Jam-packed with cheesy, jalapeno deliciousness, this Pull Apart Bread will have your guests in awe of your skills in the kitchen. It’s the perfect way to start a party!
Pull Apart Bread
A few years ago, pull apart bread became all the rage. Images of amazing cheese pulls combined with everyone’s favorite comfort food: BREAD. The most popular will always be a class Garlic Cheesy Pull Apart loaf, but since I love anything jalapeno popper, I decided to create a spicy version.
Why call it pull apart bread? Because you literally get in there with your hands and pull. No dainty eats here- this is a total community and social eating event. The trick is cutting the pieces down low enough that you can easily rip it off, but not so far that it falls apart.
The result is what looks like a bloomin bread full of cheese and other goodies.
Other variations are more like a monkey bread– made with biscuit dough or even crescent dough. And some are made from homemade bread dough. I don’t have time for that- this recipe is meant to be quick and easy!
Theses are simple ingredients: cheese, butter, bread, seasonings and jalapenos.
- Bread– Find a large, thick loaf of bread. I like use round or rectangular, but if you want a thin long one, that works too. Sourdough is an excellent alternative.
- Cheese- I generally use a blend of cheese like pepper jack, monterey jack and cheddar cheese. Fee free to make your own blend or use just one. I do like freshly shredding the cheese opposed to grabbing a pre-shredded bag.
- Jalapenos– I like using jalapenos, but feel free to use any type of hot pepper.
- Unsalted Butter- I like using unsalted so I can control the saltiness, but if you only have salted, just omit the additional salt.
- Dry Seasonings- Onion powder, black pepper and sea salt. While I generally use a coarse salt, this doesn’t have much time to dissolve and you don’t want the crunchy texture. Sea salt will give a cleaner flavor than iodized salt, which can sometimes have a metallic aftertaste.
- Scallions– also known as green onions, they just make it a little prettier. Chives are also a good pick.
This is the type of recipe that is really hard to truly mess up. But there are also so many ways to make it your own.
- Bacon- Bacon makes everything better, right? Crisp up some bacon in the oven and crumble it on the bread or add it into the melted butter mixture.
- Pickled jalapenos- if you want a little heat, but not as much as a fresh pepper, go for the jarred stuff!
- Garlic or Garlic Powder– I wanted to stick with true jalapeno popper flavors, but if you want to do a fusion of garlic bread with jalapeno, add a clove or two of minced garlic or 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Smoky– Smoked paprika is an excellent addition both for flavor and color.
- Other peppers– Not into jalapenos? Use poblano peppers, habaneros, even ghost peppers or… a blend!
Prep and assembly is easy!
- Preheat the oven and then prepare the bread. Serrated knives work best for cutting bread. Score the bread loaf crosswise and lengthwise into 1-inch squares, cutting almost through to the bottom, but leaving it intact. The goal is to spread apart the bread pieces to “bloom”, but be able to pass it around and gently pull a piece off.
- In a small bowl combine the dry ingredients (cheeses and jalapeno), stuff it between all of the cuts of bread. After stuffing all of the cheese it should be coming out the top- keep stuffing!
- Whisk together the melted butter and seasonings then spoon or pour mixture evenly over stuffed cheese slits.
- Wrap entire bread loaf in heavy duty aluminum foil and bake for about 15 minutes. Open the aluminum and let bake an additional 5 minutes or so- at least until the cheese melts.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool for several minutes before serving, you don’t want your diners to burn their fingertips trying to get at this delicious bread!
Notes on Chopping Jalapenos
Why wear Non Powdered Latex Gloves ? Say what? Non powdered latex gloves are another one of my kitchen essentials. Anytime I chop a hot pepper (jalapeno, serrano, habanero), you risk the oils permeating your skin and it BURNS! Touch anything else, God forbid your eyes, and you will be in some real pain!
If you don’t have gloves, slip on plastic sandwich bags. The least effective method, but better than bare hands is to cover your hands in oil to prevent the oils from the peppers to touching.
If you do end up touching the peppers, soak them in vinegar or a dairy product, the higher the milk fast, the better! This will ease the burn, which could take several hours to subside.
Make Ahead, Reheating & Freezing
This is an excellent thing to make ahead of time for parties or events. I would recommend cutting the bread, stuffing it and then waiting to baste with melted butter and baking until right before you are ready to enjoy. The butter will sink to the bottom of the bread and you won’t get magical crusty, buttery pieces.
To reheat, wrap in aluminum foil and do so in the oven at 350°F.
Can I freeze pull apart bread? You sure can! I would recommend freezing it when stuffed with cheese and jalapenos, but then do the butter when you are ready to heat it. Technically you can freeze it after baking, but it might come out a little weird when defrosted.
Easy recipes using jalapenos:
- Jalapeno Popper Potato Skins
- Jalapeno Popper Chicken
- Jalapeno Popper Crescent Rolls
- Peppadew Poppers
- Jalapeno Mini Hot Dogs
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Jalapeno Cheese Pull Apart Bread
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Using a serrated knife, score the bread loaf crosswise and lengthwise into 1-inch squares, cutting almost through to the bottom, but leaving it intact. The goal is to spread apart the bread pieces to “bloom”, but be able to pass it around and gently pull a piece off.
- In a small bowl combine cheese and jalapeno, mix. Stuff cheese blend evenly into all of the slits, nooks, and crannies. After stuffing all of the cheese it should be coming out the top- keep stuffing!
- In another small bowl combine melted butter and remaining ingredients, whisk together. Spoon or pour mixture evenly over stuffed cheese slits.
- Wrap entire bread loaf in heavy duty aluminum foil and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove loaf and open the top of the aluminum foil to expose the top of the bread. Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and tops are nicely brown and crisp.
- Remove from oven, allow to cool for several minutes before serving, you don’t want your diners to burn their fingertips trying to get at this delicious bread! No serving utensils required. Enjoy your Jalapeno Popper Pull Apart Bread!