Recipe courtesy of Erin Jeanne McDowell

Spicy Harissa Pull-Apart Bread

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 20 min (includes rising time)
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Harissa, a fiery Tunisian spice paste, gives this easy pull-apart bread a kick of heat. It starts with refrigerated pizza dough, followed by a layer of cream cheese, parsley and harissa. The dough is cut into squares, folded in half and lined up in a loaf pan. After baking, just pull off a piece and get to snacking!



  1. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with the butter.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese for 1 minute. Scrape the bowl well. Add the harissa, parsley, lemon zest, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper and mix until well combined.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, unroll the pizza dough and press both pieces together to form one large piece of dough. With a rolling pin, roll out to 1/4 inch thick. You should end up with a 16-by-16-inch square.
  4. Dollop the harissa mixture all over the dough and spread into an even layer. Cut the dough into four 4-inch-wide strips, then cut crosswise to create sixteen 4-by-4-inch squares. Working one at a time, fold a piece of dough in half. Place the rounded/folded side in the base of the pan, with the filling side facing up. Continue to fold and place dough in the pan until the pan is full.
  5. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until puffy, 45 to 60 minutes. Towards the end of rise time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon water to combine. Gently brush the egg wash over the surface of the dough and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds.
  7. Bake until the bread is golden brown and the thickest part of the dough registers 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around the outside edge to loosen the bread, then remove it from the pan. Serve warm.