Everything Bagel Pull-Apart Bread
Author: Sally McKenney Quinn
This loaf-style pull apart bread is prepared with easy homemade bread dough, garlic herb & mozzarella cream cheese filling, and everything bagel seasoning on top. My friend said it was the best thing she’s ever eaten. Easily one of the most addicting snacks I’ve ever prepared and am so excited to share the recipe!
The everything bagel pull apart bread begins with homemade dough. A lot of homemade yeasted bread recipes yield 2 or more loaves, but I didn’t really want (or need!) a ton of pull apart bread laying around, so I made a simple and small batch of homemade dough. It required a little testing, but I found the perfect ratio of ingredients to give us exactly what we need.
We’re using a superior yeast: Red Star Platinum Superior Baking Yeast. It is an instant yeast that strengthens our dough as well as providing extra volume to the final product. It’s my preferred yeast for any and all bread baking– I use it exclusively in my kitchen because it’s always a guarantee!!
There are a billion ways to shape/assemble pull apart bread. The easiest that I’ve found is to break out a round cutter, cut into circles, then fold the circles in half and arrange in the loaf pan. You can use a round biscuit cutter, anywhere around 3 1/2-4 inches.
This bread is buttery, flaky, filled with cream cheese, fun to share, and fun to eat! With make-ahead and freezing instructions, there are so many ways you can prepare it ahead of time too.
- 1 package (2¼ tsp, ¼oz, 7g) RED STAR Platinum Superior Baking Yeast
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 2 and ⅓ cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more as needed
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 ounces (224g) brick style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1-2 teaspoons Italian seasoning*
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp poppy seeds*
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds*
- 1 and ½ tsp dried minced onion*
- 1 and ½ tsp dried garlic flakes*
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- Step 1: Make the dough: Place the yeast and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Or, if you do not own a stand mixer, a regular large mixing bowl. Heat the milk on the stove or in the microwave until warm to touch, about 110°F (43°C). Pour warm milk on top of yeast/sugar. Whisk gently to combine, then loosely cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. The mixture will be frothy after 5-10 minutes.
- Step 2: If you do not have a mixer, you can mix by hand in this step. Add the butter, egg, flour, and salt. Beat on low speed for 3 minutes. Dough will be soft. Transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Using lightly floured hands, knead it for 1 minute. If the dough is too sticky to handle, add 1-3 more Tablespoons of flour, but you want a very soft dough. Shape into a ball.
- Step 3: Place the dough in a greased bowl (I use nonstick spray to grease) and cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place in a slightly warm environment to rise until doubled in size, around 60-90 minutes. For this warm spot, I suggest using the oven. Preheat to 200°F (93°C), then turn the oven off after preheating. Place the covered bowl inside and shut the oven door. This is your warm environment.
- Step 4: As the dough rises, prepare the filling and topping in the next steps and grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
- Step 5: Make the cream cheese filling: In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat all of the filling ingredients together until combined. Cover tightly and set aside until ready to use. (Don't refrigerate unless making well in advance. It's easiest to spread on the dough when at room temperature. If refrigerated, let it come to room temperature before spreading on dough in step 7.)
- Step 6: Make the topping: Combine the poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dried minced onion, dried garlic flakes, and coarse salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Step 7: Assemble the bread: Punch down the dough to release the air. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and with a floured rolling pin, roll out until the dough is about ¼ inch thick. The dough can be any shape, just as long as it's around ¼ inch thick. Spread cream cheese filling on top. Using a 3½ - 4 inch circle cookie cutter, cut into circles. I get about 12 circles. Fold circles in half and line in prepared baking pan, round side up. See photos above for a visual.
- Step 8: Cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and allow to rise once again in a slightly warm environment until puffy, about 45 minutes.
- Step 9: Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position then preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Step 10: Brush dough with the 2 Tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle everything bagel seasoning on top. (Use as much of the seasoning as you want; extras can be used for any of the suggestions listed in the post above.)
- Step 11: Bake until golden brown, about 40-45 minutes. If you find the top of the loaf is browning too quickly, tent with aluminum foil. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan and serve warm.
- Step 12: Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
*I used Italian seasoning blend in the cream cheese mixture. You can use any dried or fresh herbs you like. Dried works a little better in the baked bread. Dried basil, parsley, oregano, etc.
*If you don't care for one of the everything bagel seasonings, feel free to swap it out with another that you love.
Make ahead tips:
- Freeze baked and cooled bread for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator and warm in the oven to your liking.
- The dough can be prepared through step 3, then after it has risen, cover and place in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Continue with step 5.
- To freeze the dough, prepare it through step 3. After it has risen, punch it down to release any air. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months. When ready to use, thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator. Then let the dough sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before continuing with step 5. (You may need to punch it down again if it has some air bubbles.)
NOTE: Since we're using a cookie cutter for shaping this pull apart bread, we're going to have some dough scraps leftover. The dough scraps are topped with the herbed cream cheese mixture so why not mold into a ball, then roll it out to make pizza? You'll need extra all-purpose flour on hand. Peel the scraps off the counter and mold into a ball using floured hands. Add more flour to the dough as needed (about ½ cup of flour) and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. It's still going to be a little wet. Flatten it out with floured hands or a floured rolling pin as best you can. Top with pizza toppings and bake in a 475°F (246°C) oven for 15-20 minutes or until browned to your liking.
Baking enthusiast Sally McKenney Quinn is the blogger and photographer behind Sally’s Baking Addiction, as well as the author of best-selling cookbooks Sally’s Baking Addiction and Sally’s Candy Addiction. The kitchen is where her creative juices flow and she enjoys sharing recipes with her millions of fans around the world. When Sally isn’t in the kitchen or behind the camera, she enjoys practicing yoga, running off all those cookies, and hiking with her husband, Kevin, and their dog, Jude.