garlic parmesan pull-apart bread

My parents were here to visit us this past weekend with goal in mind: Manhattan clam chowder.  It’s a “fall classic,” so to speak, in my family and we decided this year that we’d make it at our house.  It was a spectacularly laid back weekend filled with a killer Yankees game on the boob-tube on Saturday, tons of coffee drinking (as per usual), my mom reminiscing over her mother’s and grandmother’s recipes, my dad on the hunt for a walking stick in the woods on our property, Wilma chasing the turkeys out of the yard, and lots of cooking.

garlic parmesan pull-apart bread

This garlic Parmesan pull-apart bread happened in the course of Saturday’s waning afternoon light while the soup was finishing on the stove and the Yankees were into the 4th hour of their almost 6 hour game.  My mom and I sat at our 10-year-old Ikea kitchen table where I plucked golf ball-size pieces of dough out of the dough container and she rolled them in garlic herb butter.  Piled up in the Bundt pan and sprinkled with some Parmesan cheese, the dough goes through a second quick rise then puffs up even higher while baking.  Set out in the center of the table, we marveled at this bread: how easy it was to make, how rustic it was to pull apart, and how perfect it was dipped in one of our favorite soups.

Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread

Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: 6 servings

I expect this bread would be fantastic served alongside spaghetti and meatballs…and that may be how it makes its next appearance in our house. Also, store-bought pizza dough would work fine with this recipe if you're making this on a whim without a lot of time. Just make sure the dough is at room temperature before you start dividing it.


  • 2 ¼ tsp (1 packet) instant yeast
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp (¼ cup) salted butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley flakes or 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In the bowl of the stand mixer, stir together the yeast and water. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes until yeast is somewhat dissolved. Mix in the olive oil, salt, and flour. Using the dough hook, knead the dough for 5 minutes, or until elastic. (Alternatively, you can mix the ingredients in a large bowl then knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is elastic, 7-10 minutes.) Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  2. In a small bowl, combine melted butter, parsley, Italian seasoning, and minced garlic. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  4. Gently push the air out of the dough. Tear off a golf ball-size piece of dough, roll in the butter mixture, and place in the bottom of a Bundt pan. Repeat this process until you have one layer of dough balls. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese. Continue layering the dough balls and cheese until you have 3 layers. (Note: We ended up with only 2 layers but the bread still turned out fine.) Cover the pan with a clean towel or plastic wrap and allow the dough to double in size, 20-30 minutes.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bread is golden brown. Let the pan cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes then invert the pan onto a large serving plate and let the bread fall out of the pan. Serve hot.


source: adapted from Pastry Affair