Cheese & Herb Pull Apart Bread

As autumn creeps into Minnesota, menus tend to shift from BBQ’s and salads to soups and heartier dishes that warm both the body and the soul. To accompany those meals, what could be better than a soft and herbaceous bread filled with cheese in every layer?

Food really is a love language for some people – clearly me being one of those folks. I once read a statement made by a blogger that said something to the affect that people who get excited take pictures of their food are usually happy people. The process of baking, prepping and serving food to people is filled with love and nostalgia for me, and I try to fill my family with an experience of all of that at every meal. Sometimes it’s messy and a box of Annie’s Mac & Cheese – but the point is I want those sitting round my table to know they are loved, valued and welcomed – just as they are.

This bread is a whole lotta love! The beauty of the recipe is how interchangeable you can make it, depending on the meal of which you’re serving. On my next go of it, I plan to stuff it with jalapeños and cheese to kick it up as a side dish for chili. Use whatever fresh herbs you have on hand. Sage and chives are two of my favorite, so I chose those two and the punch of herbs really made a difference. I also used a mild cheddar, but once again – use whatever ingredients are to your liking. Yields one loaf pan of bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet quick rise yeast
  • 1.5 cups warm water (not hot water as it will kill the yeast)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups unbleached, AP flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp freshly chopped sage
  • 2 tsp freshly chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp melted butter, cooled slightly
  • 6 oz grated cheddar cheese

Method:

  1. In your Kitchen-Aid mixer, fitted with the hook attachment, add the yeast and warm water to the bowl and let sit for 10 minutes, until the yeast begins to bubble. Add olive oil, spices, salt, sage, chives & flour and at a low speed, knead the dough for 5 minutes. The dough should pull away from the bowl and be tacky to the touch, but not stick to your fingers.
  2. Lightly brush olive oil around the bottom of the bowl and cover the bowl with a towel – allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  4. Lightly flour a clean surface and roll out the dough into a long rectangle.
  5. Cut the dough into 6 strips horizontally.
  6. Add the grated cheese onto each layer, and stack them atop one another. 
  7. Cut the layers into 5 sections horizontally, then place the sections in the greased loaf pan. Some of the cheese will fall out, but reserve it for topping the dough once in the pan.
  8. Bake 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the loaf pan & serve hot. Each section will pull apart beautifully, bursting with cheesy, herb flavor. Enjoy!

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