Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong: challenge #8


Who doesn’t like garlic bread, right? Buttery and blissfully delicious; soft (but with a crusty edge), it’s a family-and-friends favorite. Now add your favorite herbs; turn the usual flat loaf into luscious slices of pull-apart bread; and start the party! Our March challenge, Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong, is a new path to garlic bread nirvana.

And the best part?

This Butterflake Herb Loaf looks complicated — but it's really easy! Join the latest #bakealong. Click To Tweet

You can also choose to take the dough and shape it into interesting rolls (think fan tan and cloverleaf), or even a classic monkey bread. However you handle it, the dough is easy to work with; the filling comes together quickly, and assembly is simple.

Pull-Apart Breads via @kingarthurflour

Ready to take the Bakealong challenge?

Start with the dough

Gather the following ingredients:

1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, cut into pats
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons instant yeast or active dry yeast
4 to 4 1/4 cups (17 to 18 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons potato flour or 1/3 cup instant potato flakes, optional, for increased moistness

Combine the milk, butter, sugar, and salt in a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl; or in a saucepan. Heat, stirring, until the butter melts. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm, no warmer than 110°F if you have a thermometer. If you don’t have a thermometer, the liquid should be cool enough that you can hold your finger in it comfortably.

Transfer the milk mixture to a mixing bowl, and add the eggs, yeast, 4 cups of the flour, and the potato flour and mix to form a shaggy dough.

Knead until smooth

Use your hands, a stand mixer, or your bread machine set on the dough cycle to knead the dough until it’s smooth. The dough will remain somewhat sticky, but should definitely form a ball. During the summer, or in a warm/humid climate, you’ll probably find that you need to add the remaining 1/4 cup flour.

Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Let the dough rise

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for about 90 minutes, until it’s puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk.

Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Make the filling

While the dough is rising, place the following filling ingredients* in a bowl.

8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated onion or chopped chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds or chopped fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste

*Alter the filling to taste by substituting your favorite dried or fresh herbs for those listed above.

Mix everything together, and set aside.

Assemble the loaves

After the dough has risen, deflate it and divide it in half. Working with one piece at a time, place the dough on a lightly greased or lightly floured surface (your preference), and roll/pat it into a 12″ circle (or square) about 1/4″ thick.

Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Cut 3 1/2″ to 4″ circles with a cutter, large canning jar lid, or English muffin ring; you should have about 10 circles.

Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Spread about 1 teaspoon filling on each of the circles, covering half the circle.

Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Fold the circles in half.

Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Place all 10 folded circles, folded side down, in a lightly greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan.

Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Repeat with the remaining half of the dough, filling another 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan. Or place all of the circles in a 12″ x 4″ x 2 1/2″ tea loaf pan.

Shape any scraps into small rolls; or butter them, and pile them into the wells of a standard muffin pan. They won’t look pretty, but they’ll taste just fine. Let them rise and bake along with the bread, baking them for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Cover the pan(s) with greased plastic wrap and let the dough rise until you can see that it’s expanded slightly; this can take up to 90 minutes, depending on the warmth (or lack thereof) of your kitchen.

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

Bake the loaves

Uncover the loaves, and bake them for 25 to 30 minutes. Bread baked in a ceramic pan will take 5 to 7 minutes longer to bake than in a metal one. Tent the loaves with foil if they look like they’re browning too quickly.

Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Remove the bread from the oven. Brush it with additional melted butter, if desired.

Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Serve the bread warm

Turn the bread out of the pan, and serve it warm, pulling off individual pieces.

Store any leftovers, well wrapped, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Did I hear leftovers? Probably not!

Now, this recipe makes two loaves; but if you’d like to make one loaf and a batch of rolls, go for it!

Bakealong variation #1: Fan tans

Let’s make some old-fashioned fan tans, to start.

Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Roll half the dough into a rectangle about 1/4″ thick; spread it with half the filling.

Cut the dough into 1 1/2″ to 2″ squares. Don’t fuss; they don’t have to be exactly square, nor do they have to be precisely that size. Your goal is 48 pieces of dough, but again, no worries if you’re a bit short or somewhat over.

Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Stack four squares, and place them on end in the lightly greased well of a standard muffin pan. Repeat with the remaining squares, filling the pan.

Let the fan tans rise, covered, until they’ve expanded a bit. Again, the expansion won’t be significant.

Bake the fan tans in a preheated 350°F oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until they’re a light golden brown.

Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Remove them from the oven, and serve warm.

Bakealong variation #2: Cloverleaf rolls

Cloverleaf rolls are simple and pretty, too.

Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Divide half the dough into 36 pieces, each about the size of a small chestnut. Roll the pieces into balls (rough or smooth, up to you).

Place three balls of dough in each lightly greased well of a 12-cup standard muffin pan. Melt half the filling, and drizzle it over the dough balls.

Let the rolls rise until they’ve expanded a bit, covering the bottom of the pan completely and starting to rise upward.

Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Bake the cloverleaf rolls in a preheated 350°F oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until they’re a light golden brown.

Serve warm.

Bakealong variation #3: Monkey bread

And finally, here’s a quick and easy way to make monkey bread. Divide half the dough into 24 balls. Melt half the filling, and pour it into the bottom of a lightly greased 9″ round cake pan, reserving about 2 tablespoons of the filling to brush on the bread after it comes out of the oven.

Place the dough balls in the pan, and shake the pan to coat them with the melted filling. Then space them in the pan so they’re not touching one another.

Let the dough balls rise until they’ve expanded to touch one another, and have risen upward a bit.

Bake the monkey bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 20 to 23 minutes, or until it’s a light golden brown.

Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Remove from the oven, and brush with the remaining melted filling. Serve warm. Dip individual pieces in marinara sauce, if desired.

Bakealong variation #4: Going gluten-free

Now, what about you folks baking gluten-free? It’s not advisable to try to turn a standard yeast recipe into a gluten-free recipe, so you won’t be able to use the dough recipe above. However, we have a suggestion: Make the dough for our Gluten-Free Cinnamon Rolls, omitting 2 tablespoons of the sugar, the vanilla, and the sweet dough flavor.

Make the filling from the Butterflake Herb Loaf recipe above. Pat out the gluten-free dough as directed in the cinnamon roll recipe. Melt the filling, and spread half of it over the dough (reserve the rest for later). Add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese too, if desired. Roll the dough up the long way, and cut into 12 slices. Bake according to cinnamon roll instructions. Remove the baked rolls from the oven, and dip the top of each into the remaining melted butter/herbs.

Butterflake Herb Loaf Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Voilà! A dozen buttery, garlicky gluten-free rolls. Enjoy!

Interested in more? See our complete collection of Bakealong recipes.

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. Anita

    This is another scrumptious KA recipe. This bread would be so good in so many ways, fancy or plain, and it’s easy with hardly any kneading.
    I made one loaf pan and a pan of fan tans. My DH loves any sort of pull apart bread, but he was using this to make sandwiches by pulling out one round from the loaf pan and putting the fixings in the middle.
    I live at 5900 feet near Denver, and made no adjustments to the recipe.
    Thank you for this great recipe!!!

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Jaime, we haven’t tested that particular combination of substitutes, but I suspect they’d work just fine in this recipe. Good luck! PJH

  2. Diane Perris

    Made this for the first time this weekend, and wow! another winner from KA. I made it exactly as written, used 4″ cutters so only got 9 rounds from each 1/2. Have never made a pull-apart bread before so this was another confidence booster, like the babka which I made last month.
    My only request would be that KA include approximate knead times for hand kneading or machine kneading. I do all my kneading by hand, and depending on the dough it can take anywhere from a quick minute to a solid 10 minutes to get the dough right. Having something like “knead by hand for approximately 2-4 minutes depending on room temp and dough consistancy” would be great.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for the suggestion, Diane! Like you mentioned, the amount of time the dough should be kneaded for varies based on your technique, speed, dough consistency, etc. Instead of giving large windows of time, we try to include descriptions of what the dough should look like to help guide your kneading. In general, the dough has been kneaded enough when it’s bouncy and smooth, and when pressed with your finger it readily springs back. We hope this helps! Kye@KAF

  3. Elaine

    OMG…this bread is amazing! I used fresh herbs – garlic, oregano, basil, rosemary , thyme and of course the butter. I bought the tea loaf pan especially for this bread and it turned out beautiful, baking the bread an extra 5 minutes.
    This was my first pull apart bread I am very pleased! Thank you so much for great, easy to follow recipe.

  4. Cheryl

    Are any of your recipes tested at altitude? I live in Denver at 5000 feet and would love to make this recipe but don’t know how to adjust.

    1. Susan Reid

      Hi, Cheryl. We haven’t tested this particular recipe at altitude, but our altitude chart is a good place to start. Use 1/2 teaspoon less yeast, increase the water, and bake the dough in a metal pan at 375°F instead of 350°F. Let us know how it goes! Susan

    2. Anita

      Hi Cheryl, I live at 5900 ft near Denver and I’ve been using KA recipes for years. I find the bread recipes work out perfectly with no adjustments. I’m generally careful with how much flour I add near the end of the kneading process, to avoid dryness.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sher, we don’t recommend trying to convert a yeasted recipe like this to gluten-free, as it tends to be much more complicated than a simple substitution. For our gluten-free bakers, we’ve included a tip for adapting one of our designed-to-be gluten-free yeast dough recipes and pairing it with the same herbed butter. See variation #4 above for more details! Mollie@KAF

    2. Susan Reid

      Hi, Sher. This one is a challenge: no gluten-free bread dough is going to have enough structure to shape, fill, and place in the loaf pan, but you might try this. Make our Gluten-Free Sandwich Breadrecipe. Grease the loaf pan, and stand it up on its short end. Use a muffin scoop to plop some of the dough into the pan, then sprinkle some of the herb loaf’s filling over it. Plop in another scoop of dough and repeat (you’ll have to gradually tilt the pan to a 45° angle to keep it from running out on the counter). This is the closest I can think of to reproduce the same effect as the herb loaf in a gluten-free version. Susan

  5. Don Wiley

    Followed recipe as given. Used stand mixer and some hand kneading, which is part of the pleasure. Wife wants more garlic in the filling next time. Froze one baked loaf and thawed it two days later. Really nice toasted and add a smear of tomato sauce and some cheese.

  6. Am I Legal?

    This unusual bread looks and taste exceptional. We couldn’t get enough of it. The flavor accelerated with each passing day. It only lasted three days for two adults and two toddlers. Great recipe!

  7. Brenda Bell

    Finally got a chance to try this out. Unfortunately the butter/herb flavor didn’t make it more than an inch into the loaf (OTOH, I had most of the filling left over, so I suspect I wasn’t generous enough with it). Next time round, I think I’m going to add a touch of rosemary and coarsely-ground black pepper (I left out the caraway/fennel and cayenne because of our own taste preferences). I suspect I might have also done better to have stacked buttered/filled half-circles than folded circles…

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Brenda, glad you can see some adjustments to make for next time. Definitely slather the filling onto the dough rounds; you should use it all up. I think your next loaf will be more to your liking — PJH

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