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The 'We Knead to Bake' project 2013 - Herby Cheesy Pull apart bread

I had promised a carbo loaded treat in the midst of sensible healthy food, hadn't I?? As delicious as it was making these 3  treats featured today, no, I did not over indulge on them. One portion of each flavor leaving the rest to my 7 year old and my husband, who were quite happy polishing the the rest.

To get back to the What, why , who etc.. of this project.. It is the brainchild of Aparna Balasubramanian, the author of the blog 'My Diverse Kitchen'. Her fabulous recipes are matched only by her photographs which give meaning to the term 'Food Porn', because they have you salivating over the keys & trying to take a swipe at her gorgeous culinary presentations.
This is a group culinary with a bunch of blogging buddies getting together and giving vent to their individual culinary visions on a single monthly theme. The Theme for January : Herby Cheesy pull apart bread.

Pull apart bread , once you actively start looking for them, seem to come in all forms and  the best part is that they have the advantage of baking perfectly thanks to the rudimentary 'pre slicing' (if there indeed exists such a term) of the dough prior to proofing.

When the first attempt succeed beyond expectations ....

(well not exactly, I ended up setting a big bag of All purpose flour in front of me and went to cobble up the dough using rice flour, It made for a good enough photograph, but had to start all over again from scratch after cleaning out the food processor! and when the dough was ready, I realized that my only loaf pan was too small to fit the bread prior to the second proofing), I was obsessed enough to invest in a second loaf pan and make 2 more variations, so here they are all three loaves / rolls, using Aparna's prescribed recipe with flavor variations thrown in! I'm linking this post to Aparna's blog post on the theme as well as to Yeastspotting.

 Savory Herb and Cheese Pull apart bread 

You need: (for the dough)

1/2 cup warm milk
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 3/4 - 3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2.5 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon garlic paste
3/4 cup milk

For the Filling. (Version 1 - Fresh Rosemary, Aleppo pepper and pepper jack cheese)

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
(combine these three ingredients together in a small bowl)
1/2 cup fresh grated Pepper jack cheese
3 tablespoons melted butter
  1. In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and the yeast in the 1/2 cup of warm milk. Set aside for about 15-20 minutes till the yeast mixture blooms.
  2. Combine the flour, salt, softened butter, and garlic paste in the food processor bowl (or a large bowl) and pulse a couple of times to blend. Add the yeast mixture and  milk gradually and knead till you have a soft, smooth and elastic/ pliable dough which is not sticky. Add a little extra flour if your dough is sticking, but only just as much as is necessary.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and 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 it doubles in volume.
  4.  Deflate the dough,  and  divide into 2 portions. return one portion back to the oily bowl while you roll out the other into a long rectangle on a floured surface . Brush the melted butter liberally on the surface and sprinkle the Rosemary /Allepo pepper mix. Roll lightly with the rolling pin to ensure that the blend sticks to the dough. Cut into 8 rectangles and stack. Repeat with the remaining dough, using the cheese. ( I chose to alternate the flavorings due to individual preferences within the family, my 7 yr old does not care for the cheese, but loved the rosemary)
5. Stack the strips in an alternating sequence in Large loaf pan . I had to make hasty changes when  I   realized that mine was too small to fit the dough.

6. Fold each rectangle of dough longitudinally, press together lightly and roll it up as shown below.

    7. Stack each roll in an alternating sequence in a 9 inch square baking pan that has been buttered and floured.
    8. Brush with milk, cover and allow the  dough to proof a second time or about 1.5  hours.
    9. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake the dough for about 35 - 40 minutes until the top is golden brown.

    Allow to cool on a rack and serve fresh with a bowl of your favorite soup!.

    Version 2: (Basil Pesto, Sundried tomatoes and Parmesan)

    For the Filling

    1/4 cup Basil Pesto
    1/4 cup finely chopped sun dried tomatoes
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
    Liberal amount of EVOO for brushing.

    Use Olive oil instead of butter in the dough.

     Since the Parmesan cheese tends to be 'drier' as compared to a softer cheese, make sure that you liberally drilled EVOO when layering the sun dried tomatoes.
    Using two medium sized loaf tins stack up the pieces of dough, (8 slices to a loaf pan) and continue with steps 8 & 9.

    In retrospect, Irealized that it was not a good idea to sprinkle the excess sundried tomato over the loaf since they tended to char while baking. In fact, if possible, pick out the  stray pieces that stubbornly stick to the surface.

    The third version I made was a sweet one with a chocolate cinnamon  and marmalade filling.


    1/2 cup melted marmalade (I used Scotts 3 citrus marmalade)
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
    1 tablespoon dutch processed unsweetened cocoa

    First, NO GARLIC in the dough. I doubled the amount of butter  (to ensure a 'softer' baked texture) and added 1/4 cup extra of sugar with a teaspoon of vanilla extract in the dough. For the layering, the order is 1. Liberal brushing of melted buttter followed by spreading the warm, melted marmalade and then lastly liberally dusting a mix of cinnamon, cocoa and sugar (as per your taste).

    Its perfect with a hot cup of coffee!


    1. Wow so many different versions of this gorgeous bread. And here I was scared trying even 1. Love your post and the blog :)

    2. Love the different flavor combinations you've tried.The basil-sun-dried tomato version sounds awesome.So does the sweet roll,oh when am I going to try it all:)

    3. I am still thinking about those sinful chocolate cinnamon ones! Should I? probably not. But I will, soon!

      Beautiful Beautiful bread! And I LOVE your perseverance! You Rock!

    4. You nearly killed me trying to compete with you in this! If I baked thrice it was because you suggested another flavoursome filling! Loved all the three and hoping to try these sometime.

    5. WOW.. such nice and clear pics...loved your varied combinations....

    6. All your versions have me feeling hungry! And thanks for all those compliments. :)

    7. wow!!!!so many versions!!!Beautiful presentation!!!

    8. just as i wrote in my blog... u guys amaze me... 3 versins.. and iam simply in love wth the sweet version.. i keep coming back to gaze at it!

    9. You had to do this na, Niv!!!! Just when I am all set to give up bread, you tempt me with these yummy bread pictures. The resolve I gather goes down the bread!!!! Love the pesto version and also the rosemary one. I love Roasemary!!! And don't mind a bite of the Spicy one and cinnamon ones too, is there any left? well, just pack it for me for the drive home!!!! I am in Bread Heaven!!!
      Love Ash.

    10. Wow..all the three versions look awesome...I am sure that my son would love the chocolate one and I would go for the spicy one..

    11. WOW! Simply awed by these breads and the amazing fillings.... and ofcourse the photographs!!! :)

    12. many versions, love all the 3...all your breads look so neat and inviting...let me try the sweet version sometime!

    13. Wow, you really rock girl, hats of to you, you posted all the three of them, beautiful photographs, they are so enchanting.., each one is super, you drove me to do the third one and my kids just loved each one of them, I am going to make the cinnamon soon!! it still keeps me tempting..

    14. I remember seeing this on FB a while back and sighing! The pics give a whole new meaning to the term 'beautiful'! :) Love the combos!

    15. In love head over heels with all those wonderful pics. So homely and so divine.

    16. Versions 1 and 3... my god, Niv! I had to physically roll my tongue back in place.

    17. the cinnamon sugar one. Amazing clicks and the bread looks divine, such comfort in just seeing the pictures and I'm sure it'll taste just as awesome as it looks.

    18. So many lovely versions..loved the sweet filling

    19. Can this be baked in a Bread maker? It seems real wholesomely tasty....

      1. Hi Gayatri, I've never used a bread maker ever, so wdn't be able to tell you correctly if it can be done..

    20. This is too much Nive. Salute your enthusiasm and patience to try out so many versions. They all look yummy!

    21. I don't be sorry that spent a few of minutes for reading. Write more often, surely’ll come to read amazing new.

    22. This information is very useful for me, thank you very much
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