Pull-Apart Bread with Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese

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pull apart bread caramelized onions goat cheese recipe
Photo: Nico Schinco/Styling: Erin McDowell

Monkey bread is tasty, but we’ve made it 2 billion times. Enter the next generation: pull-apart bread with caramelized onions and goat cheese. All the fun of monkey bread…but so much more elegant.

“Each piece of the soft, buttery dough is stuffed with a creamy mixture of caramelized onions, goat cheese and herbs,” recipe developer Erin McDowell tells us. “It’s fantastic for weekends, game days or dinner parties—and it’s best served warm.”

We’re ready to dive right in.



½ cup (114g) whole milk

2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

½ cup (115g) sour cream

¼ cup (50g) vegetable oil

1 large egg

1 tablespoon (21g) honey

4¼ cups (510g) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon (4g) fine sea salt

1 packet (7g) instant yeast

Filling and Finishing

2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter

3 medium (680g) sweet onions, chopped

½ teaspoon kosher salt

3 large garlic cloves, minced

10 ounces (283g) goat cheese

½ cup chopped fresh chives

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 large egg

Sesame seeds

1½ tablespoons (21g) melted unsalted butter


1. Make the Dough: In a medium pot, heat the milk, butter and 1 tablespoon water over medium heat until the butter is melted and the milk is warm. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sour cream, vegetable oil, egg and honey.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix the flour, salt and yeast to combine. Add the milk mixture and mix on low speed to combine, about 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth, about 4 minutes.

3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until puffy, about 1 hour.

4. Make the Filling:

While the dough rises, caramelize the onions. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until they begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the salt and stir well to combine. Continue to cook until the onions are completely broken down and beginning to caramelize, 40 to 45 minutes.

5. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the goat cheese, mashing until the two are well combined. Fold in the chives, parsley and pepper to combine.

6. Grease a 12-inch round baking dish with nonstick spray. Divide the dough into 50 even pieces (about 17 grams each) and shape into balls. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each piece of dough to about ¼ inch thick (about 3 inches wide). Spread 2 heaping teaspoons of filling evenly over the dough, all the way to the edge. Fold the dough in half, leaving the edges unsealed, then fold in half again. The piece will now resemble an unsealed fortune cookie with the filling visible along the edge.

8. Place the piece, filling facing upward, in the prepared baking dish. Repeat step 7 with the remaining dough and filling, and continue placing the pieces in the baking dish in concentric circles.

9. Cover the assembled bread with greased plastic wrap and let rise until the dough looks puffy, 30 to 45 minutes.

10. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon water. Uncover the dough, gently brush the egg wash over it and then garnish with sesame seeds. Bake until evenly golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.

11. Brush all over with melted butter. Let cool 15 minutes in the pan before unmolding onto a serving platter. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts
  • 374 calories

  • 18g fat

  • 42g carbs

  • 11g protein

  • 7g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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erin jeanne mcdowell

Freelance Food Editor

Erin Jeanne McDowell is a recipe developer, food stylist and author of multiple cookbooks, including The Fearless Baker, which was named one of the Best Baking Books of 2017 by...