I’ve been wanting to develop another bread recipe lately and, once I saw someone else (I forget who!) post about a pull apart loaf I knew I had to make one. Anything pizza flavored is going to be a winner, so here we are!
This loaf looks so nice but it surprisingly easy to achieve!
- the dough – I knew I wanted an enriched dough so that it would be soft and slightly pillow-y, but I also wanted it to be sturdy enough to hold it’s shape as it proves and bakes. So this dough has no egg but has milk and butter in it, along with some italian seasoning to add some extra flavor to the whole situation
- the filling – I used low-moisture mozzarella and basil in mine, mimicking a traditional margarita pizza. the tomato element doesn’t come in as part of the filling because it just adds too much moisture to the loaf, but I didn’t leave it out completely!
- the shaping – while the loaf comes out looking so incredible, it’s so easy to assemble. you just roll out the dough into a big rectangle, top with your fillings, then cut into rectangles, stack them, and arrange them in the pan. however, make sure that the two rectangles that touch the short ends of the pan both have the filling facing inside so it’s not touching the pan itself to prevent any burning cheese!
- the dipping sauce – while tomato in the filling didn’t work out, it’s delicious as a dunking sauce for pieces of the loaf that you’ve pulled off. so, so good!
Honestly, you can use this dough and method to make so so many kind of pull apart loafs! The key for every single variation will be to use a relatively dry filling so you’re not introducing a ton of moisture to the party. Some other ideas I had include:
- pizza – I know that’s what I did, but you prefer a pepperoni pizza you could definitely throw some pepperoni in there!
- cinnamon – skip the italian seasoning in the dough and use a cinnamon roll filling for a sweet version that’s less fiddly than cinnamon rolls and just as tasty
- cheese – you could load up on the cheese in there, use a couple of different kinds, and add some roasted garlic for a really fun twist on a cheesy garlic bread
The options are endless and I can’t wait to try some of them out for myself! Let me know how it goes for you if you try it out 🙂
Pizza Pull Apart Loaf is the type of recipe that's perfect for all occasions - a party, a dinner, a celebratory afternoon, a rainy afternoon, literally any time can be improved with this delicious, easy bread.
for the dough
- 7 g (2 1/4 tsp) yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 170 g (3/4 cup) whole milk
- 57 g (4 tbsp) butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 300 g (2 1/3 cup) flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp italian seasoning
for the filling
- 4 oz low moisture mozzarella, shredded
- 1/2 cup basil, sliced thinly
- marinara sauce
- make the dough: in the microwave or a small pot, heat the milk to lukewarm, no greater than 190*. place in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the sugar and yeast and let proof for about 5 minutes. you should see some foaming, which means the yeast is alive and working
- add the remaining dough ingredients and mix with the dough hook on low until combined. mix for an additional 7-10 minutes until it passes the windowpane test (take a small piece of dough and stretch it out thinly so you can see light coming through. if it doesn't tear when you do this, it passes the test). if the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl, add a tablespoon or two of flour. it will stick to the bottom of the bowl though, you want a very soft dough
- place in a greased bowl and let proof for 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size
- prep your pan: line a loaf pan with parchment paper so that it creates a sling with parchment hanging over the two long sides of the pan. set aside
- shape and fill: once the dough has doubled in size, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into a 8x16 rectangle. top with the cheese and basil, then, using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut into small rectangles, about 4x2. carefully stack half of the rectangles on top of each other, all with the filling facing up. gently place these into the prepared pan with the filling all facing inwards. repeat with the other half of the rectangles, placing the filling inwards again, so the outside of the rectangles that comes into contact with the pan does not have filling on them
- proof: cover the loaf with plastic and let proof until puffy, 30-60 minutes. preheat your oven to 350*
- bake: once puffy, bake the loaf in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown and it springs back when poked. the loaf should have an internal temperature of about 190*
- enjoy! serve with marinara sauce for dipping
For variation ideas, check out the 'Variation' section above.