I have a fun group of friends who get together every year to watch the Big Game. We all pitch in and bring an assortment of food to share – mostly appetizers and sweets. Every year I struggle to come up with something new and interesting yet appealing to a wide age group. A couple of months ago I walked through the Test Kitchen just as a new recipe was coming out of the oven. It had a wonderful aroma and looked really interesting. So I invited myself to join the taste panel that was trying this new creation (one of the perks of working in the Test Kitchen). After one bite of Pull-Apart Party Loaf, I knew I had found the recipe I would be bringing to this year’s party.
I know my friends are going to love this recipe. It looks and tastes yummy and really is easy to put together. I plan to have the loaf all put together and ready to go into the oven. I’ll wrap it up in aluminum foil and bring it to my friend’s house where I will pop it into the oven to bake for a little over a half hour. Then I will be able to serve it piping hot, which is the best way to enjoy this appetizer. I can hardly wait for the oohs and aahs!
Pull-Apart Party Loaf starts with a purchased round loaf of Italian or sourdough bread. You add the good stuff – butter, ranch dressing mix, bacon, jalapeno peppers and American cheese. It comes out of the oven warm and gooey and absolutely delicious. And, it’s fun to pull apart to serve.
Here’s how it’s made. Remember to read through the recipe first and prep all the ingredients (melt the butter, cook and chop the bacon, chop the jalapeno peppers, cheese and parsley). Have all the ingredients ready, and the assembly of the loaf will go very quickly.
The assembled loaf will need to be baked in a preheated oven set to 350°F, so if you plan to bring this to a party, ask the host to have the oven heated and ready for when you arrive. The first step is to tear off two pieces of aluminum foil, each 24 inches long. Lay them on the counter, crossing one over the other as pictured below.
Next cut the round loaf of bread, using a serrated knife, in a grid pattern, spacing about 1 inch between rows. But don’t cut all the way through the bottom crust.
This creates the pieces you will pull apart.
In a medium bowl combine the melted butter and the dry ranch dressing mix.
Add the bacon, jalapeno peppers and cheese.
Toss to coat everything with the butter mixture.
Place the cut loaf of bread in the center of the aluminum foil pieces. Spoon the cheese mixture into the cut areas of the bread.
Wrap the foil loosely around the bread and place the wrapped loaf on a baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes. Pull back the foil and continue baking for 5 to 10 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown and the cheese is melted.
If you’d like, sprinkle with parsley.
I can hardly wait to serve this to my friends; I know they are going to love it. Let me know what you think by coming back and leaving a comment or rating and reviewing this recipe, Pull-Apart Party Loaf.
Becky Wahlund is the Director of the Test Kitchens for Land O'Lakes and writes for our Recipe Buzz® Blog.