This recipe and photography was provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at Ravenouskitchen.com.
Pull-apart bread is the very definition of fun. It’s cheesy, garlicky, bacony good, plus you get to eat it with your hands. Who doesn’t like that?
The cheesy pull-apart loaf is stuffed with Pepper Jack, cheddar and cream cheese spiked with, you guessed it, more bacon, green onion and garlic butter. Fans will literally dig into this appetizer with bare hands so have lots and lots of napkins handy. I think the best part is the bottom of the loaf where all the cheese and garlic butter drip down to make a crusty base.
It’s that easy: The best loaf for this dish is a day-old sour dough boule or round loaf. The fresher bread is crispier and fractures more easily than the day-old loaf so buy your bread a day ahead, keeping it wrapped in plastic at room temperature.
The fun doesn’t stop here, complete your game time spread with my other favorite sweet and savory appetizers for big appetites.
Cheesy Pull-Apart Loaf with Cheddar, Pepper Jack and Bacon
Start-to-finish: 1 hour
Hands on time: 30 minutes
Makes 1 loaf serving 8
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup butter
- 8 slices bacon
- One 1-lb round loaf sourdough bread
- 4-oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced, both white and green parts
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat, cook the butter and garlic until it sizzles. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy. Cool and chop into small pieces.
- With a large serrated knife, slice the bread in 1-inch wide strips in one direction, taking care not to cut all the way through the bottom of the loaf. Then cut the bread crosswise in the other direction. Go slow and be careful. Depending on your knife and how crusty the bread is, it’s easy for the knife to slide sideways instead of biting into the loaf.
- In a medium bowl, combine the bacon, cream cheese, cheddar, Pepper Jack, green onion, salt and a few grinds of pepper and mix well.
- Set the bread on a large piece of foil and stuff the cheese mixture down into the slices of bread in both directions. It helps to bend the bread a bit pulling it apart so you can get down in there. Drizzle all over with the butter, wrap in the foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Open the foil and bake another 10 minutes to brown the top.
- Cool 5 minutes and serve hot.
Make-ahead: The bread can be stuffed and kept covered and refrigerated a day ahead. Drizzle with butter and bake as directed adding 5 minutes to the baking time if baking cold from the fridge.