Have a baguette and some mushrooms on hand? Try this exceptional (and super simple) appetizer recipe

October begins my slow, three month crawl into complete decadence, at least as far as eating and drinking go.

By the time Christmas dinner is over, I have just enough food enthusiasm left for one final hooray to make it through New Year’s. After that, I take a well deserved break, but from October through the end of the year: I am a machine. And I want it all: to bake, cook, slice, pour and serve (and be served) with abandon.

The cooler it gets, the more inspired I become.

As soon as our daily highs are consistently under 85 degrees or I feel the first hint of a cool breeze, I pull out my mixing bowls and measuring spoons. My first bake is usually a bit premature and done simply to appease the gods responsible for ending the long, sweltering, spirit-crushing days of summer and I approach my long abandoned oven with trepidation and humility. I hope only that what I have chosen to make does not offend and send us plunging back into triple-digit, record-breaking temperatures.

Before I know it, I am rearranging my spice rack so the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves are more accessible, I’m buying mini loaf pans with the intention of gifting homemade bread to my neighbors, I’m . . . happy . . . because . . . I’m not hot! And like a bear emerging from hibernation, I’m ready to feast and enjoy being in the world again.   

This recipe for Mushroom Bread is one of the simplest in my most delicious fall recipe lineup. The sauce is really what makes it is so special and it is an easy one to make. Butter and cream get it started, then the addition of lemon juice and Madeira make it soar. In mere minutes, it is ready to be spooned and spread onto a store bought baguette and popped into the oven. It takes very little time from start to finish. The only ‘work’ is prepping a few mushrooms, chopping a shallot and grating some cheese.   

Want more great food writing and recipes? Subscribe to Salon Food’s newsletter, The Bite.

If you are unfamiliar with Madeira, it is a fortified wine named after the Portuguese islands where it originated. I was only introduced to it about ten years ago, never dreaming I would enjoy any dessert wine, but I have developed a real appreciation for it (and port, for that matter, too). 

Madeira has an interesting history as it was made accidentally during the 1600s when fortified wine — done at that time to prevent spoilage — was stored for long periods of time in hot cargo areas on ships. The high temperatures and constant churning on these very long journeys made for a happy accident: Rather than the heat and rough storage conditions ruining the wine as it was originally thought, the taste was something very special.

For this recipe, you can use either Madeira or port . . . and what a perfect time to pick up a bottle, with both cooler weather and the holidays approaching.    

Mushroom Bread


08 servings

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

25 minutes


1 long baguette 

1 shallot, peeled and chopped

4 tablespoons butter

1 carton baby portobello mushrooms, sliced or chopped

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1/2 to 2/3 cup heavy cream

1/8 cup Madeira or port

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated or thinly sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice mushrooms and chop shallot and set aside.

  2. Slice baguette in half lengthwise and pull out most of interior bread, leaving all crust fully intact. Place on a baking sheet and set aside.

  3. In a skillet over medium-low heat, melt butter then add chopped shallot. Cook a minute or so before adding sliced mushrooms, a little black pepper, a very small pinch of salt and lemon juice. 

  4. Cook a few minutes, allowing the mushrooms to release their juices and soften. 

  5. Turn heat to low and add cream and Madeira/port stirring constantly with spatula until thickened. Stir in parsley.

  6. Use all the thickened mixture to fill baguette halves. Top with Gruyere and bake 20-25 minutes. The last few minutes you can turn the oven setting to low-broil to brown top.

  7. Remove from oven, slice and serve warm.

Cook’s Notes

Serving options:

-You can reduce or omit the mushrooms and add cooked, shredded chicken to the mixture before baking if desired.

-Gluten-free option: If your local grocery store freezer case does not carry “Against The Grain” baguettes, you can try your local health food store. Made with tapioca starch, eggs, olive oil and mozzarella, these make an easy gluten-free option.

Read more

about this topic


Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar