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This is a BREAD & CHEESE BOMB so BOOOOM !!! What could be better than  a "reinterpretation" of a CHEESE FONDUE (hot and melty) with some great BREAD (warm too), during this super-cold weather and icy winds we’re having and when you’ve chosen to experiment with not eating any meat in the past 3 weeks, which I miss, but that’s okay because the holidays were very carnivorous and I’ll start up again soon enough, but with moderation.

Normally, for this type of preparation, people just heat up a CHEESE WHEEL that’s wrapped up in baking paper and then aluminum foil and place it right back inside its wooden box (that was pre-soaked in water, to avoid starting a fire in the oven), and then you serve it up with lots of bread and a salad. Another less easy option is to just wrap it all up in puff-pastry or shortcrust pastry (like a shell) and bake it, like an ALL-CHEESE PIE.

This method goes 1 step further, because the way I see it, if you’re going to serve it up with bread anyways, you might as well just bake the whole thing inside its own customized BREAD-SHELL, plop it onto a plate with some salad and slice through your cheese, with a fork & knife like an aristocrat !

Here are the INGREDIENTSes (as I like to say mockingly):

The dough I’ve made is a cross between regular bread and a pizza dough, hydrated at about 75% with light beer & buttermilk/kefir but with the additional flavors of the rye, whole-wheat and buckwheat flours. CAMEMBERT IS A STRONG CHEESE SO IT NEEDS A STRONG BREAD.

And the stuffing ? Well, it’s MUSHROOM season now (or at least it isn’t vegetable season apart from root vegetables) so I’m using my own semi-oven-dried, marinated and the spreads I made with them (see my recipes here) but instead, you can choose any other cooked or oil-packed vegetables too like sun-dried tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, artichokes, etc. and some pesto or tapenade (red, green, brown, black, whatever) or what we call here, “caviar spreads” because sun-dried & oil-marinated vegetables are often reduced to a grainy texture that resembles tapenade or a very thick pesto and used as spreads and/or dips.

I tried it and tested it several times and using a HOT CAST-IRON DUTCH OVEN WITH A LID (or any other oven-safe baking dish with a lid) to bake it in, which provides the best results because it protects this assembly from over-drying or cooking too quickly on the outside (into a rock-hard mass) and allows the bread to slowly expand as it bakes while the cheese slowly melts inside. Trust me, it’s worth the extra trouble of pre-heating and baking in a dutch-oven or casserole.

Anyways, use whatever you have or like as an accompaniment to cheese and subsequent stuffing (it could also be something sweet too, like jam, honey; preserved figs, onion jam, etc.), then make the dough, whether all-white or darker (like mine)and let it rise, then slice the cheese, stuff, assemble, wrap and bake away.

And for all those people that love a simple snacking plate of cheese, salad and bread, this could be the way to go, but it’s a HOT version that could be a full meal for one or two. You could even slice each up in 4 and serve it as an entrée or appetizer or right after the main meal with a salad. I personally think it’s even better to make individualized portions with smaller CAMEMBERT wheels.

It’s so COLD OUTSIDE, so feed yourself with something that will WARM YOU UP ON THE INSIDE and give you the strength & energy to carry on (with a full stomach) . . . :)

bread-crusted & mushroom-stuffed oven-baked camembert




camembert cheese & mushrooms (approximately 300 grams) : 

  • 250 grams camembert cheese (1 regular 11 cm x 4 cm wheel or 2 smaller 8 cm x 3,5 cm wheels of 145 grams each) 
  • 25 grams cooked, sliced, marinated and strained (and/or well-cooked) mushrooms (with some parsley, thyme, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper or see my recipe here)
  • 25 grams mushroom spread (or an equal amount of the above mixture blended into a grainy tapenade texture or see my recipe here)

bread dough mixture (approximately 300 grams) :

dry ingredients (or you can just use 175 grams or 1¼ cups regular all-purpose flour) :

  • 70 grams (½ cup) all-purpose flour
  • 35 grams (¼ cup) whole-wheat flour
  • 35 grams (¼ cup) rye flour
  • 35 grams (¼ cup) buckwheat flour
  • 3,5 grams (¾ tsp) fine sea salt
  • 0,75 gram (1 ½ tsp) dried thyme (or use fresh thyme leaves)
  • 1 gram (¼ tsp) ground pepper

liquid ingredients :

  • 120 grams (½ cup) water (or half light beer & half buttermilk/kefir)
  • 4 grams (1 tsp) sugar
  • 4 grams (1 tsp) olive oil
  • 4 grams (1 tsp) dry active yeast

glaze & garnish (optional) :

  • 15 grams (1 tbsp) beaten egg white 
  • 1 marinated mushroom
  • 1 branch fresh thyme


  • note : make an almost equal amount of dough to the amount of cheese & filling you will be using and then divide it up in several balls ...
  • make the dough by combining the dry ingredients in one bowl and then the liquid ingredients mixture in another bowl, combine together and mix until shaggy then press together into a ball, let hydrate 5 minutes then knead by hand for a few minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic, then let rest 5-10 minutes and knead again, form into 1 large ball or 2 smaller balls, place each in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm space (room temperature or in a turned off oven) for 3 hours until doubled in size
  • prepare the mushroom mixture (see my recipes here for semi oven-dried marinated vegetables & spreads here or make your own) by cooking mushrooms with some olive oil, crushed garlic, parsley, thyme, salt & pepper, then drain and blend half of the mixture (in a food-processor) into a grainier mixture (like tapenade olive spread)
  • cut the camembert in half, spread out the smoother mixture on one side, cover with the sliced and cooked or marinated mushrooms, place the other half of the camembert on top and press down slightly
  • remove the dough from the oiled bowl and place onto a floured surface, flour the top surface too and flatten out into a disc twice as wide as the camembert (but try to keep the center of the dough slightly thicker and the sides thinner) and sprinkle with some more flour
  • note : you can save a piece of dough and shape it into a long thin piece to decorate the top with a dough spiral …
  • spray the camembert with water and wrap it in the dough, spray some water on the dough where the folds overlap, press together into a mass then sprinkle the whole wrapped dough ball with more flour and place on a piece of baking paper sprinkled with corn meal, place a metal ring around it (optional), lined with baking paper too (optional) and cover with an upside-down bowl and let it rise slightly for 45-60 minutes as you preheat the oven
  • place a cast-iron dutch-oven casserole with its cover in the oven and preheat at 230°C for 30-40 minutes
  • when the oven and dutch-oven are hot, uncover the dough, remove the metal ring with the baking paper on the sides (optional) and by holding the edges of the baking paper with the dough-wrapped camembert on top, lower gently in the very hot dutch-oven casserole, cover with the lid and bake for 20 minutes (until the first cracks appear) then remove the lid,  bake for an additional 5-7 minutes until ready (you can brush the baked dough with beaten egg now white for a slight shine)
  • remove from the oven, garnish with one marinated mushroom and a branch of thyme and serve hot with a simple salad made of roquette leaves, some fresh flat-leaf parsley, sliced green onion and an olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt & pepper (and a hint of crushed garlic) dressing …
  • note : the camembert baked in bread dough cannot be re-heated once the bread shell is already baked and the camembert has melted on the inside, bake only right before serving and serve hot from the oven (it will stay hot and melted on the inside even up to 10 minutes after removing it from the oven) …