You know what the hardest part of food blogging is? Timing your cooking so that by the time you’re ready to pull out your camera, there’s still enough natural light left to shoot decent photos. If you work during the day, that usually means that by the time you get home and start cooking, you’re out of luck until the weekend. Winter is an especially tough time for food bloggers. It gets dark so early! In the spring and summer, and for part of the fall, there’s at least still a chance for pretty decent lighting until 7 or 8pm. In the winter, you’re lucky if there’s any kind of natural illumination in around by 5pm.
I started prepping this pull-apart bread around noon, ran a few errands, and made it home in time to stick everything in the oven by 4ish. At the time, there was still plenty of light, but it was fading quickly. By the time this bread came out of the oven at 5pm, there was only the barest light left in the sky. Big time bummer. Luckily, with the right zoom and ISO settings, my camera was able to pick up enough light to make these pictures look like they were taken much earlier the day. Unfortunately, the pictures also came out much more blurry than usual. Again, big time bummer. Oh well. That’s just one of the perils of food blogging. Thank god for Photoshop and Piknik.
Anyway, I’ve been wanting to make this bread since I saw it on FoodGawker a few months ago. The name alone drew me, but pretty much everything about this dish is appealing. Fluffy pull-apart bread, flavored with garlic and parsley, sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan, and drizzled with butter. Mmmmm. Delicious and fun to eat!
Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread (Adapted from The Pastry Affair’s recipe)
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/3 cups lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil (Regular olive oil is fine too)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3-1/2 cups flour (All purpose or bread flour — I used all-purpose)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (If you use garlic-infused olive oil, you can skip the minced garlic)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
(1) Preheat oven to 350. Grease a bundt pan.
(2) In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast and water. Let sit 5 minutes until yeast is foamy.
(3) Mix in the olive oil, salt, and flour. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until dough is elastic, 7-10 minutes.
(4) Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours in a warm place, or until dough is doubled in size.
(5) In a small bowl, combine melted butter, parsley flakes, and minced garlic. Set aside.
(6) Punch down the dough. Tear off small pieces of dough, roll them in the butter mixture, and place in the bottom of your bundt pan. Repeat this process until you have one layer of dough balls.
** I ended up having two rows of balls per layer.
(7) Sprinkle on 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese. Continue layering the dough balls and cheese until you run out of dough. Cover the pan with a clean towel and allow to sit until dough has doubled in size, 20-30 minutes.
** The Pastry Affair recipe indicates that you should end up with 3 rows of balls. For whatever reason, I only managed to get 2 rows out of my dough. That wasn’t a problem, though, because the balls puff up a lot during the second rising process.
(8) Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bread is golden brown.
(9) Serve hot with a side of marinara or tomato sauce.