A St. Patrick’s Day celebration: beyond corned beef. Even better, WITH corned beef.

St. Patrick’s Day: it’s all about the green.

Green clothing, shamrocks, corned beef and (green) cabbage, green beer… Yes, green beer; if you’ve never sampled it, you’ve never been in Boston or New York on March 17.

But surely there’s more to Irish food than green cuisine.

Indeed there is. There’s Irish butter and cheese. Kerrygold, to be exact.

Kerrygold is the international brand of the Irish Dairy Board, a cooperative created by  a number of small Irish farms and creameries to market their products around the world. Their Dubliner is one of my favorite cheeses of all time… and it’s affordable. You can find it in supermarkets and in club stores, where it’s just slightly more expensive than good-quality domestic cheddars.

I’m a big fan of Cabot cheese, and recommend it often in this space. But I’m Irish, by heritage; and with St. Pat’s Day in the offing, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to give the Emerald Isle a plug.

Next week I’ll be posting the requisite green-colored treat (pistachio shortbread, to be exact), something you can bake and bring to the office as a visual salute to the holiday. But today, we’re heading in a different direction: cheese, highlighted in a savory cheese- and herb-scented pull-apart bread.

This bread relies on Vermont cheddar cheese powder, to be sure. But you can always choose to add a touch o’ the green cuisine by gilding the top of the loaf with a shower of freshly shredded Dubliner. And serving it with a pint of Guinness.


Let’s start with a simple white bread dough. We’ll cut it in pieces, coat each piece with butter, then roll in a blend of pizza seasoning and Vermont cheese powder.


Here’s one of my favorite recipes for white bread dough, perfect for a sandwich loaf or dinner rolls.

Place the following in a mixing bowl:

3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons potato flour or 1/4 cup instant potato flakes
3 tablespoons Baker’s Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons soft butter
2/3 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup lukewarm milk


Mix to combine.


Knead — using your hands, a stand mixer, or a bread machine set on the dough cycle — to make a soft, smooth dough.


Place the dough in a lightly greased container — an 8-cup measure works well here — and allow the dough to rise till it’s puffy, though not necessarily doubled in size.


This will take about 60 to 90 minutes.

See what I mean about the 8-cup measure? It’s neat to see the bubbles and air pockets created by the growing yeast.


Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.


Divide the dough into 32 pieces, by dividing in half, then in halves again, etc.


Don’t worry about making them exactly even. And if you want to shape them into balls, don’t worry about making them perfectly round…


…unless you’re totally into perfection.

These are good enough for me!


To make the coating, whisk together the following:

1/3 cup Vermont cheese powder
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons Pizza Seasoning (or the dried herbs of your choice, optional)


Put ¼ cup of melted butter in a small bowl. Dip each ball in the butter…


…then the coating.


You can put several buttered balls of dough at a time into the coating, then shake the bowl to coat them with the cheese powder.

Lightly grease a 9” deep casserole dish; the Celtic baker shown below is a good size. Or use a 9” x 2” cake pan. Pour a generous layer of olive oil in the bottom of the pan, to coat.


Crowd the dough balls into the pan in a single layer.

Sprinkle any leftover topping over the dough.


Here’s what it’ll look like in a 9” round cake pan; make sure the pan is at least 2” deep.


Cover the pan, and set the dough aside to rise till quite puffy, about 60 to 90 minutes.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.


The dough will become quite puffy, rising up over the rim of the pan.


Bake the bread for 15 minutes. Tent it lightly with foil, and bake for an additional 20 minutes…


…till the bread underneath the foil is golden brown.


Remove from the oven.


Put the hot bread in the middle of the table. Invite people to pull pieces off the loaf. This is actually a great ice-breaker for an informal gathering; it gets folks oohing, and ahhing, and relaxing with one another.


If you’re uncomfortable with the bottom of the buns being quite deeply browned, dip the dough balls in the butter and cheese coating, rather than rolling them in it. That way, the bottoms will be bare, rather than coated; and they’ll brown more gently.


Hot, cheese-y, herb-y… Perfect for sharing on a chilly late-winter day.

Like March 17. Happy St. Patrick’s Day, from my half-Irish heart to yours!

Read, rate, and review (please) our recipe for Cheddar Cheese Pull-Apart Bread.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. Deidra

    Just had to say how much I appreciated not having to click over to read the rest of the post in a new window. I read blogs in Google Reader, and it was quite nice to have the whole post there. Keep it up in the future, please?

    Sorry, Deidra, that’s a mistake. In order to display an array of current blogs, I need to add the “continued” feature… glad you could enjoy it without, however temporarily! PJH

  2. Meryl

    St. David’s Day (the Welsh equivalent of St. Patrick’s) comes first, on March 1st, and there are some fabulous Welsh bake-ables. Why not have something for that?
    We will have to look into this holiday-after all it is fun to celebrate! Joan @KAF

  3. Chocomouse

    Oh, how Irish minds think alike!! I have in the oven right now a savory pull-apart bread – I call it Gorilla Bread. I add herbs to the dough, and use garlic, chives, basil, and oregano mixed into grated parmesan for the for rolling the dough. I sprinkle chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil and black olives on the bottom of the pan and between the layers. Nothing Irish about mine! But I will try your dough recipe next time.

    Ooooh, love the veggies in the middle, too, Choco. I’d love to just sit and figure out different types of sweet and savory monkey breads sometime… caramel/salty, fruit/cheese with a wine glaze… so many recipes, so few hours! PJH

  4. Janene

    Oh my does that look yummy! My local grocery store carries Kerrygold as well, much to my delight! Now all I need is the cheese powder and that lovely Celtic baker!

    PJ, from one Irish girl to another I wish for you…

    May there always be work
    For your hands to do-
    May your purse always hold
    A coin or two-
    May the sun always shine
    On your windowpane
    May a rainbow be certain
    To follow each rain-
    May the hand of a friend
    Always be near you
    May God fill your heart
    With gladness to cheer you.
    What a nice wish. I’ll make sure PJ gets it. Mary@ KAF

  5. quinn

    I am SO with you on the Kerrygold products, and the Dubliner cheese in particular! Little cubes, a sliced apple and a toothpick = one of my favorite snacks.

    This pull-apart recipe is making my mouth water, even though I just had supper – which included the soda bread I baked last night 🙂

    Another vote for the Dewi’s Day celebration, also! Something with leeks is the obvious choice…a baking challenge?

    Cock-a-leekie pie comes right to mind, Quinn, but I really do love Welsh Cakes. Maybe both, eh? PJH

  6. Mom24

    Could you suggest a substitute for the cheese powder? I realize the purpose of this blog is to develop and share recipes that utilize King Arthur products, but it looks wonderful and I’d love to have some tonight. I will cede the point that it won’t be the same or even as good with a substitution, but it’s nice when you can include them.

    Sure, use finely grated Parmesan, or any hard, dry grating cheese. Should be just fine… PJH

  7. Wendy

    We’re glad you’re a fan! This looks awesome (even without Cabot!). I sure hope mine look as beautiful as your photos – can’t wait to see!

    Ah, Wendy, welcome back – and thanks again for being a part of that great Cabot team! Wait and see what I do with Hot Habanero next Wednesday – OO-LA-LA! 🙂 PJH

  8. Joan Williams

    I am very anxious to try this, but I wonder if it is possible to refrigerate it before finishing it. When would be best? After the first rise and punchdown? or before the last rising? One reason I want to try it is that for ONCE I have all of the required ingredients on hand! Most yeast doughs can do well with some time in the refrigerator, as long, slow, cool rises make for wonderful flavor. I would probably shape it then refrigerate it, or else put it in the refrigerator for the first rise. Either should work. have fun with it. Mary@ KAF

  9. Karil

    Thank you for the substitution suggestion for the cheese powder. I live in France, and it is not possible for me to have such “exotic” goods on hand. I love KAF Recipes, Blog, and Books, and appreciate your generous and ready advice about using substitution.

  10. Jessica W

    So the basic technique (monkey bread format, ad hoc coating) could be used for an infinite variety of breads, right? That’s correct. ” Oh the places you can go” . Have fun with it. mary@ KAF

  11. Marianna

    Hey PJ!! Long Island is buried under more snow and this bread looks like just the comfort we need. It’s another reason to keep my mixer out on the counter! I am half Irish and I love Dubliner cheese too. That Celtic baker would look great next to my Polish stoneware(that’s my other half). Thanks for the constant inspiration and motivation. 🙂

  12. Chris

    Thank you for such a lovely website and your emails. I usually look forward to your emails and the weekend so that I can try your tasty recipes. Did the chocolate brioche with dried cherries, last weekend …it went like hot bread. I am going to try this pull apart cheese bread.
    My only regret is that I am outside of the US and do not get to purchase your ingredients often.
    Love those emails …keep ’em coming.

  13. Lish

    What a great variation on those terrific white dinner rolls. My family’s favorite. I made small rolls with similar seasonings as rolls for sausage sliders, but I never thought to turn that wonderful dough into a savory monkey bread. It looks amazing. I love the cheese powder and use it in so many things, so we will be trying this recipe over the weekend, maybe with some wine, fruit and meat assortment. Can’t wait!

  14. Margy

    Mmmmmm, cheezy bread! May have to add this to our annual corned beef and cabbage feed–corned beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, soda bread and shortbread for dessert. Visited Ireland a few years ago; the dairy products were fabulous–table cream yellow in color, and so thick you had to spoon it out! They also painted the sheep–helps the farmers to tell their flocks apart when grazing on common pastures!

  15. Pam Baker

    Beannachtai na Feile Padraig!!

    I once made a giant Shamrock out of three 6″ heart shape cakes. I made green, buttercream frosting and piped a basket weave on the sides and used a rose tip to pipe in caligraphy, a font called uncial.
    I had a blog once and for the entire month of March I posted something every day about Ireland. If you’d like the addy, let me know. I talked about all manner of things. Are you going to make soda bread?

    Revel in your Irish heritage. You are part of the Diaspora.
    Sláinte agus saol chugat!

    1. Marina

      Hi Pam, I realize this was an old post, but it got my attention! Is your old blog still up? Do you have any photos of that awesome cake? I (try to) do calligraphy myself, and uncial is always a favorite. Not Irish, but I pretend to be. 🙂

  16. Lee

    LOVE the Kerrygold butter and cheese!! They make a garlic butter too, that might be yummy to use as the dipping companion with that pizza herb mix and some shredded parmesan…mmmmm Of course not very Irish 🙂
    As I was reading it I was tasting it in my mind with some dried tarragon instead of Italian flavors but couldn’t decide on a cheese to complement it. Any thoughts?

    Tarragon always brings to mind something creamy and mild and almost “sweet” for me, Lee, since it’s fairly assertive and doesn’t really pair well with other assertive flavors (unlike garlic, which seems to go well with a lot of things). What about a Muenster? Or Swiss? PJH

  17. Heather

    Another vote for St. Dewi’s Day! I am of Welsh/Irish/etc. stock, and recently discovered Dewey (my maiden name) is Welsh. Imagine my suprise about St. Dewi’s Day! Yes, please provide some Welsh recipes, please!!! Thanks for all you do! Heather Dewey Pettet

  18. kanmuri

    I tried the bread (making some modifications as it is hard to find all the ingredients in Japan) and ended up with something decent. The bread is really good but didn’t rise much, for some reason. I think it may have been because I oiled my bowl with olive oil for the dough to rise in. Anyway, it’s still delicious!

  19. Esther

    I really admire your willingness to share not only recipes and techniques, but also tips for substitutions for the KAF products. It’s really so generous and commendable. The funny thing is, the more I see your willingness to suggest substitutes (for the cheese powder, for example), the more I want to buy KAF products. So thank you for your honesty and generosity. It makes KAF products and employees more credible to me. Keep up the good work!

    Thanks, Esther. Our goal is not to force folks to buy things, but to share our genuine enthusiasm for our products in such a way that you feel compelled to try them! I really do like the products I use, and I want you to try them and like them, too. There’s so much good stuff to try and ultimately enjoy; baking is such a pleasure, isn’t it? 🙂 PJH

  20. Garden Goddess

    I agree that celebrating St. David’s (Dewi’s) Day is a FABULOUS idea! Any excuse for a party, right? And I too want to thank you for listing a substitution for that cheese powder. We went looking for it in the markets last week (for another recipe) and were unable to find it. I do think that cheese soup would have been better with it… I hope your company will consider opening up some King Arthur stores across the country because there is a real need out here for them!

    I am, however, a bit surprised that you used pizza seasoning instead of some Welsh/British seasonings in the bread! How about leeks, dill and parsley instead? I think that might fit with the spirit of the occasion a bit better, but that’s just my humble opinion.

    Do keep up the good work there at King Arthur. I am so excited that your traveling demonstration group will be coming to Southern California next week–I can hardly wait!


    Garden Goddess

    Hi, GG – I was originally using dill, and the tasters here were giving me the “EWWWWW” reaction; I guess dill’s not for everyone. But everyone should feel free to use the herbs of their choice, for sure- PJH

  21. Zeke

    These are a hit! They’re a bit time consuming, but great. My son really loves the bread.

    I didn’t have dry milk on hand, so I used 1% milk instead of the water. I also put malt (carnation malted milk) in place of the dry milk.

    I cooked this in an enameled dutch oven (round, ~9″) which made the cooking time about 10 minutes longer. I did put the lid on at the 15 minute mark.

    I needed about 50% more topping than was called for (and a sliver more butter… I ran out with 2 pieces left to coat). Luckily I thought to double the topping before I started!

    They came out perfectly!! They’re not as dark brown as the pictures (and not black bottomed), but I prefer it that way.

    Glad these worked out well for you, Zeke. And thanks for sharing your experience – good idea, adding the lid to the pan… PJH

  22. Kettlesmith

    Another suggestion for the powdered cheese is to look in the gravy packet section of the supermarket. Sometimes you can find packets in there of various cheeses for mashed potatoes.

    Love all the cheesy recipes!
    Awesome tip, thanks for sharing! ~ MaryJane

  23. Patti S

    Awesome recipe! I made these last night (2/3 of the batch for work and 1/3 to leave at home) and let them rise for about 90 min in the pans before chilling them. Then, this morning before work, I let them warm up to room temperature (another hour or so) and baked ’em. The aroma was enough to wake the house! I think this is my new favorite cheesy bread! What’s the best part? The crunchy part at the bottom of the pan that crisps up in the EVOO? Or the tangy, powdery cheese on top? Don’t know! But there was nothing left at work and I was hoping there’d be something left of them at home. Still tasty after 12 hours! I will definitely make these again!
    p.s.: We just have to settle on a NAME for these things!!

  24. Anna Ullrich

    OK. so I was quite skeptical about buying your baking poweder but I thought what the heck. I put it to the test last night. I made home flour tortillas. Oh my goodness. These things are as light as air. I plan to tell all of my sisters, neices, friends anyone who eats. Thanks you for such a wonderful product!

  25. Nic NiCaomhanach

    We eat this all the time here in ireland, but we call it tiger bread. you can either bake it fresh at home yourself or buy it in the supermarket.

    its really amazing toasted with the aforementioned Dubliner cheese under the grill!

    mmmm…. might go have some now….

  26. pcstirn

    Happy St Patty’s Day 2012! I made these for my hubby who works late, so we eat late. I took the pan out of the oven just 40 min ago. It’s already all gone!!!
    I used the Pizza Seasoning from KF and Dubliner cheese that I can find in the local commissary here, but I also added some romano cheese and some finely chopped pepperoni to the topping. I also used EV Olive Oil for half the butter. I heated some pizza sauce to dip in on the side. These just melted in our mouths, and they disappeared so fast, I hardly had my fill. I might just have to make them again later today. My hubby thinks I found my best pizza dough yet (he likened it to a Pizza H** deep-dish crust which he really likes). We go low-sugar here so the cinnamon+sugared Monkey Bread may be a memory not revisited. Oh, well!
    I first made these two years ago when you first posted it, and I am so glad I remembered it, looked for it. It’s now on my Favorites page 🙂 Irish (and Italian!) Blessings to all!
    Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you also!

  27. Nancy Stupi

    I’m wondering if there is a gluten free version of this bread. My son and DILly are coming for a visit soon and she’s a total bread person, but it has to be GF. Any thoughts?
    Many thanks,

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for checking, Nancy. Gluten-free conversions can get really tricky when it comes to yeast breads, and we don’t have a gf version of this one. Rather than experiment with your own conversion, in this case we’d recommend using a different recipe that’s already designed-to-be gluten-free. One of these from our recipe page might do the trick. Mollie@KAF

  28. Jo

    My mother was a champion bread baker (not official, just my say-so) and she always made a couple of pull-aparts, and 70 years ago she taught this little girl how to roll them. They are still my favorite bread and every time I see a picture of pull-aparts like on your front page, it makes me want to drop everything and make a batch!

    Thanks for all the good recipes AND the memories!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re happy to help inspire a trip down memory lane, Jo. We hope you’ll have a chance to bake up some more pull-aparts of your own sometime soon! Mollie@KAF

  29. Suzanne

    Hopefully I didn’t miss it, but I read through all the blog and recipe comments looking for an answer for my question with no luck so here goes:

    Why the cornstarch? It isn’t necessary is the sweet versions so why is it in the savory?

    Thanks, Suzanne

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Suzanne, the cornstarch helps thicken the filling so that it coats the dough and remains creamy during baking. If you leave it out, it will still taste delicious but the consistency will be just slightly thinner. Other versions of this style of bread may not require the cornstarch if they call for a different combination of filling ingredients. (Sweet versions often use just brown sugar and cinnamon for example, which creates a liquidy, sticky pull-apart-style bread.) Happy baking! Kye@KAF

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