Monte Cristo Pull Apart Bread

Kate Donahue | Food Babbles Updated
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If you've ever had a Monte Cristo sandwich, you will devour this bread. Serve it with warm raspberry jam for dipping.

Monte Cristo Bread Photo

Growing up in North Carolina, there was only one diner. That's right. One. Herby's. I loved that joint. It had a purple life-sized half of a VW Beetle affixed right to the front of the building! Talk about character. It was the only restaurant open 24 hours and they only served breakfast.

Now I live in New Jersey and one thing that there's an abundance of in my fine state are diners. IF you aren't familiar, let me just tell you there are a ton! And one thing about diners is that their menus vary only slightly from place to place.

Most times you can sit down and open your vast, glossy menu to reveal most of the same items regardless of which diner you're eating in. I guess there's something to be said for knowing what to expect from an eatery.

I don't often eat at diners beyond our once monthly Sunday breakfast with my co-workers. I work as a paramedic and in my line of work, you don't often get to sit down to eat, let alone eat all together. Sunday mornings seems to be the one day per week where our mornings don't start off with a bang and we can enjoy a meal together, at an actual table instead of stuffing our faces as we run out the door for our next call.

Monte Cristo Bread Picture

On those rare occasions when I find myself in a diner on a Sunday, I look through all those memorable diner items and my eyes almost always settle on a Monte Cristo Sandwich.

It's a sandwich unlike any other. Ham, turkey, and Swiss cheese sandwiched in white bread, fried, and then dusted with powdered sugar. It's like French toast hiding a ham, turkey and Swiss sandwich. Perfect for breakfast OR lunch! I love dipping mine in raspberry jam for the perfect finishing touch.

Monte Cristo Bread Image

In this Monte Cristo Pull Apart Bread, I've combined all those flavors into what may quite possibly be the world's most addictive bread. Fresh from the oven and still warm, I found myself unable to exercise any reasonable amount of self-control as I pulled layer upon warm cheesy layer from the loaf and dipped it into raspberry jam. It was just like eating a Monte Cristo sandwich in a tempting, pull-apart, melty, cheesy, oh so irresistible loaf of bread. 

If you're looking for more cheesy, bread goodness, you've got to check out Kate's Cheesy Beer Bread Recipe too!

Monte Cristo Bread Recipe

    6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup water, plus two tablespoons
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 9 slices swiss cheese, cut in half
  • 9 slices deli sliced ham, cut in half
  • 9 slices oven roasted deli turkey, cut in half
  • powdered sugar, for dusting
  • raspberry jam, for dipping

Directions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, whisk together bread flour, sugar, yeast and salt.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, add the olive oil, milk and warm water.
  3. Mix until fully incorporated and a smooth dough forms.
  4. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and rise at warm room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
  6. Roll dough to a 12x20 rectangle and brush with melted butter.
  7. Cut dough into 6 equal strips. Stack the strips on top of each other and cut into 6 equal square stacks.
  8. Spray a 10-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  9. To assemble, stand the loaf pan up with a short side down on your work surface.
  10. Layer a piece of dough, then a slice of cheese, top with a piece of ham, then a square of dough.
  11. Next add a piece of cheese, topped with turkey and then a square of dough. Repeat, tightly layering dough in loaf pan until full. You may have some dough squares left over.
  12. Cover the loaf pan loosely with plastic wrap and rise at warm room temperature, 1 hour.
  13. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 35 minutes.
  14. Tent with foil if bread begins to brown too quickly.
  15. Remove from oven, cool 15 minutes in pan then turn out onto a cooling rack.
  16. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm with red currant or raspberry jam for dipping.

Notes

You can use any leftover dough squares to make a few Fan Tans!

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Kate Donahue

About Kate

Kate babbles about all things food on her own blog, Food Babbles, and about feeding her girls the best way. Here on Food Fanatic, she wows us with her commitment to homemade, fresh baking, week after week.