Oh blogger’s block, you incredibly frustrating, beautiful beast.
I’ve talked a few times on here about how, after 5 years of coming up with recipes, it becomes a little hard sometimes to dream up something that’s genuinely new and exciting. I mean, it’s just inevitable, right? And when that happens, I’m not ashamed to admit that I take the easy way out. I look back into my old favorite recipe posts– the ones that I’m so hung up on that I’ve made them about a billion times– and I try to mash a couple of ideas together and see what sticks.
It only took a few moments of flipping between the fonduey-filled cob loaf and the caramelized-onion-loaded sliders to realize that this year, I absolutely have to make french onion dip. Not the refrigerated kind that you get from the supermarket– you know, the kind that’s made with mayo and sour cream? Not that. I’m talking about a dip that really captures all of the flavors of french onion soup: the sweet onions, the gooey melted gruyere, the beefy bread, the richness…
And I wound up with a French Onion Blooming Bread Bowl.
It should be no surprise that I’m OB-SESSED with this bread bowl because I have quite the track record of popping out french onion recipes around here. But you guys. Can I even put into words how amazing it is to rip off a piece of boule bread that has been brushed with a beefy, garlicky butter mixture and dunk it into a flavor-packed pool of melted cheese? I can’t. I guess you just have to try it for yourself.
There might seem to be a lot of steps when making this French Onion Blooming Bread Bowl, but it all comes together really simply– that’s one of the things that I love about it! You don’t have to make the fondue on the stove and then pour it into the bread and blah blah blah like so many recipes want you to– you just make the cheese mixture, spoon it into the hollowed out bread center, and bake.
And just in case you’re more of a visual learner (or just like to watch me make the food I post here), here’s a video to help you out.
I don’t think I’ve ever been more grateful for hitting a creative block before.Print
- 1 large bread boule
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 8 ounces (1 cup) beef broth
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 8 ounces swiss cheese, shredded, divided
- 8 ounces gruyere cheese, shredded, divided
- 2 medium onions, diced, caramelized
- 1 tablespoon beef base
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Chopped chives, to top
- Broccoli to serve, optional
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Cut a circle in the center of the bread and remove, setting the top aside for later. Cut a larger circle around the center, and then gently cut down around the edges of the bread to create the slices that people will tear after baking. They might get pushed down a bit as you cut, but you can push them back into place easily once you’re done cutting. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the softened cream cheese and beef broth until well-combined. Add in the Worcestershire sauce and cornstarch and whisk again to combine. Fold in the shredded cheeses, reserving about a quarter for later, then fold in the caramelized onions. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, add the beef base, garlic, butter, and thyme. Cover loosely and microwave to melt. Slice the top of the bread that was cut off earlier into thin pieces, and place them on the baking sheet, crust-side up.
- Spoon or brush the butter mixture onto the tops of the bread slices. Also spoon the butter mixture between the cuts in the bread and brush the remaining butter mixture all over the bread.
- Fill the bread bowl with the french onion cheese mixture, making sure not to overfill (you will likely have excess dip, depending on the size of your boule). Stuff the remaining shredded cheese between the cracks in the bread.
- Bake the bread for 10 minutes on a rimmed baking sheet, or just until the cheese is melted. Stir the cheese, remove the bread slices if they’ve already crisped, and continue to bake the bread bowl until the cheese begins to brown on top, about 25 minutes.*
- Once baked fully, top the dip with chopped chives and serve warm with the bread slices, and broccoli.
If the bread bowl is starting to get too dark (keeping in mind that the beef base in the butter will make it brown, of course) cut a hole in the center of a sheet of foil and place it over the bread so that the cheese is still exposed but the bread is covered.