I have been in New York for the last couple of days. I flew here last Thursday to meet up with my father so that we can travel down to the Caribbean together. We’ll be going back to Virgin Gorda next week after a quick visit to a family friends’ house in Philadelphia. We are both so excited because this will be my father’s first time visiting us on Virgin Gorda.
I have been to New York several times in my life before, but for some reason this time, while it feels so much more fascinating and colorful, it also feels much more crowded and loud. It is funny because up until today, I had never realized how sensitive I had become to the “norms of the city life” that I used to be a part of. Yesterday, while we were waiting in line under the rain to get into a restaurant, I couldn’t help but realize how lucky I am to have gotten a break from all that chaos. Though sometimes you may hear me complain about the challenges of our life on Virgin Gorda, at that very moment, I felt so grateful about the fact that I will be traveling back home in the next couple of days.
Speaking of home, I made this Cheesy Garlic and Herb Pull-Apart Bread right before I left the island. I have been a huge fan of pull-apart breads since I made this Pumpkin-Cinnamon Apart Bread. I love it, because you can sprinkle an easy-to-make dough with whatever you want and literally pull it apart when you are ready to eat it.
To make it, I made a quick dough similar to pizza dough. After I let it rise for an hour and a half, I rolled it into a large rectangle, and sprinkled it with lots of herbs, cheese, and crushed garlic. I cut it into 4 strips (vertically), stacked them on top of each other, and then cut the large piece into smaller pieces (horizontally). I divided them into 2 loaf pans, and after allowing them to rise for half an hour, I baked them for 50 minutes. For the bread that you see in the pictures, I used two 8 ½ X 4 ½ loaf pans, but 9X5 would work just fine. At first it may look like the dough doesn’t fully fill the pans, but no need to worry because after allowing it to rise for half an hour, it will be just fine.
On a last note, I used a combination of basil, dill, and rosemary, but feel free to experiment with other fresh herbs you may like or have on hand.
I don’t know you, but I think there is something so satisfying with bread layered with herbs, cheese, and lots of garlic. It may take some practice, but once you get a hang of making pull-apart breads, you may never want to go back to making (and eating) regular bread.Print
Cheesy Garlic and Herb Pull-Apart Bread
- 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 package (0.25 oz.) rapid rise yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1/2 cup water, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon olive oil,
- 6-7 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted (more for the loaf pans)
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, black or white (Optional)
- Mix the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Slowly, stir in the water. Mix gently using a wooden spoon. It will be very sticky.
- Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured kitchen counter, drizzle it with the olive oil, and knead for 10-15 minutes or until elastic and smooth.
- Place it in a large bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and place it in a warmer part of your house. Let it rise for 1 1/2 hours or until it doubles in size.
- In the mean time, mix the garlic and herbs in a bowl.
- Generously butter two 8-1/2 X4-1/2 loaf pans*(1) and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Transfer the now-doubled in size dough onto a lightly floured kitchen counter, and roll it into a 20X10 inch rectangle.
- Brush the dough with butter.
- Sprinkle it with the herb mixture, mozzarella, and cheddar cheese.
- Cut it vertically into 4 equal pieces (as seen in the picture) and stack them on top of each other. Cut the large stacked strip horizontally into 5 equal pieces*(2).
- Divide them in between 2 loaf pans. (No need to worry if they don’t fully fill your loaf pans.) Cover them lightly with stretch film and let them rise for 30 minutes.
- Lightly brush the top of the dough with egg and sprinkle it with Parmesan cheese, and if preferred, with sesame seeds.
- Bake each loaf separately for 50-55 minutes. Allow it to cool for 15-minutes before serving.
This recipe yields 2 loaves of bread[br]Note 1: A 9X5 loaf pan also works well for this recipe. [br]Note 2: Depending on the size of your loaf pan you may have to cut it into smaller pieces. [br]Note 3: You can freeze it after it is baked. Make sure to wrap it tightly with stretch film after letting it fully come to room temperature to prevent freezer burn.