Update! Okay, okay, the recipe below isn’t perfect. It was constructed from memory, and while it DOES produce a very tasty and cheesy bread, I have to admit that it’s a far cry from the real Bubble Bread. I know this now because Jo and I took another shot at it on our next visit to Sanibel, and this time we nailed it. Read our new recipe here. Thanks to all our readers whose suggestions helped us fine-tune our new recipe into something that’s so close a replica, we can’t tell the difference!
I hope you’re not sick of hearing about the recent vacation Jo and I took to Sanibel Island, Florida, because I’ve got one more thing to share about it. While we were visiting, we ate at the beloved Bubble Room Restaurant where we happily ate our fill of their famous Bubble Bread they serve with every dinner. This delight is a super-cheesy garlic bread unlike anything I’d had before. I loved it so much that I knew I would go crazy if I had to wait until next year’s vacation before I could have it again, so when I got home I tried to reproduce it on my own.
After several attempts and tweaks, I’ve come up with what I believe is a very close replica, and Jo agrees. Here’s my recipe!
- 1 loaf soft Italian bread, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
- 4 tbsp butter (1/2 stick), softened
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the canned stuff works great)
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
For best mixing results, your butter and cream cheese should be at room temperature, but if you have to pull them straight from the fridge, just microwave them for a few seconds to soften them. Mix the butter and cream cheese together in a bowl until all lumps are gone. Add the mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese and mix well.
Crush the garlic in a garlic press or use a knife to dice it very finely. Add the garlic to the cheese mixture along with the salt and pepper and stir well.
Slice the bread lengthwise so that you have two pieces. Place the bread on a cookie sheet and put it under the broiler for a few seconds until golden brown. This pre-toasting step will ensure that your bread doesn’t get too soggy from the rich cheese topping. After toasting, generously spread the mixture onto the bread. You should have just enough cheese to coat both pieces of bread.
Sprinkle the top with a mixture of the cheddar and mozzarella cheese and return to the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. Watch it carefully so that it doesn’t burn!
Allow to cool slightly and then slice into wedges and serve.
Note: If you don’t want to make both halves of the bread at once, you can save half of the cheese mixture in a bowl in the fridge. To use it the next day, just let it come to room temperature and stir well.