Oh, y'all. This bread is a thing to behold. I spotted this recipe a few weeks ago on Erika's blog. You know Erika. She made you some pulled pork a while back.
I was actually in the mood to make some biscuits, which explains why I was perusing this lady's recipe archives. But when I stumbled upon this recipe for savory, cheesy pull-apart bread, it was just begging to be made.
Oh man. This stuff is so good. Like, you'll want people around right when it comes out of the oven so you don't eat the whole thing yourself good. It's tangy, smoky, and just a little bit spicy. It's perfection.
The pull-aparty goodness of this is best when the bread is fresh and warm, but the flavor is maybe even better the next day, when a thick, toasty slice of this will make you feel like all is right in the world.
yields one 9x5 loaf
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
3 1/2 all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups chopped ham
Whisk together the yeast and water in a large bowl. Allow to sit 5-10 minutes, until the yeast is active and foamy. Add olive oil, salt, sugar, and flour, and stir with a wooden spoon. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until elastic. Transfer to a lightly oiled large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warm place to rise for one hour.
Just before the dough is done, make the filling: mix the melted butter, mustard, Worcestershire, hot sauce, paprika, and black pepper in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the cheddar and ham.
Grease a 9x5 loaf pan with butter. On a floured surface, roll dough out to a 12x20 inch rectangle. Brush the mustard mixture evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Slice the dough vertically into 5 strips.
Spread 1/4 of the ham mixture over one strip, then top with the next strip. Repeat this process with the remaining strips. (The last strip will not be topped with the ham mixture.)
Use a sharp knife to cut the bread into 8 segments. Stack each segment in the loaf pan (see above for how it should look in the pan). Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Once bread has had its second rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until beginning to brown on top. Enjoy, and try to share with others. Or don't. That's okay too.