The whole loaf
There’s something dated, hokey ― and fun ― about filling a hollowed-out loaf with food. My mother used a specially ordered round loaf to hold tiny sandwiches for her tea parties in the ’40s. My, how the oohs and aahs of the peplum-waisted ladies in hats with perky veils filled me with pride when she presented this work of art, which I had helped make.
I still get a kick out of serving food in a loaf, but my approach has grown less fussy. One main dish that’s quickly assembled and certainly not fussy uses a hollowed-out loaf as the crust for chili quiche. The creamy filling can be reasonably lean if you drain nonfat yogurt for the cheese. Otherwise neufchâtel cheese works fine.
Serve the chili loaf with coleslaw or green salad and toast made from the center you’ve pulled out of the bread.