Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pom & Cheese Pull Aparts

I initially made these pomegranate pull aparts as an experiment, inspired Food Junkie's  Kumquat and Smoked Cheese Bread. I wasn't sure if the pomegranate could pull off the same effect, but they turned out to be just fantastic. The first time I made them was for a dinner party and I was surprised the overwhelming approval of this unconventional bread. Pomegranate is an interesting fruit because it can surprisingly pair well with many flavors. I decided to make these pull aparts as a tribute to my childhood, giving a nod to my mother who would often buy the brown-n-serve buns in a ready-to-heat tin for big family gatherings. Of course, this is my American mom, not my Greek father - who would only be caught purchasing artisan bread like the kind they have in every fournos or bakery in Greece, but he always took part in consuming these mass produced buns with no complaints. Although I could have tossed some pomegranate seeds and cheese on some ready-to-heat buns and called it a day, but I love bread way too much to do that.

Thanks to the new technology of Artisan bread in 5 minutes, I used the base recipe of one of my favorite Greek bloggers - Peter's of Kalofagas -  for the dough of these rolls. This bread recipe is amazing. I will never go back to my 14 year old starter again, which I wouldn't be able to anyway after its traumatic death caused by being moved 40 miles from Hollywood to Huntington Beach. R.I.P.

I would have liked to use mestsovone, a smoked Greek cheese, in this recipe, but that is impossible to find in Portland, so I used Asiago instead. It worked brilliantly with the tangy pomegranate forming a perfect savory crust for the rolls. The color contrast was also nice. I would make these again for any Holiday party as the red pomegranate seeds are fun and festive. 

Pomegranate and Cheese Pull Aparts

  • 2 Tbsp. instant dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp course sea salt
  • 6 cups all purpose flour (may not use all)
  • Seeds from 1 large pomegranate
  • 1 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • In a large bowl, add salt, water and yeast. Allow yeast to activate for a couple of minutes. Add flour (you may not need all 6 cups) until dough is smooth but not sticky. Allow to sit with a loose towel on top for at least 2 hours, although ideally you should make the dough before you go to bed and bake it in the morning.
  • When the dough is ready, sprinkle flour on a surface to mold the dough into rolls. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten the rolls as much as possible, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and top with grated cheese. Let rise for another 45 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Once hot, bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool for a a few minutes.


Peter M said...

As soon as these were pulled out of t he oven, I would have smeared unsalted butter on one and ate it so!

Dewi said...

They look so delicious with cheese topping like this.

Diane Schmidt said...

mmm...looks so good! I am not a bread maker, but now I just may have to give it a try! I love Pomegranate Arils. I'm working on a pomegranate treat for this weekend :)

Mary Bergfeld said...

They really do look luscious. I love the way you've used elements from several recipes and been able to create a delicious original. You did a really nice job. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings...Mary

SouthBayGuy said...

These look great!! I have a 30+ yo starter that survived a trip from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles. (This stuff is very tough) But I'll have to try yours, too. Any pointers on getting the pom seeds out of a pom? Or did you just buy already separated seeds?

Esi said...

I don't think I would have ever thought to pair pom with cheese, but I can see how it works.

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

Anna these are magnificent...I think the flavors work beautifully. And really who can resist bread?

Helen said...

I love my bread too. Unfortunately, I'm not tall and slim so I have to limit my bread intake otherwise I end up looking like a loaf of bread :) Thanks for the recipe! These look deliciously cheesy and so pretty.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Delightful! That is one great combo.



Maria Verivaki said...

this looks sumptuous - i can imagine the endless toppings you can place on these; they are a must-try

Kathleen said...

Wow, these look amazing. I would have eaten my self silly when these were warm out of the oven!!!

Ruth Abatzoglou said...


Banana Wonder said...

Peter - Can you believe I didn't even offer butter to my guests?

Elra - I was envisioning asiago bagels :)

Diana - I always mean to call them arils but feel perverted doing so for some reason?lols

Mary - Thanks so much Mary.

SouthBayGuy - 30 YO starter?! WOW! Tell me more and can I get some? It's best to extract the Pom seeds (aka arils) under water - fill a large bowl with water and put the pomegranate, cut in half, in it and just rip off the seeds. The pith floats to the top and the seeds sink. Plus you don't get squirted with red ink!

Esi - Thanks, it was kind of a cowboy-ish move but they turned out excellent!

Peter - No Greek in his right mind! lol

Helen - Psh please, I'm sure you have a speedy fast metabolism. Shorter people have to walk faster which speeds up metabolism.

Rosa - thanks!

Med Kiwi - Yeah, you really can do so much with them.

Kathleen - I have that tendency when it comes to fresh hot bread.

Mom - Thanks :) xoxo