The success of this stuffed bread lies in using a good, dense-textured loaf. Supermarket bread will just fall apart when cut in this manner and isn’t firm enough to hold the filling.
1 large round sourdough loaf
2 tablespoons butter
250 grams button mushrooms, sliced ½ cm thick
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
100 grams butter at room temperature
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ cup grated cheddar cheese
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for topping
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 ball fresh mozzarella in whey, drained and torn, optional
Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
Without cutting through the bottom crust, cut the bread lengthwise and widthwise about 3 cm apart with a sharp breadknife.
Heat the first measure of butter in a sauté pan and cook the mushrooms and thyme with a good pinch of salt until golden and tender and all the liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool.
Combine the second measure of butter, garlic, spring onions, parsley, cheddar and Parmesan in a bowl and season well then mix in the cooled mushrooms.
Push the mushroom butter down into the crevices of the loaf and smear a little over the top.
Grate over a generous amount of Parmesan and freshly ground pepper. Place on a large piece of foil and wrap securely.
Bake for 15 minutes then remove from the oven. Peel back the foil and dot over the torn mozzarella if using. Place back in the oven for another 7-10 minutes until the cheese is melting and golden. Only place back in the oven for 5 minutes if not using the mozzarella.
To serve: Remove from foil, place on a board and cut into slices to serve.