After finding this recipe on ThePastryAffair.com, I needed it was absolutely necessary to try this out for myself. Typically a carb-craver myself, this delicious appetizer idea is perfect for picking and pulling apart, giving you perfect bite-size pieces. I am always the first person to reach into the bread basket at restaurants, tasting to see whose loaf reigns supreme. After trying this recipe, I completely fell in love. Light, fluffy, and the most delicious savory flavor, this is a dish I will be making for any occasion. Using some extra-virgin olive oil I purchased from Gourmet Italian, not a single pulled-apart piece tasted dry.  For added flavor, dip in your favorite marinara sauce & enjoy!

Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread

(Yields 1 loaf)

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups barely warm water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups all purpose (or bread) flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast and water. Let sit 5 minutes until yeast is foamy. Mix in the olive oil, salt, and flour. If you have a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, or until elastic. If you are doing this by hand, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until dough is elastic, 7-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until dough is doubled in size.

In a small bowl, combine melted butter, parsley flakes, and minced garlic. Set aside.

Punch down the dough. Tear off small pieces of dough (roughly the size of the bowl of a medium spoon), coat 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. Cover the pan with a clean towel and allow to sit until dough has doubled in size, 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bread is golden brown. Serve hot with a side of marinara or tomato sauce.

Article by: Angela Samartano

Gourmet Italian 2011

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