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Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread

Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread

I once made the driest pancake in the world.

I can see you sitting at home, staring at your computer screen, and scoffing at my bold statement. Driest pancake in the world? Yeah, right. How would you even know? But this is the truth, my friends. I really did make the driest pancake in the world.

Let me share my story with you.

Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread

A few years back, I made chocolate chip pancakes. The process to create them was normal and they tasted all right. They weren't bad and they weren't good; I ate them in peace. There were a few leftovers so I stashed them in the refrigerator for breakfast the next day.

Quickly flash to the next morning. It's 6 am. I was tired. I had to get to class early and barely had enough brain power to microwave the leftover pancakes from the day before. I don't know about you, but my brain doesn't begin to work properly until at least 8 am. After a minute on high, I took them out and proceeded to take a bite. The texture seemed off and they were ice cold, as if the microwave hadn't heated them at all. I put them back in for another minute. I was too sleepy to question this strange occurrence; it was 6 am, no high school student can be expected to reason at this obscene hour of the day. After the minute was up, I pulled them back out.

Still cold.


Was the microwave broken? I warmed up a piece of bread to test my theory. In 20 seconds, the bread was piping hot. Why wasn't my pancake?

I got angry, as one will when they want food and want it now. I stuck them back in the microwave for 5 minutes. I remember feeling very clever—I was going to beat the pancake at its own game.

Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread

When I took it out, the pancake was slightly less cool. Not warm, not hot, and definitely not enough heat to burn my mouth. In fact, it was probably only warmer because it had been out of the fridge for 10 minutes. What was wrong with this pancake? Did it develop magical superpowers overnight? I trashed the pancake and ate the warm slice of plain bread while running out the door.

It took me a few hours to realize what had happened. Microwaves work by hitting food with, well, microwaves; the energy from the waves are then absorbed by water or fats in the food. This process heats up the food quickly, making microwaves a quick way to cook or warm up food.

It only stands to reason that my pancake was so utterly dry that there wasn't enough water in it to be absorbed by the microwaves. I've seen plastics with a higher water content!

Thus, the world's driest pancake was born.

And to think I took a bite...

Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread

Luckily, this Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread is definitely not dry. The loaf is made of small pieces of dough rolled in a garlic herb butter and sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese before heading to the oven to bake. When it emerges, the bread is so soft, tender, and packed with flavor. The bread pulls apart effortlessly, turning a solid loaf of bread into bite-sized pieces. This bread is best served with a side of marinara or tomato sauce.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Orange Miniature Cakes

Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread

Yields 1 loaf

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups barely warm water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups all purpose (or bread) flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast and water. Let sit 5 minutes until yeast is foamy. Mix in the olive oil, salt, and flour. If you have a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, or until elastic. If you are doing this by hand, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until dough is elastic, 7-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until dough is doubled in size.

In a small bowl, combine melted butter, parsley flakes, and minced garlic. Set aside.

Punch down the dough. Tear off small pieces of dough (roughly the size of the bowl of a medium spoon), coat in the butter mixture, and place in the bottom of a bundt pan. Repeat this process until you have one layer of dough balls. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese. Continue layering the dough balls and cheese until you have 3 layers. Cover the pan with a clean towel and allow to sit until dough has doubled in size, 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bread is golden brown. Serve hot with a side of marinara or tomato sauce.

Reader Comments (146)

Truly you have got the style !
06.10.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKS
mm i love bread, thanks for this recipe! do post more bread recipes! (raisin bread if you like that too! :P)
06.11.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLou
Haha. Funny story about the pancake. I've definitely had quite a few baking fails where my final product was more like a dry sponge than a pancake. Oh, well. I'd rather eat something like this pull-apart bread anyways! Yum!
06.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Teenage Taste
Need pics of the process, not only of the result.
More pics, less pancake!
06.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterRick A
I've seen a couple of recipes for this kind of savory monkey-bread, but they always make me drool. Sounds amaaaazing, love the garlic-parm combo and the dipping sauce. Also I'm kind of a nerd, so I like your reasoning about the pancake :) Can't wait to try the bread!
This looks so good! I am filing it for later on Pinterest :)
06.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen
This sounds amazing! I'm "pinning" it for future reference.
06.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMindy
It's like garlic monkey bread! kinda.. haha looks so yummy!
06.12.2011 | Unregistered Commentereirene
this would seem so easy and delicious, except that i cant seem to make bread rise! i wish i could make this!
06.13.2011 | Unregistered Commenterjess white
Lou -- Does this Cinnamon Raisin Baked French Toast count? ( You were actually the inspiration when I made it yesterday!

The Teenage Taste-- Oh, I have definitely had my fair share of kitchen failures. I agree, the worst ones are the one where the texture is so awful you can't eat it. Who wants to eat a dry sponge? Haha.

Hannah-- Thanks! This bread reminds me closely of a pizza monkey bread. Let me know if you try it! I'd love to hear how it turns out.

Jess-- There are a few tricks to getting a loaf of bread to rise. The first is making sure your yeast is relatively fresh and not expired (the longer yeast sits in your home, the less effective it becomes). The second is to dissolve it in lukewarm water (110 to 115 degrees F) and let sit until the yeast become foamy and fragrant (5-8 minutes). If it doesn't become at least a little foamy, your yeast was either too old or ineffective. To help dough rise, cover and leave in a warm, dry place (I like to turn my oven on to the lowest temperature, turn it off, and let the dough rise in the warm space. You'll be surprised how fast it can rise!) I hope some of these tips are helpful. I used to have problems with bread rising too, but these are small tricks I picked up along the way.
06.13.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
a) i actually laughed out loud reading this story because it was totally random and funny.
b) your food makes me feel like i'm in a warm kitchen.
c) this bread looks wonderful.
06.13.2011 | Unregistered Commenterbonny smith
I just found your site through TasteSpotting. The picture is SO inviting. I want to eat this for dinner!
Can I borrow it and link it back to you? I can just smell and taste it now....YUM!!!
Thanks for this garlic parmesan pull-apart bread recipe. It sounds (and looks) wonderful.
06.13.2011 | Unregistered CommenterYoshiBlade
Thanks for the lesson in how microwaves work :) Though I don't have one so I guess for me, other than being interesting, it doesn't help. Thanks even more for sharing this gorgeously decadent sounding bread! I will absolutely be making this the next time I plan an Italian feast!
06.13.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen
While I type this the bread is all seasoned and sitting under the towel, I can't wait to eat it!
What an amazing recipe. Thank you!
06.13.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay
I saw this on foodgawker and thought it looked good so I bookmarked. Well, I made this bread tonight and thought it was good but didn't really taste the garlic (not even a hint of it). I even used 3 cloves instead of two. Did yours have a noticable garlic flavor?
06.13.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmber
I am so wowed by this recipe! This will be a family favorite for sure!
06.13.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLes
Bonny-- I think you just made my day. Such kind words. :)

Lynne-- What a compliment! You may certainly borrow the link as long is credit is paid where credit is due.

Jen-- Glad you liked the lesson, even if it doesn't help you! This bread would make a perfect appetizer for an Italian meal.

Lindsay-- Let me know how it turns out!

Amber-- I had a very noticeable garlic flavor in my bread. Was your garlic fresh? Garlic that has been setting out for awhile or comes ready-peeled will have lost quite a bit of its flavor (making it harder to notice in food). I also used a garlic press to mince the garlic. If the garlic was not minced small enough, the bread will end up with pockets of flavor instead of an overall flavor. In any case, you could always throw a little extra garlic powder into the butter mixture to increase the flavor of the garlic (some people do like flavors stronger than others and this is one way to supplement).
06.13.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I used super fresh garlic - I dug it out of the ground and brought it into the house just for this recipe. It may just be that I like a stronger garlic flavor. Either way, the recipe is great! I was just curious about the flavor. Thanks so much for replying.
06.13.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmber
I just made these tonight, there's not even half a loaf left. Admittedly I've eaten a large portion of that, but so did the kids and hubby. This is fantastic and will definitely one that is made often.
06.13.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMechelle
Love te recipe, will try it soon, can i get the recipe, can i get one for the sauce? :P
06.13.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAustin
I love this recipe. I have made a very similar recipe but I put a small chunk of mozzarella cheese in the dough ball before rolling it in the seasoning and butter. It ends up being cheesy gooey goodness.
06.14.2011 | Unregistered Commenterlilmel
Nice post
OMG! I'm drooling! Can't wait to make this. I need to go buy the yeast though... I haven't made bread in years.
06.14.2011 | Unregistered Commenterjilian
Amber-- Wow! That is fresh. I'm glad you liked it even if the garlic wasn't strong enough for your tastes.

Mechelle-- I'm so happy you liked it! I love to get feedback. Thank you!

Austin-- I used spaghetti sauce from a can (I know, I know, cooks aren't supposed to do that), but I'll look into making a tomato sauce though!

Lilmel-- Oh my goodness. That is definitely going on my list for future baking adventures. So much cheese!

Jilian-- Once you start baking with yeast, you might just find you can't stop. Fresh, hot bread is just too good. :)
06.14.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Mmm... Sounds much better than ordinary garlic bread. Definitely going to give this recipe a go! Thanks for sharing. (Your pancake anecdote was ridiculously funny!)
06.14.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLys
Made this tonight with spaghetti and it was delicious. The presentation is great too- when I brought it to the table my husband looked at me like I was a goddess! Thanks for this great recipe!
06.14.2011 | Unregistered CommenterBraegan
This recipe sounds "delish". I was wondering however, if you could, in a pinch, use canned biscuits like we do with monkey bread. I know it wouldn't be quite as good as fresh baked bread but would be quick as an after work meal I am thinking it would be a good accompaniment to spaghetti with a bottled sauce to feed a hungry family quickly. I do intend to make it as written though, very soon.
06.15.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Zeringue's like savory, garlicky Monkey Bread! Love it and bookmarked!
06.15.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
Hello Kristin, I'm happy I bumped into your pastry affairs. Your bread has the right texture, and I can smell it from where I am. The photography is beautiful as well... Thanks!
06.15.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
Can I make this in something other than a bundt pan? Would I have to make any changes?
06.15.2011 | Unregistered Commentersarah
Braegan-- A goddess! You totally are. :)

Diane-- I'm not sure I would use canned biscuits because the texture is definitely different (they use a lot more butter in the dough to make it flaky). It may not turn out well, so I would hesitate recommending it as a substitute. Instead, I would use 1 lb frozen bread dough. Simply take it out in the morning/over your lunch hour and let in sit on the counter or sink. The dough should be completely thawed just in time for dinner. Hope this helps!

Anna-- Thank you. Such kind words!

Sarah-- You could easily make this in a loaf pan. The baking time may change slightly (though not much, if any) so I'd keep a closer eye on it. Otherwise, a loaf pan is a perfect substitution, especially if you don't have a bundt pan.
06.15.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I need these in my life!
06.15.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
And with this... the world just got better!
06.16.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKate
What if you don't have time to make the bread from dough? Is there any kind of substitution for it?
06.16.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Michelle-- . Instead of making the dough from scratch, I would buy 1 lb frozen bread dough, thaw it, and substitute it for the dough. Follow the recipe at the point where you tear off the small pieces of dough and dip them in the butter. Hope this helps!
06.16.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
i love your recipe and im definately going to try them out.keep it up
06.17.2011 | Unregistered Commenterliliy
I love that this is nearly vegan.:D

I wonder if it's worth substituting the cheese, or if it'll taste just fine without?
06.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKali
This is precisely the kind of thing my husband would adore. (And me!) Thank you for a perfect accompaniment to Father's Day dinner!
06.17.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Kali-- I think it would taste fine without. It would simply turn into a garlic herb bread, which I think would still be very delicious. You could use olive oil in place of the butter and just skip the cheese to make it vegan. Let me know if you give this a try!
06.17.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
This recipe is gorgeous! I shared it with my readers in my Saturday Seven lineup this morning.
Wow... what an amazing work of art! I am a lover of "all things bread" and I will be making this today. I am new to your site - saw your post featured on Positively Splendid and had to stop over. You have a wonderful site and I have signed up for email updates. AJ - queenofmynest(at)gmail(dot)com
06.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAJ
Yummm! I want some right now!
06.18.2011 | Unregistered CommenterRahul
Gorgeous garlic parmesan pull-apart bread
06.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterHotel Austin TX
Made your bread recipe yesterday to compliment my homemade ziti recipe and it was fantastic! This was one of the best bread recipes I have tried in a while! The recipe was very clear and easy to follow (you really DON'T need to add more step-by-step picture - according to one of the previous commentor) and I didn't change it in anyway - mine looked exactly like your picture. Honestly, I am a lover of all things bread and bake bread of some sort weekly... this is amazing!! Thank you for sharing this recipe. AJ - queenofmynest(at)gmail(dot)com
06.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAJ
Well, you may have made the driest pancake in the world (cute story), but you certainly redeemed yourself with this gorgeous pull-apart bread. Wow!
06.20.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCookin' Canuck
Damned, it looks like sheep brain.
But funny.
06.20.2011 | Unregistered Commenterpukke
Oh wow! That looks so good. Cute story about the pancakes too!
06.21.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen Sako
Made this for Father's Day and it was devoured in record time! This will definitely be one of my go to recipes for parties!
I made Exquisite Pizza Sauce to dip it in and it was a match made in heaven:
YUM! I think I need to make it again this weekend...
06.21.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
delicious ^_^
06.21.2011 | Unregistered Commenterdred

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