Two variations of the same recipe – One sweet, one savory
Have you ever tried pull-apart bread? I saw this recipe posted by King Arthur Flour in a savory version layering garlic, herbs and butter between thin layers of dough. It looked so delicious I absolutely had to try it. I then decided to bake a sweet version of this recipe by spreading Nutella in the layers instead of garlic and butter. It is a positively beautiful bread and so delicious.
The recipe calls for two tablespoons of potato flour which I think is essential in making a soft bread that doesn’t dry out too quickly. The bread can be wrapped in foil and placed in a sealed plastic bag to stay fresh for three days.
Pull apart bread requires time to make. The dough comes together very quickly but requires 90 minutes for the first rise and another 90 minutes for a second rise after the loaf has been formed. I decided to make the savory garlic and butter version when I was having some friends over for dinner. I started to make the bread early in the day and the second rise was done by 4:00pm. My friends weren’t due to arrive until 6:30 and I wanted to serve the bread fresh from the oven. I put the loaf in the refrigerator after the second rise was complete. Putting dough in the refrigerator won’t reverse the rise but it will slow down the yeast. I took the loaf out a half hour before I baked it so that it would be room temperature when it went into the oven. The pull apart bread came out great. This pull apart bread is so beautiful to serve and the buttery garlic layers in between the dough ensures equal flavor in every bite.
Next, I decided to use the same dough recipe but used Nutella in the middle of each layer to create a breakfast version. My son Max could not get enough of the Nutella bread. Three mornings in a row he woke up and warmed a piece of the pull apart Nutella bread to have with his coffee. The dough worked equally well with the sweet version as it did with the savory.
I like to make this dough with my hands, not a mixer. Mix the ingredients together as instructed and form it into a shaggy ball. Place ball on the counter and knead the dough until it comes together and is smooth and slightly stick. You do not want a dry dough. The dough should be stick but not wet.
After the dough has risen to about double in size divide the dough into 2 pieces. Roll each piece into a circle that is about 1/4 of an inch thick. Use a round cookie cutter or top of a glass to cut out disks that are 3.5 inches in diameter. You want disk to be about the same width as the loaf pan. If your disks are too small just roll each one out a little more before you put the filling on.
You will have leftover dough after you have cut out the circles. I like to roll pieces and tie knots with the dough. Place knots on a parchment lined baking sheet and let rise until double in size. Bake in 350 oven for 10 – 15 minutes until light brown. When knots come out of the oven toss them with softened garlic butter. You can also let them cool and place them in a plastic bag and freeze them for another day.
- 2 Standard loaf pans (8½x4½x2½)
- 1 cup milk
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs lighly beaten
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp potato flour
Filling Option 1
- 6 tbsp butter softened
- 1 garlic clove peeled and minced
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp fresh parsley chopped fine
Filling Option 2
- 6 tbsp Nutella Spread
- Heat milk, butter, sugar and salt in a sauce pan until butter melts. Do not boil
- Let milk mixture cool to lukewarm
- When milk is luke warm pour it into a mixing bowl and add yeast and eggs
- add half the AP flour and potato flour mix until incorpoated then add rest of flour
- form dough into a shaggy ball and place on work surface
- knead dough by hand until very smooth. Should take 5 or 6 minutes
- place into a lightly greased bowl and cover with a kitchen towel
- Place in a warm place and let rice for 90 minutes until double in size
- lightly grease (2) 8 inch loaf pans with butter OR line them with parchment paper
- when dough has doubled in size press down gently to deflate
- divide dough in half and work with one half at a time
- roll into a circle that is ¼ inch thick
- cut (12) 3½ inch circles out of the dough using a round cookie cutter or top of a glass
- You can roll each circle a little more after it's cut out so it fits in the loaf pan
- cover half of one side of circle with filling and fold circle in half
- place folded side down in loaf pan and continue to line up circles in pan
- cover with plastic and a kitchen towel. Place in a warm place and let rise for 90 mintues
- preheat oven to 350
- bake loafs uncovered on middle rack for 25 minutes until golden brown on top. If browning too quickly tent loaf with foil.
- Remove from pan and serve