'/> Sharing My Joy: Recipe: Hot and Spicy Cheesy Pull Apart Bread

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Recipe: Hot and Spicy Cheesy Pull Apart Bread

Anyone who has spent time with me in Madison, Wisconsin knows that I have a deep (slightly unhealthy) obsession with Stella's Hot and Spicy Cheese Bread. Stella's is a bakery in Madison, but they sell their bread at the farmer's market on the Capitol square on Saturdays mornings - and if I'm there, I HAVE to pick some up (to share, of course - and preferably on the way to a Badger football game). Served warm, it's quote "the perfect buttery blend of red pepper, chives, provolone and monterey jack cheeses, and our secret sweet dough that melts in your mouth." Say no more. I had to attempt to recreate it at home, but instead of making the dough from scratch, I followed this pull-apart bread recipe and altered it a bit. It wasn't quite like getting a warm loaf from the farmer's market, but I will say it was a good stand-in when I can't be there! There is nothing not to love about warm, cheesy goodness. Perfect for a tailgate or football watching party!

1 large loaf Italian bread (or sourdough)
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 ounces provolone cheese, shredded or sliced (about a cup)
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about a cup)
2 tsp red pepper flakes (or more!)
1 Tb fresh chives, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a sheet of foil with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
2. Cut a cross-hatch pattern into the top of the bread by slicing ½-inch grid lines into the bread, stopping about ¼-inch from the bottom of the bread so that it stays together. Place the bread on the piece of foil that has been sprayed.
3. Combine the cheese, chives and red pepper flakes in a bowl, set aside.
4. Gently separate the bread with your fingers, then spoon the butter mixture in all of the seams, making sure it is evenly distributed among the whole loaf. Wrap the loaf up in the foil and place on a baking stone or directly on the oven rack and bake for 10 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
6. Open the foil and sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the bread. Push down as much as you can in between all of the crevices in the bread. Leave the foil open and return it to the oven. Bake until the cheese is completely melted, bubbling and starting to brown on top, about 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

If you're looking for a recipe for the loaf from scratch, try this!

Stella's Stand at the Dane County Farmers' Market on Capitol Square

Serving up the hot bread


  1. Looks amazing! I have to admit I'm a super-weakling when it comes to spicy--if you leave out the red pepper flakes, would it be less spicy?

    1. Yes, absolutely! It will take out the spice! You could also use whatever cheese is your favorite too- although both of these are very mild.