Cheese Bread

Wally and Terry in Italy

If there is just one thing I love about my husband (and there are many) it is his attention to detail. This trait of his is one reason he is known for his Cheese Bread. He’s made it ever since I’ve known him. Even when on the road with his band in the 70s, Wally had an electric skillet in the bus so he could make it.

Yes it is simple, but the taste is in the details. He toasts the bread (sourdough) just so, fits the cheese like a tile layer putting together a mosaic, then the salt… I’ll let him give you the full rundown, if he will indulge.

If every chef has their star dish, this would be Wally’s. It has been his staple for breakfast for many a year. Our kids grew up on it. Today I watched him as he grabbed the Point Reyes Toma, like an artist with new paint. “Ahhh…Toma and my fresh tomatoes….”

Cheese Bread. I like the fact that it still excites him after more than 35 years of making it.

But that is another thing I love about him…

Wally: How I Do It.

Ah, so much hoopla about so little.
The first and most important thing is to start with good ingredients.

Bread: No light, airy, squishy breads, please. I generally like a good sourdough although a bit of the fig bread from the Breadbar is also a wonderful choice.
(The Fig Bread is also available at Fancifull and is finding its way into many of our gift baskets.)

A good cheese: Almost any kind of cheese works – but nothing pre-sliced! Cheddar, Brie, Goat Cheese – and today’s choice Toma, are all great.

Options: Fresh tomatoes from your garden are a great addition. Fresh herbs if you like. Slices of hard boiled egg would be great, too.

Toma Cheese Bread

1) Slice the cheese thinly – 1/8th inch. Could be grated but it’s easier to use slices.
2) Slice the tomatoes, chop the herbs and have ready any other ingredients you might want.
Tomatoes need to be at room temperature. (They should never be refrigerated anyway.)
3) Turn on the broiler or toaster oven to 400 degrees.
4) Toast the bread lightly in a toaster. For a richer version you can pan fry the bread in butter lightly on each side. Mmmmmm… Today I just used the toaster.
5) Lay out the cheese slices on the bread. I try not to leave any gaps. Don’t let the cheese hang over the edge – it will melt off and fall into the oven. Cover the bread
completely with the cheese.
6) Place the bred in the oven – you can put it on a piece of foil to catch drippings.
7) Let broil for 2 – 4 minutes. Time will vary depending on the type of cheese! Watch it. When it’s melting over the entire surface it’s ready.
8) Pull the rack out and add the tomatoes.
9) continue to broil for up to 1 minute.
10) Add fresh basil if desired. A pinch of salt if desired.
11) Enjoy the aroma while the cheese cools enough to eat!

You remembered to make your tea or espresso, right?

By the way, it was delicious! And my tomatoes this year are absolutely mahvelous.