Made with a quick homemade dough, this cheesy Christmas pull-apart bread with spinach and onion is what you need for any festive and fun get together.
Course: Appetizer, bread, Side Dish
Keyword: christmas, pull apart bread
For the dough
1packageactive dry yeast
2-2 ½cupsall-purpose flour
For the breadstick filling
18 ozpackage of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1egg, lightly beaten
¼cupcherry tomatoes, optional for garnish
1cupmarinara sauce, optional for dipping
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the yeast and sugar. Pour warm water over sugar-yeast mixture and let sit for 5 minutes until bubbly and frothing. This is how you know it's activated.
With your hook attachment (or by hand) on medium speed, mix in olive oil and salt. Then switch to low and carefully add in flour. When you get to 2 cups, stop and check for consistency. If dough is sticky, continue to add a bit more flour. (Usually I use just under 2 ½ cups of flour). I also bump the speed up to medium-high for just a couple of seconds to make sure the hook has gotten all of the flour from the bottom of the bowl. Form dough into a bowl with your hands (still in the same bowl), cover with a kitchen towel, and let sit in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a non-stick frying pan with olive oil over medium heat, cook your onions, salt, and onion powder until onions are translucent (about 5-7 minutes). Add chopped spinach and stir to combine until spinach is just wilted. Set aside and let cool.
By now, your dough should have risen slightly. Take dough out of bowl and knead on a lightly floured surface 10-12 times to make sure all flour is combined. If dough seems too warm from your hands, always put back in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Roll out dough into a rectangle - about 14"x9". Cut a triangle from the rectangle. With the two smaller recntagles on either side of the main triangle you just cut, smooth the edges together with your fingers to make another triangle. This'll be the bottom of your Christmas tree. Set that triangle on your parchment-lined baking sheet and manipulate the dough with your hands until you're happy with the shape. Again, if dough becomes warm and hard to work with, stick in the refrgierator for 15 minutes.
Now is a good time to preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Add spinach and onion mixture to the triangle you formed. Add mozzarella cheese on top. Then place the other triangle (your main triangle) on top, stretching dough to match the bottom as much as possible. Use your fingers to pinach the bottom and top layers together.
Saving about an inch strip running down the middle of the Christmas tree, cut horizontal slits about 1 ½" apart all the way up the tree. Repeat the identical cuts on the other side of the Christmas tree. Twist the strips 1-2 times depending on the length of the strip. Brush the top of the Christmas tree with egg wash.
Bake for about 15-17 minutes until dough is a golden brown.
Don't be scared to keep putting your dough in the refrigerator. For me, I can generally do this pretty fast (because I've made this bread so much). I typically put the dough in the refrigerator right after I've cut the dough into triangles. It helps me more easily manipulate the bread to make sure my bottom and top triangles match up.