Pull-apart bread is fun to make, fun to eat and there’s the added convenience that you don’t need any additional filling to enjoy it because it’s baked with its own filling — in this case, herbed butter and cheese!
What exactly is pull-apart bread? At its most basic, it means a loaf of small pieces of bread that separate when pulled apart. The dough is rolled, spread with a filling (often, butter-based) then cut into strips. The strips are stacked on top of each other then cut into squares. The squares are stuffed into a pan and baked. When cooked, you have small pieces of bread that are stuck together but which can easily be pulled apart because they are separated by the filling.
This is an updated post. The original, posted in 2012, had two recipes because I baked two loaves of pull-apart bread — one with herbed butter and cheese, and the other with cinnamon sugar — in one go. The photos that went with the post, however, did not give as much attention to the cinnamon-sugar loaf as it did the one with the cheese. So, I decided to split the recipe. The one for cinnamon-sugar pull-apart bread will be posted at another time. I have to make one again to take better photos.
So, how hard is it to make this cheese-and-herb pull-apart bread? It’s not hard if you’ve successfully made bread dough before.
Just get the risen dough, dump it into your work surface and roll thinly into a rectangle. Spread the herbed butter on the dough then top with cheese. Cut the dough into three strips.
Stack the strips of dough, one on top of the other.
Then, you cut through the three layers of dough to make six equal portions. You stuff the dough, portion by portion, into an oiled and floured loaf pan.
You let the do rise a second time and then you bake the bread. Some 45 minutes later, it’s ready!
- 1/2 basic bread dough
- flour for dusting
- oil for greasing the pan
- 1/4 cup butter softened
- 1 teaspoon grated garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 cup shredded cheese
Lightly brush the inside of a 8"x4" loaf pan with oil. Sprinkle with flour and shake off the excess. Note that this step may not be necessary if using non-stick baking pans.
Mix together the butter, garlic and parsley.
Transfer the risen dough to a lightly floured work and roll into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick.
Spread the butter mixture on the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the cheese evenly on top.
Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into three equal strips. Carefully lift one strip and place on top of the second strip. Lift the third strip and place on top of the two.
Again using a pizza cutter, cut the stacked strips of dough into six squares.
Take the prepared pan. Holding the pan with one hand at a 45-degree angle, take one portion of the stacked dough and lay on one end so that the dough is “standing” on its side with one cut side touching the bottom of the pan and the opposite cut side pointing upward. Take another portion and lay beside the first portion. Repeat until all the dough is in the pan. If the dough appears loose and does not fill the entire pan, do not worry. The dough will rise a second time before the pan goes into the oven and, after the second rising, the dough will snugly fill the pan.
So, allow the dough to rise a second time for about 45 minutes.
Fifteen minutes before the second rising time is up, preheat the oven to 350F.
Bake the cheese-and-herb pull-apart bread at 350F for about 45 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.
Serve while warm.
Cool in the pans for about five minutes then invert and transfer to a plate.