Friday, April 10, 2015

Herb Garlic Butter Three Cheese Pull-Apart Bread

This is one helluva bread recipe.

 Herb Garlic Butter Cheese Pull-Apart Bread

With ingredients such as "cheese", "herb butter" and "garlic", I was sold. Combine all into a loaf? Wham bam. Instant hit. Though the original recipe called for Parmesan cheese, as I had a variety of cheeses at home, I decided to shred and combine these three kinds of cheeses for the recipe - red and white cheddar, and gouda. I'm no cheese connoisseur, but I reckon you probably won't be going too far off-track by using a variety of cheeses for the recipe. And for the herb butter - I replaced the cilantro with parsley instead as the Sis is not a big cilantro fan (neither is she a fan of parsley but hey, I'm choosing the lesser of the two evils), and the bread still turned out really good.

For my Sis's birthday late last year, I had volunteered to make brunch at home since she was all for the "let's just eat at home" mindset. I love cooking for the family, cos that gives me a chance to browse through all my bookmarked recipes and select recipes to make a meal menu. So for her birthday brunch, I chose recipes that included my Sis's favourite ingredients. For every homecooked meal, there was always a main "dish" highlight - and for that brunch, this pull-apart bread was it.

Oozy cheesy goodness

I baked the bread the day before the brunch so I could prepare the other dishes on the day itself. When I was making the first loaf (the big loaf pictured above), I realised that I had about half the herb garlic butter mixture left after spreading it over the dough layers. What's a girl to do? Whip up a second batch of dough of course. That herb garlic butter gem should not be wasted at all costs. The recipe below is a single batch, and makes one bread loaf. You can either halve the herb garlic butter ingredients if you don't want to make too much bread, or double the bread recipe to use up the herb garlic butter.

Herb garlic butter

I decided to make mini buns for the second batch of dough, don't they look all adorable and cute? (side note - I really really need to get a second set of mini loaf tin pans).

Sorry the bread was just so photogenic, I couldn't resist the photos spam...
Cornflakes panko crusted chicken poppers with sriracha mayo (recipe here)
Birthday brunch spread for the Sis

The final table spread included - herb butter garlic three cheese pull-apart bread, avocado baked eggs, cornflakes crusted chicken poppers, fennel mandarin apple salad and yuzu-ades. Everyone gave the thumbs-up for the bread. And my Sis was more than glad to bring home some leftover bread. 

The bread perfumed the house with its smell when it was in the oven. A smell so delicious I had to resist eating the temptation to just tuck into it while I was snapping the photos. When I finally tried the bread the next day (after warming it in the oven first), I was certainly not disappointed. That herb garlic butter was the ultimate bomb when combined with the cheeses. The bread itself was also quite soft. 

I should make this again soon. If you follow me on Instagram, you would  know that I've been baking a lot of breads recently. But mostly sweet breads than savoury breads though. So yeah, I should probably make a savoury bread recipe again soon...

Herb Butter Garlic Cheese Pull-Apart Bread (adapted from Sonali at Mellow n Spicy)
(makes one 9"x4" loaf, or six mini loaves)

½ cup lukewarm milk
½ cup lukewarm water
2¼ tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
330g plain flour
2 tsp salt
42g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 - 1½ cups shredded cheese (I used a mix of white cheddar, red cheddar and gouda)

Herb garlic butter
42g unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp mixed dried herbs
1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely minced

Combine milk, water, yeast and sugar in a large bowl, stir well, and set aside for 5-10 minutes to activate the yeast.
When the yeast mixture is bubbly and frothy, add flour, butter and salt to the yeast mixture and start mixing the dough together. Transfer to floured surface, knead to form a soft dough. Shape dough into a ball, place into an oiled bowl, cover with cloth and set aside to proof for an hour or more, till the dough doubles in size.
Mix the ingredients for the herb garlic butter while the dough is proofing.
Grease and line a baking loaf tin with baking paper.
Once the dough is doubled in size, punch once to degas, then transfer to floured surface, roll the dough out into a rectangle.
Spread the herb garlic butter onto the dough surface liberally. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the herb garlic butter.
Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise. Place one half onto the other (toppings side facing up).
Cut crosswise into quarter squares.
Carefully place the stacked square layers into the greased loaf pan (toppings facing sideways).
Cover loaf tin, set aside to proof for another half hour or so.
Bake at 175C for 30-40 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. If the loaf is browning too quickly towards the end of the baking, you can add a foil layer atop the loaf tin to prevent the loaf from further browning.
Remove from oven, place on cooling rack. Try to remove the loaf from the loaf tin soon (when it's not too hot) to cool on cooling rack.
 Once it's warm enough to handle, go on and tear into the loaf. You deserve it.

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