Today we are talking about a technique rather than a recipe. Meaning this "pull-apart bread" is a technique to incorporate any kind of filling you have in mind into a dough. The dough I used here is the same dough I use for my Challah recipe. The main difference here is the shaping. Instead of shaping the dough into little balls which then are open into strands and will be braided into gorgeous challah, with this "pull-apart bread" technique we open the dough to a thin sheet and spread beautiful toppings. Then the dough is cut into little squares and stacked together in a baking pan - vertically, proofing into each other. This "pull-apart bread" is filled with artichoke paste and Raclette cheese. It is then brushed with pesto when comes out of the oven. It is such an amazing combination. What toppings would you put in your "pull-apart bread"? I want you to be creative. Everything works with this concept. Remember- it's a technique, not a recipe.
For the dough-
500 gr white flour
225 ml water
60 ml extra virgin olive oil
50 gr sugar
10 gr dry yeast
10 gr sea salt
1 free-range egg
For the filling-
250 gr artichoke paste
150-200 gr Raclette cheese (if you don't have, you can use Gruyere, Emmental, Fontina, Appenzeller)
For the brushing-
1 free-range egg (before baking)
Pesto and olive oil (after baking)
- In a stand mixer's bowl, mix water, yeast, and sugar.
- Add the egg, then the flour and the olive oil, and don't stir.
- Set the mixer to the lowest speed and start mixing for 4 min until we get a homogenous dough.
- Change the mixer one notch higher, only one level faster than the slowest one. We don't want to stress our dough. Work the dough at that speed for 5 min.
- Add the salt.
- Keep kneading for 3 min. Total kneading of the dough should be 12 min.
- Round the dough and place in an oiled bowl to proof. Cover with a towel to avoid the dough from drying out.
- After the dough doubled in size, punch it and transfer it from the bowl to the working surface.
- Flatten the dough with your hands to a rectangle shape on a floured surface.
- Using a rolling pin- open the dough into a big rectangle, about 1/2-1 cm thickness.
- Spread your artichoke paste evenly on the dough.
For the artichoke paste, simply take the confit artichoke (a jar) and blend it in a food processor.
- Grate the cheese on top of the paste.
- Using a pizza slicer, cut the dough into smaller squares.
- Then place few squares on top of each other and place the stack vertically in the baking pan. Make sure you brush the baking pan with enough butter. I would even recommend placing parchment paper in the baking pan. It will avoid it from sticking once the cheese melts.
- Let the bread proof until it rises in 50% volume. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 370F or 190C.
- Brush the bread with an egg.
- Bake for 35 min. If the top is getting dark too fast- place an empty tray above the bread. It will avoid direct heat on the bread.
- Remove from the oven and brush with pesto mixed with olive oil.
- What bread you made today!