This pull apart cheese bread is the savory cousin to our all time sweet, pull apart favorite...monkey bread. Frozen dinner rolls, butter, cheese and garlic, well, that just about sums it all up! I baked it in a standard size loaf pan to resemble a loaf of bread, but, you can make this bread into any shape you like. [Read for other options at the very end of the recipe] It's especially good with a warm marinara sauce for dipping, or a cheese fondue, or simply on it's own. It's so much more interesting than dinner rolls and you'll love the looks on your friends faces when you pull this out out of the oven for dinner! Serve it straight from the pan, and if you're feeling really sassy, brush a little melted butter on top for the shine....oh my!
16 frozen white dinner rolls [I used Rhodes]
1/2 cup [1 stick] butter, melted
2/3 plus 1/4 cup grated Parmesan-Romano cheese [divided]
1 tsp dry parsley flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried basil/Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp onion powder
Remove the frozen dinner rolls from the freezer and place onto a plate. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow the rolls to sit on the counter for 30-45 minutes or so, until the rolls have thawed enough to cut.
Place the rolls onto a cutting board, and using a sharp knife, cut each roll into quarters.
Melt one stick of butter in the microwave, yes, that's right kids, one whole stick! Don't worry, we're sharing this bread.... stir the melted butter and seasonings together until blended.
Add the quartered rolls to the butter, and toss gently to coat. Bread dough is sticky, so, you may need to use your hands to gently pull the pieces apart if necessary. You don't want the dough to form clumps, or it will effect how it bakes. This is really the only way to mess-up this recipe....very important! Next, add 2/3 cup of grated Parmesan-Romano cheese reserving the rest for the top. Toss until each piece is coated.
You can bake this bread in any shape you like, but, today, I chose a loaf pan. Layer the dough quarters evenly in a standard 9x3x2 inch loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray. The dough pieces naturally stick together due to the butter and cheese, but, gently pull apart any clumps of dough. We want to be certain the bread bakes evenly. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on top and a sprinkle of parsley for color. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. This will keep the bread from sticking to the plastic wrap as it rises.
Allow to rise in a draft free, warm place for 2-2 1/2 hours. Then, remove the plastic wrap, and place into a 350°F preheated oven.
Bake at 350°F for 18 minutes, then check the top. If baking in a loaf, you may need to lay a piece of aluminum foil over the top of the bread to prevent the cheese and butter on top from over browning while the inside of the loaf fully bakes. Continue to bake the bread for another 5-7 minutes, until the center is completely done. Approximately, 23-25 minutes total, depending on your oven. Test the center of the rolls using a cake tester, or toothpick to be certain the bread is cooked all the way through before removing it from the oven. My favorite way to serve this bread? Straight from the pan piping hot! Yield: one loaf or 16 servings [4 pieces]
If you're someone who loves for all of the rolls to have that crispy golden top, bake the bread in a round 9 inch spring form or pie pan. Follow the same preparation method and bake for around 22-24 minutes until golden and cooked through.
Additional baking options:
Divide the dough between 2 loaf pans
Individual size in standard muffin cups [4 pieces in each]
8x8 baking dish
9 inch round spring form or pie pan
8 inch tart pan
I made this bread today in a round spring form pan, and my family enjoyed it so very much! I think this is quite possibly my favorite way to make this bread! In a spring form pan, arrange each piece side by side, and all of the rolls will get that crispy golden topping!!! Simply delicious and perfect for sharing! Also, I increased the Parmesan a bit with this batch, since there's no way you can ever go wrong adding a little extra Parmesan cheese! :)
Here's what it looked like.....
And, yes a little is missing...funny thing about this bread, it begins to disappear as soon as I take it from the oven! Enjoy everyone!
* This is a picture of the rolls that I used, reference the Rhodes website for further product information.