Parmesan Pull-Aparts – Let Us Eat Bread!

25 Feb 2009 by Claire, 5 Comments »

So, things have been a bit busy and I’m behind on the challenge.  Actually I did make these in week three – on Sunday, for a goodbye party for a friend of mine who was heading off to join the Foreign Service.  I figured that deserved a batch of fresh rolls!

These are as tasty as they are elegant – soft and chewy, delicately crusted and filled with the taste of cheese.  I used a romano rather than parmesan, simply because it was what I had in the fridge, but I also prefer it’s slightly nuttier taste, and I think it worked perfectly with these rolls.

If I had had time, I would have also whipped up a garlic compound butter to go with them – so simple, but a really nice touch for a dinner party or event – that recipe is below as well.

The only bad thing about these was that my apartment still smelled of them when I woke up the next morning, but they had all been eaten.  It was tragic.

Parmesan Pull-Aparts
Makes 1 dozen rolls
adapted from Gourmet, Feburary 2009

Time: 40 for prep, total about 5 hours.


2 teaspoons active dry yeast (from a 1/4-oz package)
1 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup warm milk (105–115°F), divided
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
1 1/4 cups grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
5 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon sized pieces
1 tablespoon water

stand mixer (if you have it) or good biceps

to do:

1. Stir together yeast, sugar, and 1/3 cup warm milk in a measuring cup and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. If mixture doesn’t foam, start over with new yeast.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, cheese, and salt. Pour in the yeast mixture and remaining milk and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until the dough starts to form.

A stand mixer will let you mix in the eggs and knead the dough, but since I didn’t have one, my instructions are as follows:

3. In the measuring cup, beat 2 of the eggs. Add to the dough, about 1/2 at a time, and stir to combine.  Make sure your butter is very soft, and add it to the dough and barely fold the dough around it.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the butter is worked through and the dough is elastic but sticky.

4. Put the dough back int he bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel and place in a warm location to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours (I stuck mine in the oven with the oven off – the pilot gave off plenty of heat)

5. Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Cut dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll into balls between the palms of your hands, and then with your fingertips, stretch the outer layer of the dough towards the bottom, tucking all around, until the top surface becomes relatively smooth.  Butter a round, 9-inch cake pan.  Nestle the balls together with a little space between them, cover, and let rise again for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the rolls fill the pan.

6. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Whisk together remaining egg with water and brush on tops of rolls. (You will have leftover egg wash.) Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Loosen edges of rolls from pan with a sharp knife and invert rolls onto a rack, then reinvert and cool at least 20 minutes. Pull apart and slather with garlic compound butter.

Garlic Compound Butter
prep: 5 minutes, total: 5 minutes

6 cloves garlic (I like mine garlicky)
coarse salt
1 stick unsalted butter, quite soft but not melted
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1. Peel the garlic cloves.  Mince them finely. Pile the minced garlic on your cutting board, and sprinkle liberally with coarse salt. Using the flat of the blade of your chef’s knife, drag the garlic and salt along the board until it forms a paste.

2. In a ramekin or other small bowl, mix together garlic, butter, and parsley. Refrigerate to harden again, and serve with rolls, or dolloped on top of hot steaks. Make extra, spread a thick layer on bread and put it under the broiler for fresh garlic bread.

Approval from the tasters!

Approval from the tasters!


Check out the other We Bake Gourmet group members:

Kelly of Sass & Veracity

Judy of No Fear Entertaining

Courtney of Coco Cooks

Sandy of At The Baker’s Bench

Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes

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  1. pepsakoy says:

    Looks just like mine.. :)


  2. Andrea says:

    Those look perfect! Whenever we have leftover bread or rolls, I enjoy them for breakfast too. :-)

  3. eric says:

    tasty-looking. i love pull-aparts; i also love Parmesan (and other) cheese. good stuff.

  4. Taylor says:

    These are absolutely beautiful, I can’t wait to try them this weekend! Thank you :)

  5. kellypea says:

    I’m behind, too. We’re at the end of week #4 and I still haven’t made the last one. But you’ve convinced me to switch from the corn stalk rolls to these. They sound so yummy and will be perfect for my Sunday dinner. Mmmm….

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