Caprese Pull-Apart Loaf

This Caprese Pull-Apart Loaf is a savory sensation. The word “caprese” instantly denotes the trio of sliced fresh tomato, whole basil leaves, and fresh mozzarella served as an appetizer or salad. This iteration makes use of soft oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped basil, and shredded fresh mozzarella layered between thin pieces of dough that bake golden brown on the outside, burst with flavor on the inside, and should absolutely be shared.

Caprese Pull-Apart Loaf
Makes 1 (9×5-inch) loaf
  • 2½ cups (313 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package (7 grams) instant yeast*
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) olive oil
  • 1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cloves garlic (3 grams), minced
  • 1 (8-ounce) ball (226 grams) fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup (80 grams) drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup (10 grams) chopped fresh basil Garnish: torn fresh basil, sun-dried
  • tomato oil
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 1 cup (125 grams) flour, sugar, yeast, and salt by hand.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C).
  3. Using the paddle attachment, with mixer on medium speed, add warm milk and olive oil to flour mixture, beating until combined, about 1 minute. Add egg, and beat until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add remaining 1½ cups (188 grams) flour, beating until well combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl, about 1 minute.
  4. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at medium speed until dough is smooth and elastic and pulls away from sides of bowl, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Lightly spray a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together melted butter and garlic.
  7. Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with baking spray with flour. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over long sides of pan.
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 16×12-inch rectangle (about 1⁄4 inch thick), with one long side closest to you. Using a pastry brush, brush butter mixture onto dough. Top with shredded mozzarella, tomatoes, and chopped basil. Cut dough into 16 rectangles (about 4×3 inches each). 9. Stand prepared pan vertically on one short side. Starting at bottom, carefully layer dough pieces, filling side up, one on top of the other. For final piece of dough, place in pan filling side down. Turn pan upright onto its bottom. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 20 to 25 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  10. Tuck any exposed tomatoes inside dough pieces.
  11. Bake until golden brown and an instant- read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan, and let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Garnish with torn basil and tomato oil, if desired. Serve warm.


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