Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread

IMG_7467 So, I am told there is some kind of big deal football game coming up.  Did you hear about this?

I actually had to google it to find out when it was happening!  My husband and I don’t really follow sports, unless you count the Olympics.  I do, of course, love the food that is associated with the Super Bowl.  I can put away my share of chicken wings, let me tell you!  But in the interest of serving something different, I love this bread.

Think of this as a savory monkey bread, if you will.  Just when everyone is expecting heavy, salty, gooey food, you can plunk this down on the table.  It is light and airy with just the right amount of garlic.  No, this isn’t health food (note: there is butter in the recipe below 🙂 but it doesn’t weigh you down like a lot of other snack bread.  And is it just me or is there something decidedly satisfying in ripping off hunks of bread?  Of course, you can serve this with marinara sauce for dipping, but I have also made it to go alongside a big pot of tomato soup.  Dare I say it was better than croutons?  Its neutrality lends itself to just about anything you can think of to pair it with so be creative.  Or heck!  Just stick with plain marinara.  Because in the end, warm garlic bread is just plain great.
Garlic Pull-Apart Bread IMG_7505 One Year Ago: Banana Snack Cake, Black Bean Salsa
Two Years Ago: Vegetable Couscous, 5-Minute Meatloaf, Enchilada Pie

Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread
Adapted from The Pastry Affair
If you are short on time, or the thought of making bread from scratch makes your knees weak (and not in a ‘Oh my gosh, I just saw Tom Selleck!’ sort of way) just use a purchased 1-1 1/2 pound loaf of bread or pizza dough.

1 pkg (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
1 1/3 c warm water
2 T olive oil
2 tsp salt
3 1/2 c bread flour or all purpose flour
1/4 c butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 T dried parsley
grated parmesan

In the bowl of a mixer with the dough hook attachment, combine the warm water and the yeast.  Let bloom for 5 minutes, or until a few bubbles appear.  Add the olive oil and salt and with the mixer on low, add the flour, 1/2 c at a time until all the flour is mixed in.  Turn the mixer up to medium and let the hook knead the dough until elastic, about 5 minutes. The dough should bounce back when pressed with a finger.  Alternatively, just mix with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Knead by hand on the counter with a bit of flour to keep from sticking, about 8 minutes.  Drizzle the dough with a bit of oil, turn to coat and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise on the counter for an hour or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, and parsley.  Pinch off pieces of dough about the size of an un-cracked walnut.  Dip the dough in the butter mixture and line the bottom of a bundt pan with a single layer of dough pieces.  Sprinkle generously with parmesan.  Use the second half of the dough to make another layer, drizzling any leftover butter over top.  Sprinkle again with parmesan.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise a second time on the counter until puffed, about 1 hour more.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes, or until evenly golden brown.  Let the bread sit for a few minutes and then invert onto a serving plate.  Serve plain, or with marinara for dipping.