A Squared: Cheesy Pizza Pull Apart Bread

Friday, March 28, 2014

Cheesy Pizza Pull Apart Bread

So, I finally broke down and jumped on the cheesy/pull apart/monkey/party bread... and it was really good.


Truthfully, I wasn't going to give this one a try as, let's be honest, there aren't many redeeming health qualities about a loaf of bread stuffed with cheese. But on a recent Saturday morning I was working on some posts and watching The Kitchen on Food Network when Chef Marcella whipped up a loaf of this cheesy party bread. My husband rarely pays attention when I am watching cooking shows (it's basically the equivalent to my attention span when he's watching football), but he gave it a quick glance and immediately asked, "can we make that?" And so we did.


I decided that if we were going to go ahead and make this decadent bread, then I might as well call it dinner (with a green salad on the side, of course) instead of a snack. So, I put a little pizza twist on mine: a combination of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, diced pepperoni, and warm marinara for dipping made this bread totally delicious. It also couldn't be easier-- just make deep scores in a ready made loaf of bread, stuff it with cheese, seasoning, and any other fixings (I had another great idea for this involving Gruyere and caramelized onions...), bake, and then pull apart and enjoy!


I couldn't stop eating it and definitely needed to hit the gym the next day, but it was worth it. This bread is perfect for a fun weekend dinner, for an easy party appetizer, or something to snack on during a big game. March Madness, anyone?


Ingredients:

  • 14-16 oz. loaf of crusty bakery bread *I used sourdough
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1-1/4 tsp. dry Italian Seasoning, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 oz. pepperoni, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • Warm marinara or pizza sauce, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the loaf of bread on a cutting board and score the loaf by making cuts all the way across and 1 inch apart, but not cutting all the way through. Slice down until about 1/2 inch is left at the base of the loaf so that the slices are still connected. Rotate the loaf and repeat, scoring at an opposite angle to create a checkerboard pattern of roughly 1-inch square strips of bread. Place the cut loaf on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Melt the butter in a small bowl and then stir in 1 Tbs. olive oil, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, a pepper. Carefully pour the mixture evenly throughout the cuts in the loaf.

In a medium bowl, combine the cheeses and pepperoni. Using your fingers, take clumps of the cheese and pepperoni mixture and stuff in between the cuts in the bread, being sure to push the mixture toward the base of the bread. Do your best to evenly distribute the cheese mixture throughout the loaf.

Drizzle the top of the loaf with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1/4 tsp. of Italian seasoning. Bake for 18-20 minutes until bread is golden brown on top and cheese has melted.

Serve warm with sauce for dipping, if desired.


Loosely based on recipe by FiveHeartHome.


Looking for another good party snack? Try Grilled Corn & Avocado Salsa or Baked Three Pepper Quesadillas!


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2 comments:

  1. We love this stuff! And you're right, it is pretty hard to stop eating it. :)

    ReplyDelete

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