Think of this bread as savory Monkey Bread. Granted, I've never made monkey bread before, but I imagine that this is it's savory brother. It's a homemade yeast dough rolled into balls, coated in a garlic-parsley butter, and layered into a bundt pan, with layers of grated parmesan (or, in my case, romano) cheese.
This bread would be great as an appetizer served with marinara sauce or as a side dish for an Italian dinner in place of traditional garlic bread. I've only tasted it fresh out of the oven, but I imagine that that is the best way to serve it.
I made this recipe for my sisters. One, more than the other, but simply because she LOVES garlic in an almost-unhealthy way. But both of my sisters are not big fans of sweets. Abnormal, right? So when I saw this recipe a while ago, I knew I had to make it for them. Savory baked goods are right up their alley. See if you can find where I snuck a piece to taste.
A few thoughts/notes:
1. DOUBLE the butter-garlic-parsley mixture. Or, at the very least, 1.5X it. Do it at the beginning, too. I found having to mince garlic twice to be annoying.
2. You may think that you don't have enough dough when you're layering it. Do not worry. When you let it rise a second time, and then bake it, it more than rises and fills the pan!
Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups barely warm water (I used hot tap water that had been running for a few minutes)
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (or bread flour, according to the recipe, but I used all purpose)
Coating (I recommend 1.5 or doubling this recipe):
1/4 cup butter, melted (I used unsalted, since there is a good amount of salt in the dough and the cheese is quite salty, too....oh, and I only have unsalted butter in my fridge for baking)
1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I used Romano cheese, since that is what I had - and prefer. Romano cheese is a bit more salty than Parmesan)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the yeast and water, and let it sit for 5 minutes until it is foamy.
Mix in flour, olive oil, and salt.
Using the dough hook on the mixer, knead the dough for 5-6 minutes until elastic.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel.
Allow the dough to rise for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, parsley flakes, and minced garlic. Set aside.
Punch down the dough.
Tear off small pieces of dough (about the zise of the bowl of a medium spoon) and coat in the butter mixture. Place the coated balls of dough in the bottom of a (nongreased) bundt pan.
Repeat until you have one layer of dough balls.
Cover with 1/3 of the cheese, sprinkled over the layer.
Continue layering the dough balls and cheese until there are 3 layers.
Cover the pan with a clean towel and allow to sit until the dough has doubled in size, 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown.
Serve hot with a side of marinara sauce.