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Bloomin' Onion Bread
Makes 1 Happy Hour
|1||round||Uncut Sourdough Loaf|
|(an Artisan bread with a "leather" crust,
as opposed to a dry, crisp crust, is best)
|1||lbs||Monterey Jack Cheese|
Melt the butter and set aside to cool to room temperature. Stirring occasionally to discourage separation. Fine chop, press or crush the clove of garlic and add to melting butter along with the poppy seeds.
Thin slice the scallion onions diagonally (including white) and set aside. You should end up with about ½ cup of chopped onion.
Slice the loaf of bread from top to bottom about 1" short of the bottom of the loaf, in a crosshatch pattern about 1" square (or diamond). Then pick the loaf up and "bend it" in such a way as to spread the square spires of bread apart a little.
Add chopped scallions to the butter and slather the butter mixture all over the top of the loaf, making sure to get it down into each of the cuts. You don't want too many onion pieces right on top of the loaf, fully exposed to the heat at the end, because they will burn. (brown is good, burnt is not)
Slice the block of cheese into 1" squares no more than ¼" thick (thinner is better). Slip a square of cheese in between every other row (slice) in both directions. So that each spire of bread has cheese on only two sides.
You don't want too much cheese. If the bread isn't able to brown and crisp a little in between the spires, you will be left with nothing but a thin piece of crust when you try to tear one out of the blossom. Ideally you want each spire to pull out of the blossom intact with cheese and onion attached. The butter is used to help brown and crisp the exposed bread and to "wet", and therefore weaken, the lower part of the spires so that they will more easily tear out as one large chunk. That's the plan anyway.
Preheat oven to 350º. Wrap loaf completely in foil. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Unwrap and bake for an additional 10 minutes to brown the cheese and exposed bread.
Once the cheese cools and solidifies you can re-slice the blossom with a wet, sharp knife (not a bread knife) to separate the spires again. You should also do this before you refrigerate the leftovers, should you have the self restraint to have leftovers.