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Giant Baked Hero Sandwich

No recipe image available.This party-perfect, meat-and-cheese filled loaf rises to crusty perfection as it bakes. Slicing the golden loaf reveals mounds of melted fontina cheese, tender ham and spicy salami, accented with roasted red peppers and grilled onions.

Recipe Ingredients:

Garlic Oil:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

Grilled Onion:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 large onion, sliced

2 (1-pound) loaves frozen white bread, thawed and kneaded together*
1/2 pound thinly sliced dry salami
1/2 pound thinly sliced cooked ham
1/4 pound thinly sliced dry coppa (optional)
8 ounces thinly sliced fontina or Monterey Jack cheese
1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Garlic Oil: In a small bowl, combine olive oil, garlic and seasonings; set aside.
  2. For Grilled Onion: In a wide frying pan, combine oil, balsamic or red wine vinegar and sliced onion. Cook over medium-high heat stirring often, until onion begins to brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.
  3. For Sandwich: On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to a 12x18-inch rectangle. Brush surface with 2 tablespoons of the Garlic Oil.
  4. Cover half the dough lengthwise with overlapping layers of salami, ham, coppa (if desired), cheeses, Grilled onion, and peppers.
  5. Lift plain half of dough and fold over filling (if dough sticks to surface, loosen it gently with a spatula). Press edges of dough firmly together to seal.
  6. Using 2 wide spatulas, transfer loaf to an oiled 12 x 17-inch baking sheet; tuck ends of dough under to fit on sheet. Brush loaf with remaining Garlic Oil. Let rise in a warm place until puffy, about 20 minutes.
  7. Bake in a 400°F (205°C) oven until richly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let loaf cool slightly before serving.
  8. To serve, cut loaf in half lengthwise; then cut crosswise into 3-inch wide slices.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

*Or make your own favorite white bread dough recipe for approximately a 2 pound loaf.