Herb & Cheese Pull Apart Bread

Yeast loves me. Seriously. Don’t be jealous! It always works for me. If only I had a better oven, I would have baked every bread in the world! As it happens, my convection oven works pretty well for cakes, cookies, brownies… but when it comes to baking bread, I am yet to see one mind blowing masterpiece. I make decent breads though. At least the guinea pig at home has never complained! :D But he likes anything if there’s cheese in it! It is my opinion that matters. And I say, I need to keep practicing.. wasting flour & yeast again and again…. until I make the ‘perfect’ bread. Which is why I think Aparna’s We Knead to Bake idea was perfect for my goal.  She put forth an idea – one of community baking! :D A group of enthusiastic bread bakers get together every month and bake one kind of bread. We’re free to innovate of course. This month, she chose the Pull Apart Bread. Our facebook group filled with breads galore! I got intimidated by the sheer beauty of the breads that were being uploaded day in & day out; let alone skills & innovation! But I played it safe, stuck to the recipe & produced a decent loaf (the second time).

Here’s what you need –

Dissolve the sugar and the yeast in the 1/2 cup of warm milk. Keep aside for about 5 minutes till the yeast mixture bubbles up. (If you use instant yeast, the waiting time is not necessary as it wont bubble up)

Put the flour, salt, softened butter, and garlic paste in a large bowl

Mix well with your hand or do it in a food processor.

Then add the yeast mixture and the remaining milk.

Start kneading. I recently bought a hand mixer & wanted to try the dough attachment! :) Worked like a charm!

Keep mixing until it all comes together. You could do this in an electric mixer or food processor too.

Knead for 10-15 minutes until you get a smooth, elastic dough. If the dough is too sticky, you can add a couple spoons of flour.

Place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat it completely with oil

Cover and let it rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until almost double in volume.

Dust your work surface lightly with flour. Deflate the dough & place it in the work counter

Shape it into a rough square with the help of your hands

Roll the dough out into a larger square.

Mine obviously became a long rectangle. Don’t do that! It becomes uncomfortable in the next steps if the strips are too long! As much as possible, roll out as thin as possible into a square.

Brush the surface of the square with the melted butter. Evenly sprinkle the herbs, pepper/ chilli flakes and the cumin seeds and then the grated cheese. Use a rolling pin to very lightly press the topping into the dough to ensure the topping doesn’t fall off when you are stacking the strips.

Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, slice the dough from top to bottom into 6 long and even strips – they do not have to be perfect.

Lay each strip on top of the next, with the topping facing upwards, until you have a stack of the strips. You can put the 2 strips cut from the sides in the middle of the stack so it looks neater.

Cut straight down through the stack dividing it into equal pieces (6-8 square stacks). First cut the strip in hakf. Then cut each part in half & quarter & so on. If the is any excess dough, cut it off.

Grease and lightly flour a 9” by 4” (or 5”) loaf tin. Butter and lightly flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Layer the square slices, cut sides down into the loaf tin

If you have excess dough, roll it out long; sprinkle with herbs & cheese.

Roll it into a log

Cut into swirly rolls.

Once the pieces are stacked, cover the loaf tin with a damp cloth.

Let it rise for an hour or so.

Preheat the oven at 180 C (if you’re baking in OTG) or 160 C (if its a convection oven). Bake for 30 -40 minutes until it is done and the top is golden brown.

Serve warm. You can easily pull apart every piece and enjoy.

Herb & Cheese Pull Apart Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Bread
Serves: 9X5 loaf
Ingredients
For the Dough:
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2¾ to 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 25gm butter, soft at room temperature
  • ¾ to 1 tsp garlic paste
  • ¾ cup milk (+ a couple of tbsp to brush over the bread)
For the Filling:
  • 15 gm melted butter
  • 2 tsp dried Provencal or mixed herbs*
  • 1 tsp crushed cumin seeds
  • Crushed pepper/ red chilli flakes to taste
  • ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
  • (or any kind of herbs you like)
Instructions
  1. Dissolve the sugar and the yeast in the ½ cup of warm milk. Keep aside for about 5 minutes till the yeast mixture bubbles up. (If you use instant yeast, the waiting time is not necessary as it wont bubble up)
  2. Put the flour, salt, softened butter, and garlic paste in a large bowl
  3. Mix well with your hand or do it in a food processor.
  4. Then add the yeast mixture and the remaining milk.
  5. Start kneading. Keep mixing until it all comes together. You could do this in an electric mixer or food processor too. Knead for 10-15 minutes until you get a smooth, elastic dough. If the dough is too sticky, you can add a couple spoons of flour.
  6. Place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat it completely with oil
  7. Cover and let it rise for about 1 to 1½ hours or until almost double in volume.
  8. Dust your work surface lightly with flour. Deflate the dough & place it in the work counter Shape it into a rough square with the help of your hands
  9. Roll the dough out into a larger square. (roll it our as thinly as possible, maintaining the shape)
  10. Brush the surface of the square with the melted butter. Evenly sprinkle the herbs, pepper/ chilli flakes and the cumin seeds and then the grated cheese. Use a rolling pin to very lightly press the topping into the dough to ensure the topping doesn’t fall off when you are stacking the strips.
  11. Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, slice the dough from top to bottom into 6 long and even strips – they do not have to be perfect.
  12. Lay each strip on top of the next, with the topping facing upwards, until you have a stack of the strips. You can put the 2 strips cut from the sides in the middle of the stack so it looks neater.
  13. Cut straight down through the stack dividing it into equal pieces (6-8 square stacks). First cut the strip in half. Then cut each part in half & quarter & so on. If the is any excess dough, cut it off.
  14. Grease and lightly flour a 9” by 4” (or 5”) loaf tin. Butter and lightly flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Layer the square slices, cut sides down into the loaf tin
  15. If you have excess dough, roll it out long; sprinkle with herbs & cheese.
  16. Roll it into a log & cut into swirly rolls.
  17. Once the pieces are stacked, cover the loaf tin with a damp cloth. Let it rise for an hour or so.
  18. Preheat the oven at 180 C (if you're baking in OTG) or 160 C (if its a convection oven). Bake for 30 -40 minutes until it is done and the top is golden brown.
  19. Serve warm. You can easily pull apart every piece and enjoy.

25 thoughts on “Herb & Cheese Pull Apart Bread

  1. Hi Kavita, i’ve been drooling over this recipe for about a week now. I’ve never baked any kind of bread and never handled yeast before…i’m just the basic muffin/brownie kinda person. Is this a good recipe to start with?

  2. Hi Kavita, I follow your blog regularly.. When i tried baking bread why is it that they didnt turn golden brown? Also the bread was hard on the surface

    • Hey Nivedita…

      Which bread did you try?

      Bread doesn’t brown that well if you don’t use egg wash or butter.. You have to really brush the surface well with butter for it to brown. Also, the longer to bake the more it browns.

      And the bread is hard because you might not have kneaded the dough enough. Bread requires 15-20 minutes of hardcore kneading. It has to be a soft & really elastic dough. Only then will you get soft bread. Regard the “SURFACE” some breads have a hard, crusty surface. Depending upon the recipe, the texture will vary.

      Hope this helps! x

  3. Kavi… this is a lovely bread. It has come out well girl! :)

    I can totally understand the frustration of not getting the right temperature to bake bread in a microwave. I use one too… and my crust is a tab over done (you can chk it on my blog). I guess for microwave, we have to keep the temperature lower and also keep it covered with foil at half time once the crust is brown enough, so as to allow the rest of the bread to cook through.

  4. I think the bread looks fine,in fact great!I bake in my Convection oven too and only lately have changed to an OTG.But I do bake in both simultaneously if I have more than one batch to bake.Try different temperature settings as every oven is different.

  5. Gotta love the guinea pigs who try everything we make and never complain :)) Your resident taster must have loved this bread. I am enjoying baking with everyone in the group, so many brilliant ideas together!

  6. I am not sure why you felt that it was slightly undone in the middle. i always bake in my microwave’s convection mode only and it is fine. I hope you will feel comfortable soon by the time we are doing an exercise next time. Seriously the bread looks fine to me.

Leave a Reply