Melting Cheese Loaf

Jean Christophe Novelli infuses a whole vacherin cheese in chilli oil, herbs and garlic and wraps it in a tasty bread dough for a delicious light meal
By Jean-Christophe Novelli
Melting Cheese Loaf
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 1 x 900g loaf
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 1 whole 500g vacherin
  • 2 tbsp chilli oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • fresh herbs
  • 2 tbsp tapenade
  • 40 ml eau-de-vie (colourless fruit liqueur), 40-80% proof, or vodka

For the bread

  • 750 g strong bread flour
  • 10 g salt
  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 sachets fast action dried yeast
  • 450 ml warm water, plus 5 tbsp warm water
  • herbs, to taste

For the walnut dip

  • 3 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp crushed walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, (heart removed) finely sliced
  • handfuls chives
  • salt and black pepper, to taste

Method

1. Poke holes in the Vacherin with a cocktail stick then infuse in the chilli oil, garlic, tapenade, fresh herbs and Eau de vie for a minimum of a day. If you would prefer to remove the skin, place the cheese in the freezer for 10 minutes then use a vegetable peeler to remove the hardened skin.

2. For the bread, combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.

3. Add 2/3 of water, mix to a paste, add remainder of water, mix to a smooth paste.

4. Add 3 tbsps water, mix until dough is smooth, then add remaining 2 tbsps and mix until dough is smooth.

5. Place dough in a clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and allow to prove for at least 1 hour in a warm place.

6. Knock gas out of dough, tip dough out onto work surface and knead until smooth.

7. Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7.

8. Roll out the bread dough and place the infused vacherin in the middle, cover the vacherin in the dough and place it aside and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.

9. Once the dough has risen, sprinkle it with flour and herbs, place in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden.

10. To make the dip, simply mix all the ingredients together and serve alongside the loaf.

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