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Bacon & Pepper Jack Pull Apart Bread

Bacon & Pepper Jack Pull Apart Bread is made with sour cream and cornmeal. The rich dough is layered with a cheesy, bacony, spicy filling. Simply “pull apart” the layers to enjoy this delicious treat.

photo showing the interior of bacon & pepper jack pull apart bread.

What is Pull Apart Bread?

Pull apart bread is bread that you “pull apart”. Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

Seriously, it’s is fairly obvious what it is, but…

How do you make pull apart bread?

Pull apart bread is made by layering pieces bread dough with ingredients that will keep those bits of dough separated as they bake.

If you’ve ever had Monkey Bread it’s kind of the same idea. But, instead of using balls of dough as you would for monkey bread, you put the filling between layers or slices of dough.

How to serve Bacon & Pepper Jack Pull Apart Bread:

To serve the bread you don’t need to cut the loaf at all. Simply pull apart the slices and they will separate where the special ingredients were layered in.

Because it’s so simple to serve and is so full of flavor, pull apart bread is the perfect party food. Just make sure to serve it hot from the oven for ultimate cheese melti-ness.

If the cheese starts to set, you can go ahead and cut slices from the bread.

I bet your guests would also love this Pumpkin Pull Apart Bread made with savory sage & garlic pesto.

Scroll through the step by step process photos to see how to make Bacon & Pepper Jack Pull Apart Bread.

a sheet of bread dough rolled out, ready to cut and layer to make pull apart bread
Brush a loaf pan with bacon fat and line with parchment. Roll the dough to a 20″ by 16″ rectangle.
Bread dough marked and cut into 4" segments.
Mark and cut the dough into 4″ segments. Use one piece of dough to line the bottom of the pan. This will prevent the cheese from leaking out from the bottom of the loaf.
bread dough topped with bacon and pepper jack, ready to layer into a loaf pan.
Top the dough with the bacon and pepper jack filling. Cut the dough into squares and layer into the pan.
bacon and pepper jack filling layered with bread dough in a loaf pan
Stand the squares of dough into the pan. Make sure that each end has plain dough facing out against the side of the pan.
a loaf of bacon and pepper jack pull apart bread on a cutting board
a hand pulling off a slice of bacon and pepper jack pull apart bread

If you want more cheesy and spicy bread (and who doesn’t?) try these other recipes: Smoked Cornbread with Bacon & Chipotle Peppers, Skillet Mexican Cornbread, Chili Cornbread Cobbler.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

a hand pulling off a slice of bacon pepper jack bread

Bacon & Pepper Jack Pull Apart Bread

Yield: 1 large loaf
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Rising Time: 2 hours
Baking Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes

Rich bread made with sour cream and cornmeal is layered with a cheesy, bacony, spicy filling. Simply "pull apart" the layers of bread to enjoy this delicious bread.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 120ml) warm water
  • 1/3 cup (3 oz, 84g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons, 7g) instant dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup (2.5 oz, 70g) cornmeal
  • 2 cups (10 oz, 280g) all purpose flour

Filling

  • 12 oz (336g) pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced 
  • 8 oz (224g) bacon, cooked crisp & crumbled (reserve fat)
  • 1 tablespoon toasted cumin seeds

Instructions

  1. Combine the water and sour cream in a mixing bowl. Add the yeast, honey, egg and salt. Mix on low speed to combine.
  2. Add the cornmeal and 1 cup of flour and mix to form a thick batter. Switch to the dough hook if using a stand mixer. Add the remaining flour. Knead on medium-low speed until the dough is elastic, but still soft, about 10 minutes. The dough will cling to the hook and clear the sides of the bowl. If mixing by hand add flour until you can no longer stir with a spoon then turn the dough onto a floured surface and continue kneading.
  3. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, turn 1x to coat the dough. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 - 1 1/2 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, generously grease an 9"x 5" loaf pan with some of the reserved bacon fat. Line the pan with a strip of parchment paper then brush the paper with more bacon fat. Save the remaining bacon fat.
  5. In a large bowl toss together the cheese, garlic, bacon bits and cumin seeds.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll to a 20” x 16" square. If the dough starts pulling back let it rest for 5 minutes then continue rolling. Brush the entire surface of the dough with bacon fat. Mark five 4" segments across the top of the dough. Use a pizza cutter to cut one 4" strip from the end of the dough. Cut that strip in half so you have two 4" x 8" strips of dough. Lay one strip of dough into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  7. Sprinkle the cheese filling evenly over the remaining dough. Use your hands to press the filling so it sticks to the dough. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the dough along the 4" marks. You should now have one 4" x 8" strip and four 4"x 16" strips. Cut each 16" strip in half so you now have nine 4" x 8" strips. Cut each of those in half so you have a total of 18 4" x 4" squares.
  8. Layer 2 or 3 of the squares on top of each other. Set those squares, standing up, into the pan. Make sure the first square has plain dough facing the side of the pan. Continue stacking the squares and setting them into the pan. Make sure to set the last square with plain dough facing the side of the pan.
  9. Tuck any filling that spilled out onto the work surface between the squares of dough.
  10. Cover the pan and let the dough rise for 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  11. Bake until the loaf is well puffed and golden brown, and the temperature in the middle of the loaf is 190°F-200°F, about 40 minutes.
  12. Use the parchment to lift the bread from the pan. Serve warm.

Notes

NOTES: To work ahead you can make the bread up through step 9. Cover the pan and refrigerate overnight. Proceed with rising and baking the next day.

Did you make this recipe?

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joyce

Sunday 31st of May 2020

could you freeze this before baking, the reason I ask is I would like to make it for my daughter, but know it would be nice if she could bake it when they have friends over

Eileen Gray

Sunday 31st of May 2020

Hmmm, I assume this is something you want to bring to your daughter's house that she can store in the freezer for a later date? I haven't tried it, but I think if it's frozen you could take it out the day before and let it defrost, rise and then bake. I can't say how long it will take since I haven't done it. Of course the timing will depend on the room temp, etc.