Slice the top off the loaf, then scoop
out the soft bread from the middle of
the base, leaving the crust about 2.5cm
thick all the way round. Slice the bread
out in chunks for toasting to serve,
or simply get the kids to pull it out
with their fingers.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
Brush the outside of the large ‘cauldron’
and lid all over with beaten egg, then
roll the crust of the cauldron and lid in
poppy seeds to coat – tipping them onto
a big dinner plate first makes this easier.
Sit on baking sheets, poppy seed-sides
up, and bake for 10 mins. Set aside until
you are ready to party.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the
boil, add the butternut squash, onion and
garlic, then simmer until the squash
and onion are tender. Drain really well,
then tip into a food processor or blender
with the soup, spices, chilli sauce and
some seasoning and whizz to a smooth
purée (or put back in the saucepan and
whizz with a stick-blender). Set aside.
Just before the guests are due to arrive,
heat the dip in a microwave or saucepan
– it should be nice and hot. Spoon into
the bread cauldron, pop on the lid and
carry to the party table, ready for
dunking in the Sausage mummies (see goes well with),
cucumber sticks and more toasted
bread. And as the dip disappears, you
can start to eat the cauldron, too!