How to make a pull-apart Christmas tree
Pull-aparts are a party food favourite. You can serve them either hot from the oven or make them ahead of time to reheat and they’re just as delicious. There are all sorts of pull-aparts made from layers of bread slices to whole baked loaves and even small dinner rolls. One of the best ways to create an easy pull-apart is to use a scroll shape like in this super fun Christmas tree recipe.
Prep time: 20 Min, Plus 30 Min Proving Time
Cook time: 30 Minutes
Makes: 16 scrolls
- 3 cups (450g) plain flour
- 2 teaspoons (7g) dry instant yeast
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup (250ml) lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
CHEESE AND ONION FILLING
- 60g butter, melted
- 1 ½ tablespoons garlic salt
- 2 ½ cups (300g) grated mozzarella
- ⅓ cup (35g) grated parmesan
- 150g jar Rosella White Cocktail Onions, drained
- 150g jar Rosella Green Cocktail Onions, drained
- 150g jar Rosella Cocktail Red Onions, drained
- To make the dough, combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
- Add water and oil.
- Stir to form a soft dough.
- Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
- Set aside, covered, for 30 minutes while making the filling
CHEESE AND ONION FILLING
- Meanwhile, combine melted butter and garlic salt
- Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C (fan-forced). Line a large baking tray with baking paper
- Punch down dough and roll out to a 40cm x 30cm rectangle. Brush dough with melted butter mixture, scatter over mozzarella and parmesan
- Coarsely chop ⅓ cup of the white cocktail onions and scatter over the cheese
- Halve 15 green and 15 red cocktail onions and sprinkle over the top. Roll up dough tightly to form a 40cm log. Cut into 16 scrolls. Arrange 15 scrolls into a triangle shape on prepared baking tray. Add last scroll as the tree trunk
- Bake 30-35 minutes, or until golden. Brush with remaining butter while it is still hot. Serve warm, topped with extra cocktail onions
Save the recipe to your myfoodbook cookbooks here: Pull-apart Cheese and Onion Christmas Tree
What dough is best for pull-aparts?
A basic pizza dough is a great base to use. Your dough should be firm enough to hold its shaped when rolled into scrolls, but soft enough that it’s easy to handle. Pizza dough is an easy and quick dough to make, and it has a neutral flavour that you can easily add your own flavours to.
If you’re short on time, use store-bought pizza dough from the supermarket. These come in 150g balls, so you will need 3 or 4 balls. Bring dough to room temperature and reroll into one large dough ball. Set aside to rise, then continue with the recipe.
Why do I need to use two cheeses?
Cheese is essential in a pull-apart, preferably one that will create those stretchy, cheesy cords as you break it apart. Mozzarella is the perfect cheese for deliciously oozy cheese strands, but it has a very mild flavour. This is where parmesan comes in to give that punchy, cheesy savouriness without overloading on salt. You can also use a grated cheese blend, such as pizza cheese.
What does brushing the dough with butter do?
Butter ensures your scrolls will bake up beautifully golden and it will also give them great flavour. Brushing the scrolls with more butter after baking will make them extra shiny and appetising.
What else can you add for flavour?
This pull-apart already has a tasty cheese and onion flavour. The salty cheese works perfectly with the tangy bite from the onions, and the garlic salt adds extra depth of flavour.
If you do want to add more herbs or spices, try sprinkling over a teaspoon or two of Italian herbs or Mexican spice mix. You can also use fresh garlic instead of garlic salt for a more intense garlic flavour. Crush 2-3 cloves and add to melted butter along with a teaspoon of salt.
Why won’t my dough roll out?
If your dough keeps springing back when you roll it out, it needs to be rested for longer. Cover and let it sit for another 5-10 minutes or until the gluten relaxes and it rolls out easily.
How do you stop the dough sticking to the counter?
Make sure all your surfaces are lightly floured. Sprinkle about one tablespoon of flour over your work surface, just enough so the dough doesn’t stick. It’s also a good idea to lightly flour your hands and the rolling pin. When you’re rolling out your dough, make sure to turn and lift it every now and then to stop it sticking.
If your dough is very soft and sticking to everything, it may be too wet. Add an extra tablespoon of flour at a time and knead it in thoroughly until the dough no longer sticky but it’s still soft. Let rest again before rolling it out.
Can you make the pull apart Christmas tree in advance?
Yes. There are a few ways you can make this ahead.
- Make the dough up to two days ahead and refrigerate. Make sure to cover it well with cling wrap so it doesn’t dry out. Bring to room temperature before rolling out, filling and cutting into scrolls.
- Make the scrolls and position them in a tree shape on a baking tray the day before you want to bake them. Cover well and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before baking.
- Make and bake the tree, cool completely, cover and refrigerate. Warm it up in a 150°C oven for 10-15 minutes, or until warm in the centre. Brush with melted garlic butter and scatter with cocktail onions just before serving.
More Christmas recipes
Even if you’re the kind of family that argues over having a real or fake Christmas tree, everyone will agree this edible variety is a winner. For more easy Christmas entertaining ideas, check out the recipes below!
Bejewel your Christmas table with these easy devilled eggs, a classic appetiser for any occasion.
After the appetisers comes the main event, and this stuffed roast pork with crispy crackling is a stunning Christmas main that will wow the family.
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