Rachel Cooks

Italian Herb and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread

This fun pull-apart bread is the perfect compliment to any meal with its flaky layers and cheesy herb filling.

Italian Herb and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread from RachelCooks.com

Okay, so I know Thanksgiving is coming up. And I love Thanksgiving. One of my favorite holidays, actually. Stuffing, turkey, sweet potatoes, green beans, pumpkin PIE….I love it all.

However, I also love carbs. And cheese. And homemade bread. So bear with me during this little detour away from all things pumpkin and sage.

This bread is a super fun to eat. You pull the flaky layers back to find gooey cheese and flavorful herbs. It’s melty cheese blanketed between soft, tender blankets of bread.


It might seem intimidating to make, especially if you’re new to baking with yeast, but you can handle this. Believe me!  My kind of spilled over the edges of the pan. Which makes me strangely giddy because I’m always afraid my bread isn’t going to rise properly. Plus I thought it made this loaf extra fun.

And please give this a try. I had to refrain from eating half the loaf before dinner. We had my in-laws over and I was in the kitchen finishing up dinner and I kept sneaking bites of this bread. Although, I wasn’t too sneaky. My mother-in-law kept catching me in the act. You’d think I’d be better at sneaking food. I’ve had plenty of experience sneaking food behind my 3-year-old’s back. Note to self: work on sneaking chocolate and cheesy carbs while no one is looking.

No scratch that.

Note to self: Stop being such a fatty.




Italian Herb and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread

Yield: 1 9-10 inch loaf

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes

This fun pull-apart bread is the perfect compliment to any meal with its flaky layers and cheesy herb filling.


  • 3 and 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise yeast (1 package)
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese


  1. Add flour, sugar, yeast, salt, thyme, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of basil to the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix gently until combined. With the mixer on low and the dough hook attached, add olive oil, milk, and warm water. Mix on medium-low speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and forms a ball.
  2. Transfer dough into a greased bowl and cover with a lint-free towel. Place in a warm location until doubled in size, or about 1 hour.
  3. Roll out dough into a rectangle about 12x20-inches in size. Brush with 3 tablespoons of the melted butter. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of dried basil, and all the cheese.
  4. Cut into 6 equal strips (going along the long side of the rectangle so your strips are about 12 inches long). Stack strips on top of each other and cut into six stacks. Carefully transfer these squares into a greased 10-inch loaf pan (so that they are standing up). Cover loosely and let rise again for 30-60 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. After it has risen, drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon of melted butter over loaf. Bake for 35 minutes. Tent with foil if the top of the bread is browning too quickly. I covered mine with foil for about the last 10 minutes of baking.
  6. Enjoy warm. Serves 1. Kidding. Kind of.

Adapted from Baked By Rachel

Verdict: Umm…yeah…I could have eaten the whole loaf.

Husband’s take: He was a huge fan of this too. How could anyone not be?

Changes I would make: More cheese? Kidding. No changes necessary.

Difficulty: Easy to moderate.


Want more pull-apart bread? I do.

Cheddar Bacon Ranch Pull Apart Bread from Chef in Training
Pepperoni Pizza Pull Apart Bread from Just a Taste
Buffalo Chicken Pull-Apart Bread from Bev Cooks
Lemon Pull-Apart Bread from Barbara Bakes
Apple Pull-Apart Bread from Julie’s Eats and Treats
Nutella Banana Pull-Apart Bread from Cupcake Project

When you make a recipe from my site tag it with #RachelCooks!
I love to see what you're creating!

34 Responses to “Italian Herb and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread”

  1. denise — November 13, 2013 at 6:31 am

    love pull-apart bread

  2. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef — November 13, 2013 at 7:37 am

    This would be better than a fancy dessert for me. I love it.

  3. Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) — November 13, 2013 at 7:59 am

    I love cheesy, herby pull-apart bread! It is probably my most favorite thing on this Earth. 🙂

  4. Jeffrey — November 13, 2013 at 9:10 am

    This looks like fun but I do have one question. In step 4, after stacking the strips, should they be cut into 6 stacks or just 2? Seems like 6 would make the pieces too small.

    • Jeffrey — November 13th, 2013 @ 10:37 am

      Never mind, I think I get it now!

  5. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes — November 13, 2013 at 9:24 am

    Your bread looks fantastic. I’m a carb lover too. Thanks for the link love.

  6. Erin | The Law Student's Wife — November 13, 2013 at 9:28 am

    I freaking love pull apart bread! Let’s each start at one end shall we? Or, let’s just get ourselves two loaves…

  7. Bev @ Bev Cooks — November 13, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Giiiiiiirl this is insanity. And I need it.

    Thank you for the linky love!

  8. Julie @ Julie's Eats & Treats — November 13, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Looks amazing Rachel! Thanks for linking to my Apple Pull-Apart Bread too 🙂

  9. Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health — November 13, 2013 at 11:34 am

    i was planning on not carb loading this week but this bread looks irresistible.

  10. Amy @Very Culinary — November 13, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Haha. You know you’re a mom when you hide in the pantry to eat chips. Or chocolate. *raises hand* Nothing is ever your own ever again… I still haven’t conquered my fear of yeast, but I will add this bread to my bucket list.

  11. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite — November 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Haha Loved your verdict on this one! I could have eaten the whole pan myself too! I’m a carb – bread lover and would take it over dessert any day!

  12. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — November 13, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Hubba hubba! Send me some now!

  13. tahnycooks — November 13, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    How can you not eat the whole loaf?!!! Yum! I need to have this on my dinner table asap!

  14. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — November 13, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Mmm I love this! What a fabulous snack!…or dinner 😉

  15. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) — November 13, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    mmmm I love how cheesy this is-anything with Italian herbs and cheese is pretty much amazing in my book!

  16. Christina — November 13, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    This bread looks SO delicious. I’m a bread girl all the way. I bet I could eat this whole loaf by myself!

  17. Cookin Canuck — November 13, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Holy cow! That is one gorgeous pull-apart bread. I’d have a tough time not snacking on that all day long.

  18. Tracey — November 13, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Pull-apart breads are the best, aren’t they? I’ve only made sweet version though, I really need to get on a savory cheese version asap!

  19. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. — November 13, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    I have never made pull-apart bread and I am totally missing out!

  20. beverley — November 14, 2013 at 12:58 am

    looks divine and as I have never made bread before this is a good place to start. Love your newsletters and following you on FB too xoxo

  21. Joanne — November 14, 2013 at 8:37 am

    We are totally into having a huge carbfest at our family Thanksgivings and it’s all the better if it’s Italian-infused! Although…if I make this loaf it might not actually make it Thanksgiving with all the snacking on it I’ll be doing. Best make two.

  22. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl — November 14, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    You are absolutely killing me with this ooey gooey cheesy bread! Looks like magic!

  23. Zainab @ Blahnik Baker — November 15, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I love pull apart breads and all the cheese in this is just wonderful. Thanksgiving always calls for bread so this is perfect for the season!!

  24. Rose — November 15, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I am a bit confused. Once you have the 6 pieces stacked, I am to cut them into 6 pieces? There are 36 total pieces correct?

    • Rachel Gurk — November 16th, 2013 @ 8:33 am

      Yes! Six slices first, then you stack those up, and slice again into 6 slices. So you end up with six stacks but 36 total pieces. Hope that helps!

  25. Mercedes — November 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I love pull-apart breads, but have never made a savory version! This looks so great Rachel! I will be pinning for future reference!

  26. Ntp213 — February 10, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Can you make this by hand rather than with a stand mixer? I’ve been making 5-minute artisan bread by hand and am a baking newbie, so have not yet invested in something like a mixer yet.

    • Rachel Gurk — February 10th, 2014 @ 2:37 pm

      Yes! Absolutely.

  27. cindy curel — September 19, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Bread… If there was one food on this earth that I couldn’t live without, that would be bread. I have Zojirushi bread machine and I love try different recipe with it. This is the easiest bread recipe I’ve ever come across and it is better than store-bought…I will try it and will share my opinions. Certainly it will be perfect.

  28. Langston — December 6, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Nice bread, thanks for your long detail tips, I want to use a bread machine to make it,can I?

    • Rachel Gurk — December 7th, 2015 @ 8:11 am

      You could make the dough in a bread machine but you have to make the layers by hand. 🙂


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