The inspiration for this artichoke bread came from Katherine at Smoky Mountain Cafe and I have to say, it is one fabulous recipe. I modified it from Katherine's recipe because of lack of all the ingredients in the right amount, but this bread came out fantastic. It is decadent and gooey, and would suffice as a main course in its own right. Because this recipe makes two halves of a good sized loaf of bread, and it is so filling, we had 1/2 of the loaf of bread left-over. I wrapped up the leftover half in foil, put it in the refrigerator, and the next day threw it in a 400 degree F oven for 20 minutes. It was still as crunchy and gooey as it was the day prior. Mmmm, mmm.
Artichoke bread by Joie de vivre adapted from Katherine at Smoky Mountain Cafe
One large loaf of crusty Italian or Tuscan type bread
1/4 c. unsalted butter
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and pressed through garlic press
1 14 oz. can chopped artichoke hearts, drained
6 oz. shredded Mozzarella cheese
4 oz. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1. Cut the loaf of bread in half, lengthwise. Scoop some bread out to form a well in each of the bread halves. You may save the scooped out bread for bread crumbs or discard. Set aside loaf halves.
2. Place your oven racks no higher than the middle position in the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
3. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in the artichoke hearts, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and sour cream. Stir to blend together. Scoop 1/2 of the mixture into each of the bread loaf halves.
5. Place bread halves on a baking sheet, sprinkle each half with half of the cheddar cheese, cover lightly with foil and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove foil and turn on the broiler. Broil from the distance of the middle rack until cheese is bubbling and starting to brown and the edges of the bread are browning, about 5 minutes. Watch the bread carefully as it is easy to burn it under the broiler.
6. Let the bread cool for 5 minutes and cut into slices.