I have never created a more delicious way to use up zucchini! This decadent Zucchini Pull-Apart bread is going to become a classic in your house just like it has in mine! This shareable bread is sprinkled with just the right amount of cinnamon and sugar and the zucchini is soaked in apple cider for added flavor. For another pull-apart bread, try my Homemade Monkey Bread recipe.
Zucchini Pull-Apart Bread
Pull-apart bread goes by many names, like monkey bread, bubble loaf, sticky bread, and few more. But, whatever you call this bread, it’s so delicious! It is meant to be shareable, but once you ‘pull apart’😉 your own piece, it will be hard not to eat the entire loaf yourself!
You may see a lot of pull-apart bread made in a bundt cake pan, but I made this Zucchini Pull-Apart Bread in a loaf pan. You can really use any pan you have on hand; you just have to watch the bake time to make sure the center is completely cooked.
Zucchini Pull-Apart Bread Recipe
I have broken this recipe down into three parts–the zucchini, the bread dough, and the filling.
Zucchini Ingredients (full recipe below)
- Apple cider or apple juice
- Unsalted butter
- Instant yeast
- Unsalted butter
- Brown sugar
Infusing the Zucchini
Before you make any part of the recipe, you need to peel and chop up your zucchini into small pieces. Make sure that all the seeds have been removed. Place the chopped zucchini in a bowl and cover it with the apple cider or apple juice. Heat that up in the microwave for about a minute. I found that heating up the diced zucchini in the apple cider/apple juice really helped to infuse the zucchini to get as much flavor out of it as possible. Set it aside as you prepare the dough.
Pull-Apart Bread Dough
First, combine the melted butter, milk, water, and vanilla to a bowl. Make sure you are using warm milk and water. Set that aside while you mix together the dry ingredients. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Pour in the melted butter mixture to the dry ingredients. Then, add the eggs, one at a time.
Using the dough hook attachment, knead the dough for about 2 minutes, or until it is soft and smooth. If it seems too dry, add a little flour. If it’s too sticky, add a little flour, but no more than 1/4 cup. Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise for about an hour.
Rolling Out and Filling the Dough
After the dough has had time to rise to double its size, it’s time to roll it out. Gently deflate the dough and place it on a floured work surface. Roll the dough out to about a 12×20-inch rectangle and prepare the filling.
In a small bowl, melt the butter and add the vanilla to the melted butter. Using a pastry brush, spread the butter mixture all over the surface of the dough, getting to every corner. Next, sprinkle the brown sugar on top, followed by the cinnamon. Finally, sprinkle the infused zucchini over it all.
You can see what the dough looks like after I rolled it out and covered it in the melted butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and zucchini bits.
Cutting the Dough
Cut the dough into strips with a long knife. My Wüsthof knife worked amazing for 2 reasons:
- It was long and sharp.
- It was wide enough that I could use it to move the long pieces of dough over to my stack.
Assembling the Zucchini Pull-Apart Bread
After I had cut all the strips I then started stacking them on top of one another. This was indeed a messy process, but with all the cinnamon and sugar making my kitchen smell great, I knew it would be worth the mess. Then, after all the strips were stacked, I cut 3-4 inch sections out of the stack.
Finally, I started setting the sections into the pan making sure that the dough was upright, or stacking horizontally, not vertically. Make sure you grab all the leftover pieces and throw them on top of the bread before baking! Cover the loaf with a clean towel and let it rise again for 30-60 minutes. (I know…more waiting, but it will be worth it!) After the hour, bake the bread for 45-55 minutes, tenting it with aluminum foil after the first 30 minutes.
Can I Make Zucchini Pull-Apart Bread ahead of Time?
Yes! You can make this the night before. Well, some of it! Right after you make the dough you can place it in the fridge overnight. Just remove it and allow it to come to room temperature in the morning, then continue the recipe as directed.
Looking for More Ooey-Gooey Sticky Bread Recipes?
I have never created a more delicious way to use up zucchini! This decadent bread is going to become a classic in your house just like it has in mine!
- 2 medium (about 2 cups) zucchini, peeled and cored (if large) and finely chopped
- 1 cup (239g) apple cider or apple juice
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/3 cup (82g) lukewarm milk
- 1/4 cup (59g) lukewarm water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Peel and finely chop the zucchini into small pieces. If there are any seeds make sure they are removed.
Place the zucchini bits into a medium bowl and cover with apple cider. Place in the microwave for 1 minute and then set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, water, and vanilla extract. (You want the temperature of the ingredients to be warm, at least 105 degrees. If the ingredients are too cool the yeast will not activate. If necessary, put in the microwave for 10 seconds). Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
Add in the melted butter mixture. Then, add the eggs, one at a time.
Using the dough hook attachment, knead until the dough is soft and smooth, about 2 minutes. If it seems too dry add a little water, if it seems too sticky add just a little flour, up to a 1/4 cup.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan. (You can also use a longer/large pan if needed, the bread will simply not be as compact.)
Gently deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
Roll the dough into a 12" x 20" rectangle.
Stir the vanilla into the melted butter.
With a pastry brush, spread the butter mixture over the entire top on the dough.
Carefully and evenly sprinkle the brown sugar over the top.
Sprinkle the cinnamon evenly over the dough.
Add the diced zucchini on top of the cinnamon and sugar.
Cut the dough crosswise into six 3 1/2" x 12" strips.
Stack the strips on top of one another.
Cut the stack into six pieces, about 2" x 3 1/2" each.
Turn the pieces on edge, and place them in the loaf pan one in front of the other from one end of the pan to the other, squeezing them in tight. I sprinkled any pieces of zucchini that had fallen off over the top of the dough after I put it into the pan.
Cover the pan and allow the loaf to rise for 30 to 60 minutes until it's almost doubled in size. While the loaf is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the loaf for 45 to 55 minutes in the center of the oven, tenting it with foil after 30 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven, and transfer it to a rack to cool for 15 to 20 minutes before turning it out of the pan to cool completely.
Recipe adapted from Apple Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread.