Best Cheesy Pull Apart Bread Recipe From Scratch

Author: Veruska Anconitano, Award-Winning Food Travel Journalist, Sommelier & Outdoor LoverAuthor information
About the author
Veruska Anconitano
Veruska is a a food travel journalist with awards to her credit, such as World Best Food Travel Journalist. She holds a certification as a sommelier and she is also an ardent lover of the outdoors. Aside from this, Veruska is a Multilingual SEO and Localization Consultant and co-owns multiple websites that cater to a global audience.
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Danubio Salato Ricetta Tradizionale Napoletana

This cheesy pull apart bread recipe will easily become the most popular thing at any gathering you take it to! And it’s so easy to make, it will become a staple in your house. It’s simply delicious and, most of all, it’s funny to make and to eat.

The dough is in fact made up of many small balls which, when placed close together in the pan, stick together during cooking and not only give life to a result that is beautiful to look at but allow people to make the best thing one can do with food: to share.

In addition to being very soft, the balls are also stuffed with ham and cheese in quantities that do not suffocate the taste of the dough but enrich it; the filling can actually be made in different ways, using other types of meat, using only cheese or, why not, vegetables. Once the basic dough is made, therefore, the filling can be customized as desired and also based on the ingredients you have at home.

This cheese pull apart bread is not difficult to prepare but, like almost all other common leavened products, takes a long time: in fact the secret to getting a perfect pull apart bread is the mixture of ingredients, which must be done following the correct order and rest. The first dough must rest for at least 1 hour, followed by a second rest of at least 5 hours, when the dough is ready and before being stuffed.

As far as flour is concerned, you need to use a strong stone-ground flour, but I always prefer to use Manitoba flour, which has an even greater power than all other flours; to guarantee correct leavening, I also add honey that allows the activation of the so-called Maillard reaction, which is a chemical process that allows correct leavening.

Honey in bread making is also excellent not only to regularize the leavening process but also to increase the softness of the crumb and to make the crust more crisp.

The following is the perfect recipe to prepare a simple and delicious cheesy pull apart bread from scratch: the little balls when cooked can round themselves even more or take a slightly more rectangular shape. The result is the same and with this cheesy stuffed pull apart bread recipe you will be loved by all your guests, any time of the year.

Ingredients for a 28 cm round pan

    For the dough

    • 700 grams Manitoba flour
    • 70 grams butter at room temperature
    • 8 grams fresh yeast
    • 190 ml milk
    • 190 ml water
    • 10 grams salt

    For the filling

    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • 200 grams of thinly sliced cooked ham
    • 250 grams of medium-hard cheese
    • 2 yolks
    • 1 tablespoon of milk
    • Sesame seeds (optional)


    1. Mix the yeast with 100 grams of flour, 50 grams of water and 50 grams of milk. The mixture must be soft, but not liquid. Cover with plastic wrap and leave for 1 hour in a warm place (the oven at a very low temperature is perfect);
    2. After the hour or when the dough has doubled in volume, mix it with the remaining flour, the remaining milk, the remaining water and the honey;
    3. Knead well then, when the dough starts to come off the walls of the bowl, add the diced butter and the salt to rain. Continue kneading until you have a smooth dough that comes off perfectly from the bowl without leaving residues;
    4. Let the dough rise in a warm place for at least 5 hours, or until the dough has increased a lot in volume;
    5. After 5 hours, remove from the dough many balls of similar weight and size (by convention we talk about 30-40 grams of dough per ball), spread each ball on a lightly floured surface and fill it with cheese and ham. Close the two ends of each ball on themselves and make sure to form a compact and smooth ball, rolling it on the work surface;
    6. Butter the round pan and place the ball in the radius very close to each other then, after having covered again with a film, let the Danube rise for 2 hours or until the balls have doubled in volume and the ones will be attached. to the others;
    7. Beat the two egg yolks with the milk and brush the surface of the cheesy pull apart bread with this mixture. Add sesame seeds (optional);
    8. Bake in a ventilated oven for 30 minutes at 180° C, making sure that the surface is not too gilded and that the inside is evenly baked;
    9. Remove from the oven, leave in the pan for 15 to 30 minutes to let the Danube cool, then open the pan and leave the bread to cool completely. If the pan is not hinged, let the Danube cool inside it and serve it directly without removing it from the pan.


    Preparation time: 8 hours

    Cooking time: 30 minutes

    Total time: 8.5 hours

    Danubio Ricetta Tradizionale

    How to make the best cheesy pull apart bread

    • This cheesy pull apart bread is best kept at room temperature wrapped in plastic wrap or in an envelope for at least 3 days;
    • This cheesy pull apart bread can be frozen once cooked, both whole and in pieces. To consume it, it must be left to thaw at room temperature and heated quickly in the oven;
    • If you need to prepare this bread in the gluten-free version, use a mix of rice and corn flour and use xanthan as a glue between the flours;
    • The leavening can also be done in the refrigerator, remembering however that the dough in this case must be softer and more liquid otherwise in the leavening phase in contact with the cold it will tend to dry out and the bread will be excessively hard;
    • You can prepare your cheesy pull apart bread the day before, leaving it to rest all night so as to guarantee even better leavening. In the morning you will only have to put it in the oven;
    • Some add the potatoes to the dough, to make the bread even softer: the potatoes must be boiled and one must be added every 500 grams of flour so as to reach the perfect proportion, ie half flour and half potato.

    The easiest and quick cheesy bread ever

    If you don’t have enough time to prepare your cheesy pull apart bread recipe from scratch, you can go for the easy version:

    Grab some crusty sourdough and cut on a diagonal into 2cm/1″ diamonds paying attention not to cut all the way through the bread. Use your fingers or a knife to pry open each crack and stuff inside the small cracks cheese and ham. Brush the surface with some melted butter then wrap with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has mostly melted. Serve immediately.

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