Pull-Apart Garlic Bread

pull apart garlic bread rolls

The Spruce / Pete Scherer 

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 40 mins
Rest and Rising: 16 hrs
Total: 16 hrs
Servings: 6 to 8 servings

This recipe for pull-apart garlic bread uses a traditional from-scratch dinner roll dough. It takes a little time, but most of it is hands-off and it’s worth the extra effort. The rolls are incredibly tender and delicious. Be sure to bake the dough fully. The center takes the longest and a visual check may deceive you, so when in doubt use a thermometer. The dough is baked when the internal temperature is close to 200 F.

Great for indulgent special occasions, family dinners or carb-loading for marathons, these pull-apart rolls are a garlic lover’s heaven. To make a cheesy version, top the rolls in the last 5-10 minutes of baking with shredded cheese.


  • For the Sponge:
  • 100 grams bread flour
  • 60 grams water
  • 1 pinch of instant yeast
  • For the Dough:
  • 300 grams bread flour
  • 150 grams water
  • 60 grams butter (softened)
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 25 grams sugar
  • 20 grams dry milk powder
  • 9 grams salt
  • 3 grams instant yeast
  • 1 portion sponge
  • For the Garlic Butter Topping:
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 7 cloves garlic (about 40g, minced)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (chopped)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Prepare the Sponge

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Mix together the flour, water, and yeast until it forms a smooth dough.

  3. Cover and leave at room temperature for 12 to 16 hours.

Make the Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine the bread flour, water, butter, egg, sugar, dry milk powder, salt, instant yeast, and sponge in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed for about 4 minutes, then increase the speed (one or two clicks depending on your mixer) and mix for 2 to 3 minutes more.

  3. Remove the dough from the mixer and form into a ball by tucking the edges underneath. Lightly oil a medium bowl and place the dough inside it, seam-side down. Cover and leave at room temperature (about 75 F) for 60 to 90 minutes, until doubled.

  4. Divide the dough into about 16 small pieces that are roughly the same size. Shape each piece into a ball in the same way you did earlier. Leave the dough balls on the counter while you prepare the garlic butter.

Make the Topping and Assemble the Bread

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter has melted, add the garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes until the garlic softens slightly and is quite fragrant. Do not brown the garlic.

  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and use a rubber spatula to scrape the garlic butter into a large bowl. Add the dough balls and gently toss to coat well.

  4. Place the dough balls in a 9 x 9-inch baking dish. Cover the dish loosely with aluminum foil and leave at room temperature for about 2 hours or until the dough has almost doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

  5. Bake for about 30 minutes with the foil on, then remove the foil, drizzle the bread with olive oil and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more until browned and fully baked. To ensure the bread is completely baked, you may insert an instant-read thermometer into one of the center rolls; it should read close to 200 F.

  6. Remove from the oven. Allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. De-pan and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve warm.


  • The ambient temperature is important to consider when making yeasted doughs. If your kitchen is very hot or very cold, you may have to create a more temperate 75 F environment for your dough. For warmth in an otherwise cold kitchen, try a closed oven with the light on. To cool things down on a hot day, try mixing the dough with chilled water.
  • Store leftovers wrapped in foil for a day or two.