March 25, 2018 • Jessi Kerner

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March Madness Favorite: Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread

March 25, 2018 Jessi Kerner

March Madness is in full effect and in my house, it means friends, food and a whole lot of college basketball! When making food for get-togethers I like to create things that are easy to prepare, delicious and easy to serve. One of my go to meals for gatherings like these is my Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread Recipe which is always a crowd favorite.

Since there are so many games over the course of each day, I like to make this recipe go two ways. The first one is loaded up with cheese, bacon, butter and garlic and served up with a side of ranch dressing. The second has all that goodness in it plus some pepperoncini, roasted red peppers, olives and herbs for a delicious Mediterranean twist.

Billy Parisi

Billy Parisi is a Chicago-based chef, writer, sometimes TV host and food & photography enthusiast. Check out his blog full of innovative recipes at billyparisi.com.

The best part about these cheesy pull-apart bread recipes is just how simple they are to make. It’s as easy as slicing the bread, loading it up with all of the ingredients and baking it. While the easiest part about the recipe is cooking it, it can be challenging to serve them because of the large, odd shapes of the bread. The round cheese- and bacon-stuffed sourdough is huge and way too big for a plate. Even if it did fit on a plate, all of the toppings would fall off onto the countertop or worse the floor. Instead, I serve it up on the JK Adams Ash Round Cheese Board which is large enough for the bread and allows for cutting the bread if necessary without damaging a knife or a plate. The Mediterranean-style cheesy bread is extra-long so the only thing I could do was to present it on the JK Adams Maple Plank Serving Board which at 20” long is perfect for this recipe. Both boards are beautifully crafted and the deep wood colors are gorgeous when serving food on them.

I absolutely love serving food on bread boards and cutting boards because of the ease of accessibility as well as being able to cut things if they need it. In addition, bread boards are beautiful and really make the food pop, making them my go-to for serving up delicious recipes to my guests. Enjoy the games everyone!

Ciabatta with pepperoncini's, black olives, bell peppers, basil and oregano and served on the JK Adams Maple Plank Serving Board.


Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread Recipe

Serves: 8-12
  • 1 large sourdough round bread
  • 1 long loaf of ciabatta bread
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 finely minced cloves of garlic
  • 1-1/2 pounds of shredded mozzarella, divided in half
  • 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, divided in half
  • 1/2 cup of chopped crisp cooked bacon
  • 1 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup pepperoncini
  • 1/2 cup of sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup of diced roasted red bell peppers
  • 1 tablespoon each chopped fresh basil and oregano
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • Ranch dressing for serving
Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Cut both breads in strips in one direction making sure not to cut through the loaf. Turn the bread 90° and cut in the other direction.
  3. Next, mix together the butter and garlic and divide it in half.
  4. Cheesy Bread 1: Season in between the slices of sourdough bread with salt and pepper and drizzle in the butter and garlic mixture followed up with both of the divided cheeses.
  5. Wrap the bread completely in aluminum foil and set on a cookie sheet tray.
  6. Cheesy Bread 2: Season in between the slices of ciabatta bread with salt and pepper and drizzle in the butter and garlic mixture followed up with both of the divided cheeses.
  7. Wrap the bread completely in aluminum foil and set on the cookie sheet tray with the other loaf of bread and bake in the oven at 375° for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and slightly toasted.
  8. Garnish the sourdough bread with bacon and parsley and serve on the JK Adams Ash Round Cheese Board alongside the ranch dressing.
  9. Next, garnish the ciabatta with the pepperoncini's, black olives, bell peppers, basil and oregano and serve on the JK Adams Maple Plank Serving Board.
  10. Enjoy!

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