Baked Antipasto Cheese Bread

Forget all other stuffed cheese things: this ooey-gooey bread is perfect for game day and has all the flavors of antipasto.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 20 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

One 1-pound block provolone, about 2-inches thick and 4-inches wide

1 loaf ciabatta bread

3 ounces sliced prosciutto 

3 ounces sliced Italian cured meat such as capicola, sopresatta or genoa salami 

2 cups drained giardiniera, chopped 

1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

Cut the block of cheese in half lengthwise and position end to end, so that the cheese forms a long rectangle. Center the cheese rectangle on the top of the bread so there is a small border of bread around it. Using the point of a chef's knife and a back and forth sawing motion, cut into the crust following an outline 1/2 inch larger than the cheese on all sides; be careful not to cut all the way through to the bottom of the bread. Remove the cut crust and some of the loaf's interior, leaving the bottom crust and the bread on the sides intact (set aside the extra bread for breadcrumbs or another use). The cheese should fit in the cavity with about a 1/2-inch space around it and it should be about flush with the top of the bread. If not, cut and trim the cheese so it fits.  

Line the bread bowl with the prosciutto so that the meat completely covers the bottom and sides (this will stop the melted cheese from leaking as it bakes). Drape the cured meats along the sides of the cutout so that they hang over the edges of the loaf. 

Sprinkle half of the giardiniera and olives over the prosciutto. Top with the cheese blocks. Sprinkle the remaining giardiniera and olives over the top and sides of the cheese. Brush any exposed bread with oil. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, cover with foil and bake until the cheese is completely melted and beginning to drip down the sides, 45 to 50 minutes.

Let sit covered for 10 minutes before cutting into thick slices.

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