Our family loves bread, whether rolls, biscuits, or loaves. This Pull-Apart Herb Bread recipe is one of our favorites, and I’ve made it for years. The rich, savory mix of herbs and butter sets it apart, making it a tasty treat right from the oven. I also love that, due to the herbs, it’s almost as good when re-imagined the next day. It’s delicious sliced (rather than pulled apart) and popped in the toaster. Topped with cheese and slipped under the broiler is another delicious next-day option.
It’s an easy bread recipe to make because there’s no hand-kneading or special technique required. Like most bread recipes, the bulk of the time is in the rising process. The recipe makes two loaves, so we usually share a warm one with a neighbor.
1 (1/4 ounce) envelope of active dry yeast (not rapid-rise)
3 Tbsp. sugar, plus a pinch
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted plus more for the bowl
1 cup whole milk
1 Tbsp. salt
3 large eggs, whisked
4 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp. minced chives
1 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
½ tsp. salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast, ¼ cup warm water (110 degrees), and a pinch of sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Attach bowl to mixer fitted with dough hook attachment. Mix on low speed, adding butter, milk, salt, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, and eggs. Slowly add flour and mix on low until the mixture just comes together. Increase speed to medium-high; beat until dough is soft and elastic, 5 minutes.
Brush a large bowl with butter. Place dough in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft-free place and let rise until dough doubles in size, about 2 hours.
Instructions: Filling, Assembly, and Baking
Combine butter, garlic, herbs, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Lightly coat two standard 5-by-9-inch loaf pans with spray olive oil.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a 12-by-16-inch rectangle.
Spread the herb-butter mixture evening over the dough. Using a knife or pizza cutter sprayed or wiped with olive oil, cut dough lengthwise into 3 equal strips. Cut dough crosswise into 4 equal sections. You will have twelve 4-inch squares.
Fold each square in half, and place 6 in each pan with the folded side down. The dough will still be very soft. Cover the pans with plastic wrap and let rise for 25 to 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake loaves until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before turning out of pans; serve.