Hey guys! We’re throwing something savory into the oven this weekend and it’s super yummy and comforting- I’m loving this Cheddar Pull Apart Bread! We’re using a fluffy, soft, brioche-style bread base and filling it with tons of yummy things.
This is a simple recipe, but you end up with something really beautiful and incredibly yummy at the end. Let’s get to it!
How to Make Cheddar Pull Apart Bread
We’re starting off with the dough. This is a brioche-style dough, so we’ve got a lot of kneading in store and it’s best to use a stand mixer if you have one here. We’re starting out by adding some water, milk, sugar, and yeast into the mixer with flour and salt. Here’s what that looks like when the dough just comes together:
Then it’s time to knead in some softened butter, which can take some time. You want to add it in small chunks, letting each piece work in completely before you continue. Adding all of the butter will likely take a good ten minutes- and don’t be afraid to scrape down the bowl as you go! Once you’ve added all the butter it should look very smooth and silky- here’s before and after rising:
Once the dough has risen, we’re rolling it out into a large rectangle, and spreading some softened butter that’s been mixed with fresh herbs and garlic. I’m using fresh rosemary, chives, and parsley, but use whatever you like here! It should be a thin layer of the butter mixer, topped with a thin layer of shredded cheddar.
This gets cut into squares that are about the size of your loaf pan, and then stacked into the pan so it looks something like this:
Then it’s off to the oven! I like to brush it with melted butter before and after baking for a really yummy flavor and a deep golden color. I hope you guys love this one!
Tips & Tricks for Cheddar Pull Apart Bread
Here are my tips and tricks to help you along the way with your Cheddar Pull Apart Bread!
- Don’t add too much flour to the dough. It should be pulling away from the sides of the bowl, but still sticking to the bottom of the bowl once you start adding the softened butter. As it kneads, it will come together a bit more, but it should be fairly tacky and smooth in the end.
- Give the dough plenty of kneading time. You want it to be very elastic and smooth after you’ve added all the butter, so be sure to give it plenty of kneading time.
- Be sure to avoid over-proofing the dough. Since we’re at high-altitude, you may find your dough rises fairly quickly, so keep a close eye on it!
- Can I make this dough without a stand mixer? You can, but it’s a very labor-intensive process without a mixer. If you have a mixer, now is a great time to use it!
- How big should my dough squares be? You want to cut your dough into squares that will fit neatly into your loaf pan, so cut the squares at about that size. They don’t have to be perfect.
- How do I know when the bread is finished baking? You bread should reach a deep golden brown color all over, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at about 170-175 degrees when it’s finished.
- I’m at about 5,000 ft. above sea level, and I find that most people between about 3,000-7,000 ft above sea level do not need to make any adjustments to my recipes.
Cheddar Pull Apart Bread
For the dough:
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 tbs. brown sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
- 3 1/2- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup softened butter
For the filling:
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 5-6 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1/4 cup softened butter
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped herbs
- 3 tbs. melted butter
For the dough:
In a microwave safe bowl, heat the water, milk, and brown sugar in the microwave until it reaches 110-115 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Stir in the active dry yeast, and set aside to bloom for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly and foamy.
Transfer the yeast mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer (or into a large mixing bowl), and add in three cups of flour along with the salt using the paddle attachment. The mixture will be fairly soft and sticky at this point.
Add in another 1/4 cup of flour, and continue adding in 1/4 cup portions until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl at the top, but is still sticking to the bottom of the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is slightly smooth. Then, add in the softened butter slowly.
Knead either in the mixer or by hand until the dough is elastic. By hand, this will take about 15 minutes, and by mixer it should take about 10. The dough should be very smooth and stretchy.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled large bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise by about 1/3 in size, which takes about 30-45 minutes for me, but keep an eye on your dough size to avoid over-proofing.
For the filling:
Grease an 8 or 9 inch loaf pan. Set aside. Roll your dough into a large rectangle. In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, herbs, and softened butter until just combined, and spread the mixture evenly all over your dough. Evenly sprinkle the cheese over the butter mixture and lightly press to adhere to the dough. Cut the dough into squares that fit the width of your loaf pan, and stack up the dough squares into your pan gently. Cover with plastic wrap.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes. It will be just slightly puffed. Brush the top of the loaf generously with some of the melted butter, and bake for 45-50 minutes. The dough should reach a deep golden brown color, and you can use an instant read thermometer to see that the inside reaches 175 degrees.
Brush the remaining melted butter over the top of the loaf immediately when you take it out of the oven. Cool for about 20 minutes in the pan, and then turn out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling. Wait until the bread is completely cool to slice. Enjoy!
Hello and welcome! My name is Nicole, and Dough-eyed is a food blog for people who want to bake for their family and friends in high-altitude areas. Think of me as a friendly voice there with you in the kitchen, here to give you confidence when you’re baking, and to help you with the struggles of baking at high-altitude. Come back every week for new recipes, tips, and advice on high-altitude baking!