Garlic and herb bread with peppered cheese

Straight from Jane-Anne Hobbs’s cookbook, Scrumptious Food for Family and Friends, this moreish 'double-craggy', cheesy garlic bread recipe goes equally well with cosy soups and summer braais. Says Jane-Anne, “I’ve updated this great classic by cutting the bread into stalagmites and crumbling over it some peppery cheese."

Serves: 8 people, as a snack


1 large round loaf of day-old bread
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) melted butter
10 peeled and finely grated cloves garlic
finely grated zest of one lemon
1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped fresh herbs
milled black pepper
200g peppered feta cheese, goats cheese or crumbly cream cheese


Heat the oven to 190 degrees C. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the bread into 2 cm slices to within 2 cm of its base. Now turn the loaf the other way around and, using quick, light sawing motions, cut across the slices to form a grid.

Mix together the melted butter, garlic, lemon zest, fresh herbs and pepper. Gently squeeze the base of the loaf to splay the crags and, using a brush or a baster, coat each one with flavoured butter. Brush the bread all over with more melted butter and tie a piece of damp string or raffia around its middle. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and crisp. Crumble over the cheese and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove the string and serve hot.

Cook’s note: Add anything you fancy to the melted mutter: dried chilli flakes, pounded anchovies, finely chopped olives, grated Parmesan and so on. Prepare the garlic bread for baking up to 24 hours ahead.
Extracted from “Scrumptious Food for Family & Friends” by Jane-Anne Hobbs (Random House Struik).

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