Our friend, Fernanda Chacon, a certified nutritionist consultant, health coach and healthy chef, and the creator of Cook and Move, whipped up this holiday pull-apart bread recipe that’ll spark conversation and add sparkle to your festive dinner table at the same time.
This Healthy Cheesy Pull-Apart Christmas Tree Bread will be an instant fave at home, work or at any holiday party. Not only is its cheerful Christmas tree shape a show-stopper, but its delicious flavor and how healthy it is will also blow your guests away.
I found my inspiration in “Monkey Bread.” Hailing from Hungary, Monkey Bread has seen many iterations in the U.S., from a sweet bread laced with cinnamon to a savory version made with butter and sometimes cheese. Today, we know it as “pull-apart bread.”
What Makes This Pull-Apart Bread Healthier
Quality ingredients, including flour made from ancient grains, make this bread go beyond its rich flavor. Similar to refined wheat in appearance, but heartier due to its harder shell that protects the nutrients within, this Christmas pull-apart bread is rich in protein, healthy fats, vitamin E, potassium, phosphorus, iron, calcium among others.
Want to add a touch of sweetness traditional to monkey bread and give your festive fare Christmas-y flair? I suggest topping it off with sliced cherries and serving it with a homemade cherry and fig jam…yum!
Enjoy your freshly-baked, homemade delicious holiday pull-apart bread with family, friends and loved ones. I hope it becomes part of your Christmas traditions ?.
Share snapshots of your holiday pull-apart bread with Fernanda and us on social media by tagging me @CookAndMove and @doralyard, and using the hashtag #CocinayMuevete #ConChefFernanda and #doralyard.
Holiday Pull-Apart Bread Recipe:
- 50 grams rye flour
- 50 grams chia
- 50 grams hemp
- 100 grams spelt flour
- 150 grams all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup of water
- 27 mozzarella cheese balls
- Fresh Parmesan Cheese
- Olive oil
- 8 cherry
- Fresh herbs
- Store-bought or homemade cherry (or other fruit) jam
In a deep bowl, mix all dry ingredients. Stir well. Add olive oil and water. With your hands, mix the ingredients and knead the dough until it doesn’t stick to your hands.
Remove the dough from the bowl and continue kneading on the table (Throw a little flour on the table before kneading).
When the dough is well-formed, make a ball and put it in a greased container with olive oil. Now, use the oil that you have left in your hands to spread over the dough. Cover with plastic and let stand for at least 20 minutes at room temperature so it rises.
While the dough rests, cut the cherries into small pieces (quarters) and set aside. Next, mix the fresh herbs with olive oil. We will use this oil to brush the bread before putting it in the oven. This will help promote browning.
Then, return the dough to the floured table. Stretch and knead the dough making a cylinder and cut 27 equal balls or you may also cut smaller balls than others. Use the smaller ones at the top of the Christmas tree.
With your fingers stretch each of the balls, add a mozzarella ball in the center, close with your fingers and form the ball once again. Repeat the process for the rest of the balls.
Using a large sheet tray, begin to shape the tree. Start with a line of 7 balls stuck next to each other. Continue the next row with 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and in the last one put 2 balls on the sides to form the star and two in the bottom of the tree to make the tree trunk.
Now brush the bread with olive oil. Spread the cherries around the whole tree and sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese.
Let stand for 20 minutes at room temperature. Bake for 30 minutes at 350F degrees.