boîte chaude

Baked Camembert Casse-Croûte

Casse-croûte, literally “the breaking of the crust,” refers to a worker’s lunch or a snack in which bread is the main ingredient. Typically a casse-croûte includes bread, cheese, and possibly ham. This dish is all about the bread and cheese. A hollowed-out walnut loaf is filled with cheese and baked until it’s nice and melty. The reserved bread is toasted for dipping into the cheese.

The Camembert is a nod to my family’s roots in Normandy—the birthplace of the fragrant cheese—and it also pairs well with the walnuts in the bread. Another round soft-rind cheese such as Brie (Brie Fermier is especially good) or, Jasper Hill Farm’s Harbison, Old Chatham Camembert, or your own favorite can be substituted. This recipe can be prepared well ahead and makes an impressive appetizer. Don’t toss the hollowed-out loaf when you’re finished dipping into the cheese—it’s the best part of the dish!




Number of persons

Serves 4 to 6


One 5- to 7-inch (13- to 17-cm) round walnut sourdough or other nut loaf
One 3-inch (7.5-cm) round Camembert
1 tablespoon (15 ml) rosemary honey, or plain honey plus leaves from 1 large sprig fresh rosemary
Crudités for serving, such as carrots, bell pepper, and summer squash (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.


Using a serrated bread knife, slice off the top third of the walnut loaf; reserve the top. Hollow out the center, reserving the bread you remove, to create a hole large enough to hold the Camembert. Slice the reserved bread into thin pieces (leave the top piece intact). Set aside.


Place the hollowed-out bread on the prepared baking sheet and place the Camembert in it. Trim so it fits. Spoon the honey over the top, and sprinkle with the rosemary, if using. Replace the top of the bread. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil.


Bake until the cheese is melted and fragrant, about 40 minutes. Unwrap and serve hot with the reserved bread and with crudités, if desired, for dipping.