Okay, so I know baked cheesy pull-apart bread is hardly a new idea. I’ve seen versions of them popping up on blogs for months. But for some reason, they never really caught my attention until I saw someone share one made with smoked gouda. We used to buy smoked gouda at our old neighborhood farmers market weekly, and it’s still a favorite in my mac and cheese. Something about the word “smoked” suddenly made this crave-worthy. I happened to have some maple-smoked cheddar in the fridge, so I picked up a nice crusty loaf of bread at the market and we made this for lunch on a Sunday afternoon.
The scent of it cooking alone had us hungrily watching the oven timer, and it was lucky it was too hot to immediately dig into or I wouldn’t have had time to snap any photos at all!
So, so good. It may not be the healthiest of meals, but as an occasional snack — say, on Super Bowl Sunday or the like — you really must give it a try. Be sure to use a natural pepperoni and good cheese — I also had a gruyere-style cheese in the cheese drawer, but you could use asiago, gouda or another good melting type.
It gets a little messy, but the kids might have fun cramming the cheese and pepperoni into the bread’s crevices — just be sure to supervise and make sure it’s more or less evenly distributed throughout the loaf.
Smoked Cheddar Pepperoni Pull-Apart Bread
Adapted from Creative Culinary
- 1 loaf crusty bread (country white, wheat or Italian)
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 ounce pepperoni (8-10 slices), thinly sliced
- 4 ounces maple smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces gruyere or asiago cheese, shredded
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Score bread in 1-inch diagonal cross-hatch cuts, cutting nearly but not all the way through the bottom. Place bread on a piece of foil on baking sheet.
2. Whisk together melted butter, olive oil, mustard, sea salt, smoked paprika, garlic and parsley. Drizzle into the bread’s cuts.
3. Combine cheese and pepperoni and stuff between the bread cuts, distributing as evenly as possible through the loaf. Wrap foil up around the sides of the bread, leaving top open. Bake for 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and top golden brown.