Jun 12

Parmesan Pull-Aparts

Parmesan pull-aparts. Their name alone implies a good time.

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A few weeks into dating C. and I got into a tiff about something (of course no one remembers about what), and in a peace offering he arrived on my door step with these Parmesan Pull-Apart rolls and a song.

I won’t bore you with the details, but I forgave him right away…

Yes, I do believe bread could solve most wars.

They are a delicious roll and darn easy to make if you’re a bread novice – the saltiness of the Parmesan makes them a perfect accompaniment for any soup, salad or Sunday roast.

We made them again this weekend to accompany our cioppino, an Italian-style seafood soup similar to a French Bouillabaisse (don’t tell them I said that).


Parmesan Pull-Aparts
A Recipe

This recipe is from the February 2009 issue of Gourmet magazine.

Yield: 1 dozen rolls

2 teaspoons active dry yeast (from a 1/4-oz package)
1 teaspoon mild honey or sugar
2/3 cup warm milk (105–115°F) (divided in half, 1/3 in each)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 Tbsp for sprinkling
1 1/4 cups grated (with a rasp) Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 1/3 oz)
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into Tbsp pieces and softened
1 tablespoon water

  • Stir together yeast, honey, and 1/3 cup warm milk in mixer bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, start over with new yeast, sometimes it’s just expired.)
  • Whisk together flour (2 1/2 cups), cheese, and salt, then mix into yeast mixture along with remaining 1/3 cup warm milk at low speed.
  • Increase speed to medium and beat in 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, until a very soft dough forms, about 3 minutes. Beat in butter, 1 Tbsp at a time, until dough is elastic, about 2 minutes. (Dough will be very sticky.)
  • Scrape dough into center of bowl and sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp flour. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Punch down dough (do not knead) and turn out onto a floured surface.
  • Cut dough into 12 equal pieces.

  • Roll each into a ball by cupping your hand and pushing dough against work surface as you roll in a circular motion.

  • Check out C,’s technique here:

  • Arrange rolls 1 inch apart in a buttered 9- by 2-inch round cake pan and cover with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth).

  • Let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled and dough fills pan, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.
  • Whisk together remaining egg with water and brush on tops of rolls and sprinkle with salt. (You will have leftover egg wash.)
  • Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Loosen edges of rolls from pan with a sharp knife and invert rolls onto a rack, then reinvert and cool at least 20 minutes.

They are best eaten the day of, but a little toaster oven action does the trick the morning after.

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