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Friday, January 6, 2012

Cheesy Pull Apart Bread

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Did anyone else eat those canned biscuits with the layers when you were little? Those were frequently on our dinner table growing up. I remember peeling off each layer and placing it in my mouth, letting the flaky warm pieces melt in my mouth.

In the past few months, pull-apart bread has taken the blog world (and consequently Pinterest) by storm. There are pumpkin versions, cinnamon sugar versions, and now this cheesy version. Originally I intended to try one of the sweet variations first, but something about cinnamon and sugar paired with meaty chili just didn’t sound right!
Cheesy bread it was. Flaky cheesy bread that, just like the biscuits from my childhood, could be peeled apart layer by layer meaning I could savor each and every bite.
For as impressive as the loaf looks, it wasn’t all that difficult to assemble. The instructions were easy to follow and even though my assembled loaf looked a little uneven and sad, it baked up nicely and filled out the pan. In my excitement of eating it, I took it out of the oven a bit early. Although it was starting to brown on top, the bottom of the loaf was still a little doughy…not at all a problem for the dough-lover that I am, but you may want to cover with foil and bake a few extra minutes to ensure it cooks throughout!
One Year Ago: Pork with Spicy Red Plum Sauce
Two Years Ago: Peanut Butter Temptations

Cheesy Puff Pull Apart Bread
from How Sweet Eats

-1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
-1 tbsp sugar
-2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (1 envelope)
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/3 cup milk (I used 2%)
-1/4 cup butter
-1/4 cup water
-2 eggs, at room temperature
-12 oz sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
-1/4 cup butter, melted

1. Combine 1 cup of all purpose flour with 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar, salt, and yeast and stir to combine (can be done in an electric mixture).
2. In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter, just until butter melts. Let rest for 1 minute before stirring in water. Add milk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring to combine (can use dough hook on the electric mixer). Add eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition.
3. Mix in 8 oz. of the cheese (may need to use your hands). Dough will be sticky.
4. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Punch dough down before rolling into a giant rectangle (about 12 x 12 inches). Brush dough with melted butter and top with remaining cheese.
5. With a pizza cutter, slice the dough from top to bottom into 6 even strips. Pile the strips on top of one another and cut into 6 pieces again (horizontally). Butter and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
6. Layer the square slices in the loaf pan cut side down (so that they're standing up in a line). Cover pan with a towel and allow to rise for 1 hour.
7. Preheat oven to 350F and place the loaf pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown.