Yield: 4 to 6 servings


1 1/2 cups water (room temperature)

1 tsp traditional active dry yeast

3 cups all-purpose flour (approx.)

2 tsp salt

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 tbsp each Dijon mustard and dried onion flakes

1 large clove garlic, finely grated

1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

2 cups grated Gruyere or white Cheddar cheese

3 oz deli ham slices, roughly chopped

Chopped parsley (optional)

METHOD: Stir water with yeast in a large bowl; let stand for 10 minutes or until foamy. Add flour and salt; stir until a shaggy dough forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours. Turn dough onto a well-floured surface; gently shape into a round (dough will be sticky, so flour hands). Transfer round to a piece of parchment; cover with plastic wrap. Preheat oven to 450°F. Place a Dutch oven with a lid (clay or stainless steel that is safe at high heat) in the oven to preheat for 30 minutes. Once Dutch oven is preheated, remove plastic wrap and place dough on parchment in pot; cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until crust is deep golden. Cool completely. Blend mayonnaise with mustard, onion flakes, garlic and rosemary; stir in cheese until coated. Cut 4 to 5 slices almost all the way through the loaf; give loaf a quarter turn and repeat to make a crosshatch pattern. Slather cheese mixture into crevasses and tuck in pieces of ham all over. Wrap loaf in foil. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake for 40 minutes or until cheese is melted and gooey. Carefully unwrap loaf and place on a cutting board; garnish with parsley (if using)


TIPS: • If not ready to bake bread, after the 2-hour room temperature rise, transfer the bowl of dough to refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bring bowl out one extra hour before shaping, preheating the pot and baking. • Replace homemade bread with a store bought Calabrese or sourdough loaf. • The stuffed loaf can be assembled and reserved in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before baking. • When serving, have a sharp knife on hand, if needed, to cut through the crispy base of the bread.