Fun (tick). Fast and easy (double tick). “Can’t stop eating it” delish. (triple tick). Oh, did I mention you can make ahead? I have 2 of these in the freezer!
This tastes like a cross between cheesy garlic bread and bacon dip.
Well, that’s actually what it is. A cheesy bread STUFFED with bacon dip. Brushed with garlic butter and baked until toasty, crusty, golden brown.
That moment, when you tear a piece off and the cheese stretches, you take a bite into the warm garlicky bread and the creamy, bacon dip fills your mouth…..it’s like……there are just no words to describe how good it is.
I’m not into tedious cooking. I don’t have the patience or co-ordination. So while you might think this is difficult to stuff with the filling, it’s not! It takes about 5 minutes using a knife. Or 3 minutes using a piping bag.
Plus, I make things hard for myself by just cutting the baguette into 2 pieces. It would be easier to stuff if you cut it into 4 pieces.
See how easy this is to make?
Another very appealing feature of this stuffed baguette is that you can make it ahead. It freezes perfectly! I freeze them wrapped in foil then cling wrap (or I pop it in large ziplock bags). To serve, just let them defrost, then pop them right in the oven! I tried baking it from frozen once but the crust got a little too brown for my liking before the cream cheese filling warmed through and the cheese melted.
The filling options are endless. Cream cheese itself has such great flavour, it needs little else. The basic formula is this:
THE STUFFED BAGUETTE FORMULA
8oz/250g cream cheese + 4 cups of flavourings = filling for 20″/50cm baguette stick
I used 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese in the filling. 1 cup of cheddar cheese (for flavour) and 1/2 cup of mozzarella (for stretch). But really, you can use any cheese that takes your fancy, and increase or decrease the amount you use.
I’ve provided some extra filling combination ideas in the recipe notes. I’m sure you have plenty of other suggestions! What other ideas do you have? Let me know and I’ll update the recipe!!
PS Have you seen enough stretchy cheese yet to convince you that you NEED this for your next party? Maybe just one more. 😉 Baby Hands alert!!
- ½ tbsp oil
- 8oz / 250g bacon, diced (I used lean bacon)
- 1 x 20" / 50 cm baguette / french stick
- 8oz / 250g Philadelphia cream cheese, softened (full or low fat)
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (Note 1)
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup (packed) jalapeños, finely chopped (if using fresh, deseed it. Or use canned, drained)
- 1 cup finely chopped scallions/shallots (green and white part) (packed)
- Black pepper
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Heat oil in a pan over high heat. Add bacon and cook until lightly browned. Remove onto a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess fat. Set aside to cool.
- Cut the ends off the baguette and cut the baguette in half (or quarters - makes it easier to stuff).
- Use a long knife (preferably bread knife) to cut the bread out, leaving about a ½" / 1.5cm wall of bread and crust. (Note 2)
- Place the bacon, cream cheese, cheddar and mozzarella cheese, jalapeños, scallions/shallots and pepper in a bowl and mix until combined.
- Use a knife or piping bag to stuff the mixture inside the baguettes.
- Garlic Butter: melt butter with the garlic and salt in the microwave or on the stove.
- Brush the baguette with garlic butter (or you can do this after you slice it).
- Slice the baguette into 1¼cm / ½" slices.
- Keep the slices pressed up against each other, and transfer to a large piece of foil.
- Wrap the baguette, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bread is crusty and the cheese inside is melted.
- For optimal experience, serve warm!
2. Keep the bread you remove to make breadcrumbs! Let it dry out on a plate, then crumble and store in an airtight container until required.
3. To make ahead: Assemble the baguette then wrap in foil then with cling wrap and place in the freezer until required. To reheat, defrost and bake at 180C/350F for 20 minutes. I don't recommend baking from frozen because the crust will be a very dark brown before the centre heats up enough for the cheese to melt.
4. Filling options: You just need 4 cups of any combination of fillings (cheese, pepperoni etc) mixed with 250g / 8oz of cream cheese in order to have enough filling for a 50cm / 20" baguette. I think that 1 cup of cheddar or other flavour cheese combined with ½ cup of mozzarella is a good ratio of stretchy to flavoured cheese, but you can mix it up as you want. The mozzarella is there for the "stretch".
Other stuffing ideas:
* Pizza: 1½ cups cheese, ½ cup shallots/scallions, 1½ cups pepperoni or salami and ½ cup diced red capsicum / bell peppers.
* Bacon Ranch: Same recipe as Jalapeño Bacon, but add dry ranch mix
* Buffalo chicken: 1½ cups cheese (optional to use some blue cheese), 1½ cups chopped chicken, 1 cup scallions/shallots, ¼ cup hot sauce.
* Italian: 1½ cups cheese, 2½ cups mixture of olives, artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, salami
* Cheesy corn: 1½ cups cheese, 2 cups corn, ½ cup cilantro/coriander/jalapenos
* Spinach and artichoke - 1½ cups cheese, 1½ packet frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water, 1½ cups chopped artichokes
Nutrition per slice assuming 30 slices using lean bacon and full fat cream cheese.
And here is the nutrition if you use low fat cream cheese. Honestly, I could barely tell the difference.