I’ve been waiting till I thought you could think about food again.

I hope you all had delicious Thanksgivings, ate over 3000 calories, and were shocked when you woke up hungry.

This was one of the appetizers that I brought to our Thanksgiving dinner, and although not so much pull-apart ish as the first loaf I baked, incredible – melted Asiago and Parmesan cheese baked into each slice and tempered with the earthy freshness of the thyme and the warm flavor of the leaves of elephant garlic (which is not garlic at all but, rather, bulbous looking thing from the onion family that tastes subtly garlicky and looks like a leek–google image it). This recipe is inspired by my favorite local bakery, Arizmendi, where they have the best bread+cheese+buttermilk+cheese+cheese goods. One year I got one as part of my birthday present because I loved it so much. This is better. You MUST try this, if you decide not to try anything else on this blog.

 And just look at it! It’s like the shar-pei puppy of bread baking!

You'll notice this picture looks different from the one above. This was the first loaf I made, with rosemary, and it was way more "pull-aparty" then the second life. I'll tell you why below.

Heavily adapted from here

What you need:

For the filling:

1 1/2 C asiago cheese; grated

1/2 C parmesan cheese; grated

4 tblsp fresh thyme leaves

2 tblsp leaves of elephant garlic; can find this at an Asian market (you can use leeks/green onion instead with a tsp of garlic)

1/2 tea spoon sea salt

For the dough:

2 c whole wheat bread flour

1 c all purpose flour

1 packet of yeast (2 1/4 tsp)

3 tblsp sugar

1 c warm water (baby-bottle temperature or warm enough that you can hold your finger in it for several seconds w/out freaking out)

This was the first time I made the recipe, when I let the dough rise for the right amount of time and used rosemary. It looks very different from the second batch, arguably WAY better. But if you stick to times, it will still taste great and should pull apart like this so you don't have to cut the slices.

But if you let it rise longer it will probably look like this, be less pull aparty, but be fluffier and taste better!

How to do it:

*Tip: if you let your bread rise longer than the recipe states, which I did, you will get a loaf like the one pictured above. It won’t pull apart as easily if you stick to these rising times, but I think it tastes better because it’s fluffier. And who cares anyway about pulling it apart? Just slice it! However, you may get lucky and get the taste and the pull apart-i-ness.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine yeast and sugar, and then add water the water and give it a quick stir. Add your 2 c of whole wheat flour and mix it together. Take one tblsp from your cup of all purpose flour and sprinkle it onto the counter; turn the dough out onto it and tblsp by tblsp add the rest of the all purpose flour, kneading all along for about 10 minutes. By the last few tblsp the dough will seem really dry, like it doesn’t need any more flour, but stick with it. Pour about 1 tblsp of olive oil into a bowl and spin your dough in it, flip it and spin it again to get the dough completely covered with oil. Cover bowl with a plastic bag and let rise in a warm place for one hour or until it doubles in size. Don’t let it rise for more than this unless you want the less pull-aparty bread (which is probs better).

Once it’s done rising, punch it down like it’s your Contracts final and your ready to…just punch it down. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Turn it onto a surface and roll out the dough with a glass cup so that it’s roughly 20 in wide by 12 in high. Brush a tsp or two of olive oil on the dough and add your “filling” mixture (but reserve a handful or two for the end). Press your hands gently on the  dough to get the ingredients sort of stuck. Pieces will fall off but it’s okay! With a pizza cutter or knife you trust, cut the dough length-wise into 6 strips. Then stack the strips on top of each other. More pieces will fall off; it’s okay! Then cut through that stack (you’ll need a knife here) into 6 squares. Now, take each stack and place it in a 9×5 bread tin (or whatever tin you have available–it’s okay) with the filling side facing you. Sprinkle any remaining cheese or goodies on top and on the sides. Drizzle some olive oil over the top and toss that puppy in the oven for 35-40 minutes. Check at 30 minutes because ovens vary! Enjoy!


One thought on “Whole Wheat Cheese & Herb Pull-Apart Bread

  1. amalia says:

    This looks so intriguing! I was struggling trying to figure out what it reminded me of, and then you said it–a shar-pei! So cool, definitely going to try this 🙂

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