This Tomato Cheese Pull Apart Bread is a fun recipe to make. It has cheese and garlic butter that melts easily and adds flavor. The tomato and parsley give the snack variety in color and texture. Share it with friends as a snack. Serve it at lunch or dinner with a salad.
I do believe that you can use any type of bread for this recipe; it depends on what’s important to you or what you prefer. You can use whole grain, multi-grain, any shape and dense or light and airy bread. The differences will be in flavor, looks and how easily you can pull the individual parts from the ‘mother bread’. Pick what you like; I used a 9 inch boule, round crusty bread, rather dense bread.
Let’s pull the recipe apart and put the bread together
You’ll start with cutting the bread. If you have a round bread as I have, it does not matter where you start, straight or on a diagonal; it will all turn out fine. A diagonal cut is straight when you turn the bread or visa versa. If you have a oval loaf you may want to consider diagonal cuts as it just gives a nicer look. So slice you bread, but do NOT cut all the way through, cut until you reach the crust at the bottom. Make the slices about 1 inch thick.
When you’re done, turn the bread 90 degrees, like a swivel, and slice/cut the bread again, 1 inch thick slices. This time it is a little harder, so go slow. The end result in a bread that is kept together by the bottom crust with stalks of individual bread cubes.
Now starts the hands-on part; the push apart part. Start with impregnating the bread with garlic butter. Melt the butter and add a clove of minced garlic and mix. Or make your own garlic butter, or buy ready-made garlic butter. By doing it yourself you can control the amount of garlic in the butter. You may just want to use half a clove or may be 2 cloves. All depends on what you’ll have on your agenda the next day; how much close contact you may have.
Melt the garlic butter, add a pinch of salt and pepper and drizzle it in every crack of your bread. You will not soak up every stalk with the garlic butter, because that would mean loads of butter and thus a very unhealthy end result. What you want is the flavor of the garlic spread over the entire bread. So keep on stirring the butter, so the garlic is divided nicely as well. If your hands are not big enough to keep the pieces apart, use a bread knife or a spatula.
Once the garlic is in the bread, it is time for the tomato and the cheese. Wash and core the tomato and discard the seeds. The seeds would make the bread to soggy and you want the bread pieces to hold together when you pull them. Cut the tomato in tiny pieces and like the garlic butter, divide over the cracks in the bread.
Next is the cheese part. Grate the cheese you want to use. If you looking for stringy cheese, no better choice than mozzarella. If you want a dramatic pull, where the cheese strings keep on coming and coming, you’ll definitely need to use Mozzarella. I opted for a Gouda cheese because I wanted a little more flavor and felt that a Gouda would do that better than Mozzarella. It does not string as much as Mozzarella, but I prefer flavor over strings. Gouda cheese melts fantastic, so that’s no issue. With you fingers, push the shredded cheese into the cracks, don’t push it down too much, keep it light and airy, so the heat from the oven can come everywhere.
If some of the cheese ends up on the outside of the bread, that’s fine, it will add an extra dimension, extra color, extra flavor. All ingredients are in the bread now, so time to bake.
Wrap aluminum foil around the bread and bake it approx. 20 minutes in a preheated oven of 400 degrees F. When you open the foil, you should see only melted cheese. If not, put it back in the oven for a little while. When the cheese is totally melted, unwrap the bread and place it in the oven for another 5 minutes. These 5 minutes make the crust crunchy and add just a little color. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
You’ll have a beautiful flower of bread, a Tomato Cheese Pull Apart Bread. Full of color, full of flavor and ready. Pull and Enjoy!
When you’re not eating all of it at once, keep it in the fridge, pop in the oven or microwave the next day and it will taste great again. May be even better, because the various flavors have soaked into the bread even longer.
Tomato Cheese Pull Apart Bread
- 1 crustry round loaf of bread or boule
- 3.5 ounces butter
- 1 clove garlic
- salt and pepper
- 1 tomato
- 6 ounces cheese
- 1.5 tablespoons parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Combine butter and a clove of minced garlic in a bowl and melt the butter (on the stove or in the microwave). Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Wash and core the tomato. Disregard the seeds and cut in tiny cubes. Grate the cheese and chop the parsley.
- Cut the bread in slices, but do not cut all the way through. Cut slices of approx. 1 inch thickness. Turn the bread 90 degrees and cut again ‘slices’ of approx. 1 inch thickness. You’ll end up with small cubes of 1 inch square. If you don’t have a round shape, you may want to cut at a diagonal for a more interesting look.
- Drizzle the garlic butter in the each crack. Make sure you stir the butter frequently, you want the garlic to go in every crack and not only in one.
- Now divide the tomato over the cracks and follow with the grated cheese.
- Wrap the loaf in aluminum foil and bake it in the oven for 20 minutes. When you open the foil, the cheese should be melted.
- Put the loaf back in the oven (uncovered) for another 5 minutes to slightly brown the top and add a crunch. Sprinkle with parsley.
- Serve immediately.