Ham and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread

Ham and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Here is a fun, easy way to pack lunch right into your loaf of bread. No, I don’t mean the typical sandwich our kids are sick to death of, I mean ham and cheese (or whatever you are in the mood for) is folded into the dough and baked as a loaf: pull-apart bread! Each slice is a sandwich. In order to get the layers to keep their shape, I made the dough with bread flour, which boosts the amount of gluten and gives the loaf a little more structure. To make it a touch healthier (I’m constantly sneaking whole grains where kids will never see them) I also used whole wheat flour. This technique would work equally well with many other doughs from our books.

Sliced Ham and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

As the name suggests you can just pull sections of the loaf apart, but I sliced into this one to show you how the ham and cheese ends up woven through the bread.

Ham and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread

The dough I used is the European Peasant Bread recipe (page 46) Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, but I substituted the bread flour for the all-purpose in equal parts. (see Jeff’s post on using bread flour in other recipes).

8 to 12 slices ham

8 to 12 slices of your favorite cheese

Bread Dough on a Kitchen Scale | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

After the dough has been chilled, pull out a 1 1/2 pound piece. If you want a bigger loaf you can increase this to 2 pounds of dough.

Bread Dough Rolled into a Rectangle | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Roll the dough out to a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle and cut it with a Pizza Wheel into eight equal pieces (If you used 2 pounds of dough, then cut 12 pieces).

Ham and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread Before Baking | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Stretch each piece to about 1/8-inch-thick rectangle and cover with ham and cheese. I used one slice of each. Fold the dough in half over the filling. Stack the pieces together.

Ham and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread in a Loaf Pan Before Baking | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Place the stack of dough, with the open side of the fold facing up, in a greased 8.5 x 4.5 Inch Loaf Pan.

Ham and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread in a Loaf Pan Before Baking | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Allow it to rise for 1 1/2 hours (two hours if you used 2 pounds of dough). You will notice from my photos that the dough doesn’t rise much before baking, this is normal for our recipes.

Ham and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Bake the bread at 400°F for about 40 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown and the cheese has caramelized. No need for a baking stone or steam with this loaf.

Ham and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Allow to cool.

Ham and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Pull the loaf apart and enjoy or…

Slices of Ham and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

for a less savage approach, you can cut neat slices.

39 thoughts to “Ham and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread”

  1. One of my daughter’s gave me your book Artisan Bread in 5 for Christmas. The dough and bread are amazing and so simple to prepare and bake. This recipe for ham and cheese pull- apart bread is going on my ” to make very soon” list. Thanks for continuing to give us great recipes on the website too!

  2. What are your thoughts on the need for refrigeration with the ham and cheese in this bread? It sounds like a good carry along lunch bread.

  3. Great idea! Thanks for sharing.
    I don’t know why Amazon doesn’t let me buy the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day kindle edition from TAIWAN

    1. Hi Pedro, just so you know I had that problem with some other Kindle edition books in Taiwan and also here in Belgium. My guess is it’s an international distribution thing. Just thought you might like to know here in Europe we’re in the same boat 🙂 I was able to buy the artisan flatbreads (third book) Kindle edition in Belgium. HTH.

  4. This looks A-M-A-Z-I-N-G…I can’t WAIT to try it!!!! (LOVE AB5M!) What is the best way to store this to maintain the integrity of the bread?

  5. Just wanted to let you know that ibooks also has ABin5MAD for $6.99.

    I just downloaded it, thanks!

    I am on a mission to make delicious bread!

  6. Hey, I am new on your site, but addicted to make artisian bread daily…… going to try this soon. Basic bread for everyday life – in my family – is the no-kneed-bread. Thanks for this.

  7. I tried making the Vermont Cheddar Bread (from ABin5, pg. 106) with one change. I converted the recipe from volume to weight using your tables in HBin5, then swapped out 4 oz. of flour for 4 oz. of Cabot cheese powder. The result was an epic fail. The taste was very good but the dough was so wet, it just oozed off the side of the peel. It never rose in the oven. The second loaf went into a pan and I baked over 1 hour for a 1 lb. loaf. It still didn’t rise much and I had that tell-tale band of undercooked dough at the bottom of the loaf.

    I rechecked my conversions twice and I know I didn’t make a mistake there. Is the problem that the cheese powder doesn’t absorb water the way the flour does? Should I have reduced the amount of water or not reduced the amount of flour? Any thoughts on how to make this work?


    1. Rockycat: I’m sure that’s the problem; four ounces of flour is the better part of a cup– that’s a lot of flour, and the result will be too wet. Salvage by adding in flour now, work in with hands and let stand at room temp for 2 hours.

      Next time: just leave the flour the same, and add the cheese. If it looks too dry, a little extra water should do it.

  8. I have all three of your books and am totally hooked on making bread almost everyday thanks to your recipes. I would like to make a sourdough though but would need REALLY specific instructions! That may be a whole book in itself. I read what Jeff said about adding starter but I’m afraid I need more instruction. Could you help me make a sourdough with your breads?
    Thanks, Robin

    1. Robin: We haven’t published on that, maybe someday. Meanwhile, there are lots of great resources out there– any of them work.

  9. can you make this with other dough?? I have some white/whole wheat from the first book, sitting in the fridge. Love the pull apart concept….

  10. Zoë, thank you so much, I’m on the lookout for time-saving school lunches for DD and work brunches for DH who will otherwise skip breakfast (egad…) I think this will go fabulously with 1/2 ham and cheese and another 1/2 a breakfast combination. It is Sunday and I’ll stir up a batch of dough now. BTW my fave is the WW Italian in your flatbread book, I use it for everything and can eat the dough raw I love it so much. Merci beaucoup de Bruxelles et dank u wel van Brussel!

  11. So excited to try this! I thought it would be a great lunch idea for company/playdates. Can I assemble it the day before store it in the fridge covered over night and do the rising and baking the next day?

  12. Could this be made ahead and frozen (cooked or uncooked)? Can I use the basic bread recipe instead? Also, that is a deal from amazon, I just purchased the kindle edition for 18.00 about 2 weeks ago :-(.

  13. Woahh.I have not been here in a minute…and I am missing out! Looks like you guys are doing so well! Now that I’m finally settle down again (well, kinda I’m in Berlin now) I feel like I can focus on healthy baking and cooking again. Cracking this puppy open this week!

    Hope you’re both well!

  14. This is driving me nuts. I remember reading a post about baking the Master recipe in a loaf pan, rather than free form and I can’t find the post now. I remember that the pan should be non-stick and greased well, that I should use 2 lb. of dough, and that the rising and baking times are longer than normal. Other than that, I can’t remember details. What size loaf pan do I want and what are the rising and baking times?

  15. I live in Canada, what flour would you suggest. Normally, for bread I use Bread Flour or “Maggis” bread flour; 1 cup AP + 1 TBLsn Vital Wheat Glutin

    1. Hi Maggi,

      Which dough are you planning to make? For most of our recipes I would suggest you stick to all-purpose, since Canadian flour tends to be stronger than what we find in the US, so it is almost like our bread flour.

      Thanks, Zoë

  16. I made this yesterday. Followed the directions according to the peasant bread in your original book.

    Do you have Trader Joe’s where you live? I shop there a lot and for this bread I used their house brand uncured, no-nitrate Black Forest Ham (thin sliced lunch meat package), and the TJ “Unexpected Cheddar”. This is a white cheddar with a Parmesan-y like flavor.

    I served this with a roasted veg pasta salad, homemade tomato basil soup, and raspberry oatmeal bars for dessert. It was fantastic! We used the bread for dipping and also just for out of hand eating, with a thin spread of Trader Joe Sweet Hot Mustard.

    Today I took two cut slices and prepared them french toast style. Let them soak up the egg and milk mixture and sauted them on the stove top in a pan with a light coat of non-stick spray. The random edges of ham sticking out got nicely brown and crunchy and the cheese flavor was blended through out the bread. Instead of syrup, I opted for more mustard and this was my lunch.

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  17. Could this be made with one of the gluten free ABin5 doughs? The post mentions needing the extra gluten for improved structure…

    1. Any of our basic doughs from the book will come out about like this did, our basic Master comes to mind. So does rye, or the whole grain doughs (be sure to bake fully if you go whole grain…).

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