Monte Cristo Pull Apart Bread: Irresistable Like the Sandwich

Kate Donahue | Food Babbles

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!

    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 warm 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!


Monte-cristo-bread-photo

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Rating: 3.0 / 5.0 (256 Votes)
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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.

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    In Washington State, there's a little cafe down the road from where I live that serves their monte cristo with a choice of raspberry jalapeno or peach jalapeno jam!

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    I moved to Cali from Jersey last year. I did find the monte cristo sandwich recenptly served with jalapeno jam - amazing! I will try this and add in the Cali condiment!

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    That's genius! And it looks sooo good, I want a slice right now.

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    Wouldn't you need double the amount of cheese, because you're putting twice as much cheese as you are turkey & ham? Also, I made this last night & the dough just stuck together after the diving & stacking part, and I added a WHOLE lot of extra flour in the rolling out process. Wouldn't it make more sense to just cut all of the strips & then cut them evenly without the stacking part? Or is there a special trick I'm missing! Having step by step pics would also be SUCH a great help for this recipe... thanks!

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    @ Emily

    Emily - I cut the cheese in half. I also made this with cheddar cheese and used and herbed butter to serve it with. This has a million possibilities. I can't wait to try a pizza version.

    Avatar
    @ Emily

    *dividing

    Emily-caruso
    jellytoastblog.com

    That 'Emily' comment was me, I forgot to sign in! :)

    Kate-donahue
    FoodBabbles.com @ Emily Caruso

    No problem ;) I replied. King Arthur Flour all the way.

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    Seriously, I'm all over this! Ok, one quick question for my bread guru: what brand of bread flour do you recommend? I don't typically keep it on hand, but will totally be picking some up later to make this!

    Kate-donahue
    FoodBabbles.com @ Emily

    I always use King Arthur Flour for all my baking needs. I love all their flours! So my bread flour is King Arthur Flour. Hope you enjoy this!

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    This recipe looks amazing! I love that you made a savory pull apart bread, I've actually only ever had sweet ones. I'm also from new jersey & I love the abundance of diners! Actually I feel like new jersey has an abundance of places to eat in general. We really love our food!

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    Oh wow! This looks incredible and I can't wait to make it! I'm pinning it and printing it. Thanks for the fun take on one of my favorite sandwiches!

    Kate-donahue
    FoodBabbles.com @ Renee - Kudos Kitchen

    I'm so happy you like this Renee! It was completely irresistible. Sweet, savory, all in one incredible bite. Enjoy it!

    Amber
    bluebonnetsandbrownies.com

    Kate, what an idea! I haven't had a monte cristo in years because it always seems like such work to deep fry it. Perfect solution.

    Kate-donahue
    FoodBabbles.com @ Amber Bracegirdle

    I hear ya! I never make them at home. I leave my Monte Cristo sandwiches to the diner professionals but this bread makes easy work of the classic sandwich flavors. So good!