Baked Brie

I have expressed several times before that I am miserable at cooking. My hope in attempting this week’s recipe was the “baked” part of baked brie would save me.

It’s not the first time that the talented Ms. Emily Bingham has said exactly what I’m thinking, and here are her thoughts on baking people vs. cooking people.

Baking is an exact science, it requires knowing all these nuances about your oven and the weather and such… you sort of have to follow directions (unless you’re a super pro). So basically, I think I’m good at baking because I’m really anal. And cooking favors people like my flamboyant mother, who just tosses things in at random only to have things turn out wonderfully (and when she tries the same things with bread or cookies, it’s always a disaster).

Right on, Emily.

Googling for “baking vs. cooking” also led me to a blog with an author who feels the opposite of me.

Which camp do you belong to, cooking or baking? Is there a way to marry these two distinct leanings?

Onto the recipe. I ripped this one from the December 30, 2007 edition of the Detroit Free Press when I was home for Christmas.

Baked Brie with Roasted Garlic and Herbs

Serves: 10
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

1 whole garlic bulb
1 1/2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided use
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 (1 pound) round loaf sourdough bread
1 (8 ounce) round Brie or Camembert cheese, leave rind on
1 (10.5 ounce) baguette, sliced and toasted

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove papery outer skin from garlic, but do not peel or separate cloves.

2. Cut top 1/4 inch off bulb. Place cut side up on foil. Brush with 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil and sprinkle with rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Bake 30-35 minutes or until softened.

3. Meanwhile, cut top 1/4 off round loaf of bread. Hollow out loaf so cheese will fit inside. Set aside removed bread. Place cheese inside bread.

4. Cool garlic for 10-15 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees. Squeeze softened garlic into a bowl; mash with a fork. Spread over cheese. Sprinkle with additional rosemary and thyme if desired.

5. Replace bread top; brush outside of bread with remaining oil. Wrap in foil; bake 45-50 minutes or until cheese is melted.

6. Slice and serve with toasted baguette slices and reserved bread on a platter.

I don’t have any pictures of the final product because I finished making it at a party of people I wasn’t terribly familiar with and thus I felt silly taking pictures of my food. I will say, however, that it was totally gone by the end of the night and that I received plenty of compliments on it.

Here’s what it looked like after we inserted the cheese, but before we put the roasted garlic on top:

Baked Brie
Step one: cut a hole in the bread. Step two: put your cheese in that bread.

And here’s the final product as created in the Freep test kitchen. I couldn’t copy the whole article because it’s not available on the Web site, and I discovered that recipes themselves can’t be copyrighted, but the narrative accompanying the recipe can.

Baked Brie Article
A much lovelier image than I could have created, although the MacBook camera picture of it isn’t the greatest.

Notes and Modifications

• We didn’t use kosher salt. We used regular salt. It seemed just fine. Unless you follow kosher.
• The house reeked of garlic once we were done with it. I began to frantically search for remedies, but then Toby pointed out that incense would fix everything. Duh. Clearly he is the yin to my yang.
• We squished the rosemary and thyme before adding them to the recipe. Apparently this is what you do with spices to activate the flavor. If you are a baker, not a cook, like me, perhaps this information was helpful to you.
• See the tiny decorative sprig of thyme in the Freep’s finished product? Toby did that to ours, and it looked quite lovely.
• Throughout the creation of this dish, I kept insisting that we needed parsley and sage to go with the rosemary and thyme. Toby rolled his eyes.
• We didn’t think it would take anywhere near 45-50 minutes to melt the cheese, but it did.
• Speaking of melted cheese, we almost went the cheap way and got two wedges of Trader Joe’s brie instead of getting a whole round. The rind keeps the cheese in the bread, so if we had gone the wedge route, we would have had an enormous mess.


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. That sounds delicious! We’ll have to try this recipe, as we’ve had some good experiences eating brie. 🙂 Also, I’m more of a cook … I’ve had some success with baking, but not as much as my AMAZING mother.

  2. […] Baked Brie with Roasted Garlic and Herbs at Clipped and Diced […]

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