This Christmas tree pull-apart bread is way simpler to make than it looks, calling for just a few simple ingredients and less than an hour of your time.
I had the best intentions of creating a brand new holiday-themed pizza this year, but after stumbling upon the pull-apart bread recipes on Delish and Ready Set Eat, I ended up with the ultimate holiday appetizer / dinner roll alternative instead. If you don't celebrate Christmas, feel free to arrange the dough balls in any other (tightly packed) shape.
Christmas Tree Pull-Apart Bread
- large rimmed baking sheet
- parchment paper
- pastry brush
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Divide the pizza dough into two equal portions. On a lightly floured work surface, using your fingers, press out each piece of dough to a roughly 4 x 8-inch rectangle. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut each rectangle into 12 equal-size squares or rectangles.
- Cut the mozzarella into 24 (1-inch) cubes. You will only need about three-quarters of the block of cheese. Save the rest for another use.
- Place one cheese cube in the center of each square of dough. Pull the edges of dough up and around the cheese, and press to seal, making 24 cheese-stuffed balls. Arrange the balls, seam-side down, in a Christmas tree shape on the prepared baking sheet, gently smooshing them together so they are all touching.
- In a ramekin, whisk together the egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the assembled dough-ball tree with the egg wash. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden.
- While the tree bakes, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic powder, a pinch of salt, and parsley. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
- Pulse the Parmesan cheese in a food processor until it is very finely ground.
- When the tree is done baking, remove it from the oven and transfer it to a serving platter. Brush it with the butter-herb mixture, then dust the top with the Parmesan cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature with marinara sauce for dipping.