Pesto pull-apart bread is soft and light, stuffed with the most delicious garlicky basil pesto, and just so FUN to eat!
Oh, bread. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
As if we all needed another reason to LOVE eating bread, someone (seriously, who was this genius?!) invented pull-apart bread. And now our lives will never be the same.
If you’ve ever eaten pull-apart bread, you know that I’m only being a little bit dramatic when I say that it’s life changing. Pull-apart bread can be easily stuffed with your favorite flavors and fillings, and the fun of pulling the bread apart with your hands comes with the added bonus of one less knife to wash!
And if you’ve ever baked pull-apart bread, you know that it’s actually much simpler than it looks!
This pesto pull-apart bread combines a simple, soft bread dough with my favorite homemade basil pesto for a flavorful bread that’s a perfect appetizer or side dish! It reminds me of garlic knots, but better! This pesto pull-apart bread recipe is:
- Made of soft, light bread with a delicious chewy texture.
- Easier to make than you might think! Once you’ve made your bread dough and let it rise, you’ll roll it into a rectangle and spread it with the pesto. Slice the dough into squares (a pizza cutter makes this super easy), stack the squares of dough, stick them into a loaf pan, and bake.
- Perfect for serving at spring holidays!
Once you’ve baked a loaf of this pesto-pull apart bread you’ll realize the hardest part is not eating the entire loaf in one sitting!
Pesto Pull-Apart Bread
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 T granulated sugar
1 (3/4 oz.) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
2 eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup basil pesto
coarse kosher salt, for sprinkling
In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups of the flour and all of the sugar, yeast, and salt. Set aside.
Add the milk and butter to a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat until the butter has melted. Remove the pan from the heat and add the water. Stir gently to combine. Let the mixture stand to cool about two minutes. (If you have a candy thermometer, use it to check the temperature of the mixture; let it cool to 115°F to 125°F).
Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a spatula. Beat the eggs and add them to the bowl; stir well to combine. Add the remaining 1 cup of flour and stir with the spatula to combine.
Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rest in a warm space to rise until it’s doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Grease and flour an 8.5 inch by 4.5 inch loaf pan. Set aside.
Place the risen dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead 2 to 4 T of flour into the dough. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with the towel, and let rest for 5 minutes. Return the dough to the lightly floured surface and roll out the dough into a rectangle measuring 20 inches by 12 inches.
Spread the pesto evenly over the dough. Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough vertically into 6 strips. Stack the strips on top of one another, and slice the stack horizontally into 4 rectangles. Place the stacks into the loaf pan, and separate them slightly so they fill the pan. Cover the pan with the towel and let the dough rise for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the bread for 20 minutes, then quickly but carefully add a foil cover over the bread and bake for an additional 10 minutes. The bread is finished baking when the top is a dark golden brown. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool.
To remove the bread from the pan, run a butter knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the bread. Then, holding the edges of the bread, gently lift the bread up and out of the pan. Eat immediately or store in an airtight container for up to two days.