There are two things I can’t live without: my computer and a good loaf of bread. Three days ago my computer crashed and put me down very badly. He is just a six months old machine that has been used intensively since it came to my hands. I knew he was trying to tell me something, maybe he was tired and needed a break but I didn’t pay attention. So, he decided to rebel.
Fortunately, my husband patiently is borrowing me his PC and I’m able to post again. In fact, despite my entire lament, a bit of time away from the computer has been handy. As they say, every cloud has a silver lining, right? So, I took some time to organize my things and came across a very special book I got as a gift from my English teacher and my best classmates ever, a first edition (1973) of The complete Book of Breads by Bernard Clayton Jr.
As I started to search about Bernard, who died on March 28th of this year at the age of 94, I found out his enthusiasm for making bread leaded him to transform his hobby into a carrier, inspiring a lot of other bread bakers across America. And everyone who embarks “on a quest to explore the intricacies of bread and pastry making” with such passion deserves my respect and admiration. So, this whole thing inspired me to celebrate bread one more time and create this sandwich.
The idea here is to use a raisin and walnut loaf since the roasted garlic and blue cheese filling was thought to pair with the raisins and bring up its sweetness. As an option, you can choose any good artisanal bread with sweet elements in it such cranberries or figs.
The sandwich is quite simple but the spread is a little time consuming. So, you can make it ahead and keep on the fridge. In fact, this is a great “wildcard” to have in your fridge all the time, goes well on top of a steak, to season a potato salad or to improve a pasta dish.
Pre-heat oven at 300˚F. Peel the garlic and place the gloves in a 4 inch round baking dish. Season with salt, black pepper and add thyme.
Cover tight with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Take the dish out of the oven, add the blue cheese, cover and bake for extra 15 minutes or ‘til the garlic is tender.
Discard thyme, strain out the oil – tip: the olive oil will be amazingly flavored and can be used in different preparations; don’t discard it! Smash garlic and cheese into a paste.
Spread the paste in one slice of bread, cover with a handful of mussarela, top with another slice of bread and grill in both sides ’til cheese is melted and bread is crispy and golden brown. Enjoy with a beer!