Vegan garlic pull apart bread - this irresistible vegan garlic bread is super soft, fluffy and perfect for sharing.
It is filled with herby garlic butter, is crisp on the outside, soft on the inside and incredibly moreish!
This vegan garlic pull apart bread is one of the most addictive things to ever come out of my kitchen.
Soft, warm, fluffy bread is filled with a delicious herb garlic butter, and there is no need to slice this bread, just tear it apart to serve!
It is great served alongside things like lasagne and spaghetti bolognese for mopping up the sauce; or for dunking in soup, as part of a buffet, or just on it's own.
I will happily (greedily!) put away half a loaf just as it is, still warm from the oven.
I used the tangzhong method to make the dough, which ensures that it is beautifully soft and fluffy. Don't worry, it's really easy to do!
It is the same method that is used to make my popular vegan Hokkaido milk bread, which loads of people have made and loved.
What Is Tangzhong?:
Tangzhong is basically where you take a portion of the flour and liquid of the recipe and mix them together like a roux, then cook it until it forms a thick, pudding-like texture. This mixture is then cooled and added to the bread dough.
This technique pre-gelatinises the starches in the flour which means that they can absorb more water. In fact, flour will absorb twice as much hot water or milk as it does the lukewarm water or milk you would usually use in yeasted doughs.
Not only does the starch in the flour absorb more liquid; since heating the starch with water creates structure, it is able to hold onto that extra liquid throughout the kneading, baking, and cooling processes. This means that the bread will rise higher due to more water creating more internal steam (which makes bread rise in the oven — along with the carbon dioxide given off by the yeast)
Because the bread retains more water during baking, it will be softer and more moist and stay fresh for longer.
What Do I Need To Make Vegan Garlic Pull Apart Bread?:
Bread flour: White bread flour helps to give this vegan garlic pull apart bread it's soft, fluffy, chewy texture. Plain (all-purpose) flour will also work though the texture isn’t quite the same. I don’t recommend using wholemeal flour as that will make the bread too dense.
Non-dairy milk: Soy milk is always my favourite for baking as it has the highest protein content so most closely resembles dairy milk. Any variety of non-dairy milk will work however, but go for an unsweetened one if you can, and definitely soy milk if you have it.
Instant yeast: I always prefer to use instant yeast when making bread as it can just be added straight to the flour and doesn’t need to be activated first. See below for instructions if you only have active dry yeast.
Sugar: A bit of sugar feeds the yeast to help the dough rise. I use caster sugar, but granulated is also fine, as is coconut sugar if you want to use a 'natural' variety. The sugar should not be swapped for a sugar substitute/sweetener however.
Salt: You simply cannot make good bread without salt. Don’t omit it.
Vegan butter: You need a vegan butter/margarine for both the dough and the filling. While in most cases I only recommend using a block butter for baking, in this case a tub variety is fine as well (but not one of the low-fat ones!). I used Flora Original.
Garlic: Lots of it! I like an intense garlic flavour so I use 8 large cloves of garlic in my filling. You can reduce this to 5 cloves if you want a slightly less in-your-face garlic flavour.
Parsley: You can swap the parsley for any finely chopped fresh herbs you like. Rosemary and thyme would be nice.
Nutritional yeast: This is optional, but adding a bit of nooch to the garlic butter filling gives it a slightly cheesy flavour which works really well.
How To Make Vegan Garlic Pull Apart Bread:
(Full measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the page)
I like to split making this vegan garlic pull apart bread over two days – I make the dough and refrigerate it overnight for it’s first rise. The cold dough is easier to roll out and the slow rise results in a better flavour. You can do it all on the same day if you prefer though.
To make the tangzhong, place the flour in a saucepan and gradually whisk in the milk to avoid lumps.
Place the pan over a medium/low heat and whisk constantly until the mixture has thickened to a paste/pudding-like consistency.
Scrape the tangzhong into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and pour the rest of the cold milk on top. This will cool the tangzhong down so that it doesn't kill the yeast.
Add sugar, salt and flour and finally the yeast. Stir until it forms a rough dough then set the stand mixer to a medium speed and mix until the dough is smooth and stretchy.
Add the softened vegan butter and knead for about another 5 minutes until it is fully incorporated and the dough is smooth, elastic and no longer feels greasy.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and place in the fridge to rise overnight, or in a warm spot for 1-2 hours.
To make the filling, mix together vegan butter, crushed garlic, finely chopped parsley, nutritional yeast and salt. Cover and store in the fridge.
How To Shape The Loaf:
The following day (or once the dough has doubled in size at room temperature), knock back the dough and give it a brief 30 second knead to knock out the air bubbles.
Divide the dough into 12 even pieces and shape each one into a ball.
Roll each ball out on a lightly floured surface into a circle about 10-11.5 cm/4-4.5 inches wide.
Spread a dollop of the garlic butter over the circle then fold it in half like a taco. Repeat with the rest of the balls of dough, using all of the filling.
Arrange the dough pieces folded edge down in a 2lb loaf tin. You will probably have to squish them together a bit to fit them in.
Loosely cover and leave to rise until puffy, about 45-75 minutes.
Gently brush any exposed dough with non-dairy milk then bake for 50 minutes.
As with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scale rather than the cup conversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!
Make sure that your yeast isn't out of date! Old yeast can lead to bread that doesn’t rise.
The amount of flour needed may vary a bit as different brands absorb different amounts of liquid. Start with the quantity given in the recipe and add a little more as needed if the dough is too wet. This is meant to be a soft sticky dough however, so don’t add too much as that will make the bread dry.
You can use any kind of unsweetened non-dairy milk, but soy milk really is best for baking as it has the highest protein content. Oat milk would be my second choice.
The rising time of the dough will vary depending on how warm it is; on hot days it will rise much faster than on cold ones. If you refrigerate the dough for it's first rise, the second rise will take longer than if it's first rise was at room temperature.
If you want, you can give the dough it’s first rise overnight in the fridge rather than at room temperature. This breaks up the workload and gives the bread an even better flavour.
Serve this vegan garlic pull apart bread warm for the best flavour and texture, but let it cool for about half an hour after baking before you dig in.
What Kind Of Yeast?:
I always use instant yeast when I am baking bread as it doesn’t need to be activated in liquid first, you can just add it straight to the flour. I highly recommend buying instant yeast if possible.
If you are only able to get active dry yeast then you can still use it but the method will be a little different.
Use 10g (3 tsp) of active dry yeast. Make the tanghong as directed, but then scrape it into a bowl, cover with clingfilm or greaseproof paper directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and leave to cool to room temperature.
Instead of using cold milk in the dough, it should be lukewarm, NOT hot. You should be able to comfortably hold your finger in it. If it is too hot it will kill the yeast.
Mix the active dry yeast with the lukewarm milk and a pinch of the sugar. Let it sit for 10-20 minutes until it has become bubbly then proceed with the rest of the recipe as written.
How To Speed Up The Rising Time:
If your room temperature is cold and you want to speed up the rising time a bit then you can heat the oven up on it’s lowest temperature for a couple of minutes then switch it off and open the door for 30 seconds to let some of the heat out.
Hold your hand in there for a few seconds to make sure it isn’t too hot. It should feel warm but not hot, like a warm summer day kind of temperature. If it is too hot it will kill the yeast so be careful!
Place the covered dough in the oven and shut the door. If it is a really cold day then you may need to warm the oven up again after a while but I usually find that once is enough.
Alternatively, place a bowl or loaf tin in the bottom of your (cold, switched off) oven and place the covered dough on the middle shelf. Fill the bowl with boiling water and close the oven door. The steam will create a warm environment for the dough to rise.
How To Tell When The Bread Is Baked:
The best way to tell if bread is baked properly is to check the internal temperature with a probe thermometer. It should reach at least 90°C/194°F.
Overbaked bread will be dry and if it is under-baked then you will be eating raw dough, yuck! It is impossible to give a one-size-fits-all baking time as all ovens vary.
I really do recommend investing in a probe thermometer, it is an incredibly handy kitchen tool!
If you don’t have a thermometer then the loaf should sound hollow when you tap it on the bottom or a toothpick inserted into the centre of the loaf should go in and out smoothly with little resistance and come out clean.
How Long Will It Keep?:
This vegan garlic pull apart bread is best on the day it is baked but it will stay soft for a couple of days in an airtight container at room temperature.
It is best if you warm in up a little before serving, either in the oven or microwave.
Can I Freeze This Vegan Garlic Pull Apart Bread?:
Yes, this vegan garlic pull apart bread freezes well, either as a whole loaf or in slices. Allow it to cool completely before freezing and freeze on the day it is baked to preserve freshness.
It should be frozen in an airtight container or well wrapped to protect from freezer burn. Allow it to defrost at room temperature.
Refresh it in a low oven for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Can I Make It Gluten-Free?:
No, I’m afraid that you cannot use gluten free flour. Making gluten free bread is tricky and the entire recipe would need reworking. Gluten free baking is not my area of expertise so I cannot advise you.
It is best to use a recipe that is designed to be gluten free rather than trying to adapt a non gluten free recipe.
More Vegan Bread Recipes:
- Vegan Hokkaido milk bread
- Vegan white sandwich bread
- Vegan brioche
- Vegan challah
- Vegan pesto bread
- Easy flatbreads (vegan, no yeast)
- Vegan beer pretzels
- Vegan pulla bread (cardamom bread)
- Vegan wholemeal sandwich bread
If you tried this recipe let me know how it went! Rate it, leave a comment or tag @domestic_gothess on Instagram and hashtag it #domesticgothess
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Vegan Garlic Pull Apart Bread
- 25 g (scant ¼ cup) white bread flour
- 140 g (½ cup + 4 tsp) unsweetened non-dairy milk (soy is best)
- 160 g (⅔ cup) unsweetened non-dairy milk (soy is best) cold
- 25 g (2 Tbsp) caster or granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 350 g (2 + ¾ cups + 1 Tbsp) white bread flour
- 7 g (2 ¼ tsp) instant yeast
- 30 g (2 Tbsp) vegan butter/spread (I used Flora original)
- 115 g (½ cup) vegan butter/spread (I used Flora original)
- 8 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- ¼ tsp salt
- I like to split making these over two days – I make the dough and refrigerate it overnight for it’s first rise. The cold dough is easier to roll out and the slow rise results in a better flavour. You can do it all on the same day if you prefer though.
- To make the tangzhong, place the flour in a saucepan and gradually whisk in the milk to avoid lumps.
- Place the pan over a medium/low heat and whisk constantly until the mixture has thickened to a paste/pudding-like consistency.
- Scrape the tangzhong into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and pour the rest of the cold milk on top. This will cool the tangzhong down so that the heat doesn’t kill the yeast.
- Add the sugar, salt and flour and finally the yeast. Stir until it forms a rough dough then set the stand mixer to a medium speed and mix until the dough is smooth and stretchy, this can take about 10 minutes.
- Add the vegan butter and knead for about another 5 minutes until it is fully incorporated and the dough is smooth, elastic and no longer feels greasy. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times.
- The dough should still be soft and sticky, but it should pull away from the sides of the bowl cleanly. If it seems too wet then you can knead in a little extra flour, a tablespoon at a time. Be careful though, this is meant to be a soft dough and adding too much extra flour will make the bread dry.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and place in the fridge to rise overnight, or in a warm spot for 1-2 hours, until doubled in size.
- To make the filling, mix together the vegan butter, crushed garlic, finely chopped parsley, nutritional yeast and salt. Cover and store in the fridge until needed. If you have used a non-spreadable variety of butter then make sure you take it out of the fridge about an hour in advance of shaping the loaf so that is has time to soften up.
- The following day (or once the dough has doubled in size at room temperature), knock back the dough and give it a brief 30 second knead to knock out the air bubbles.
- Divide the dough into 12 even pieces and shape each one into a ball.
- Roll each ball out on a lightly floured surface into a circle about 10-11.5 cm/4-4.5 inches wide. They don't need to be exactly round.
- Spread a dollop of the garlic butter over the circle then fold it in half like a taco, encasing the filling. Repeat with the rest of the balls of dough, using all of the filling.
- Grease an approx 11.5 x 21.5 / 8.5 x 4.5 in loaf tin and line with a strip of baking parchment, leaving some overhanging on either side so that you can easily lift the bread out once it is baked.
- Arrange the dough pieces folded edge down in the loaf tin. You will probably have to squish them together a bit to fit them in.
- Loosely cover and leave to rise until puffy, about 45-75 minutes. If you gently press the dough with your finger it should spring back slowly, and maybe leave a slight indentation. If it springs back quickly then it needs a little longer, and if the dough deflates then it is over-prooved so keep an eye on it!
- When the bread is nearly ready, preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4.
- Gently brush any exposed dough with a little milk, then bake the loaf for 50 minutes. It should be deep golden and a probe thermometer inserted into the centre should reach at least 90°C/194°F.* If the top is starting to get too dark before the time is up then you can loosley cover it with tin foil.
- Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then carefully lift it out onto a wire rack and leave to cool for about 30 minutes before serving.
- See post above for tips, details and step-by-step photos. If you have a question I may have already answered it above!
- As with all of my baking recipes I really do recommend using the metric measurements with a digital scale rather than the cup conversions. Cups are a wildly inaccurate measuring system and you will get far better, more consistent results using a scale, not to mention that it is also easier and less messy than cups!
- I find it easier to weigh out the liquid ingredients using my scale, which is why I have given the amounts in grams. The quantity is the same if using a measuring jug (140ml milk for the tangzhong and 160ml for the dough).
- *If you don’t have a thermometer then a toothpick inserted into the centre of the loaf should go in and out smoothly with little resistance and come out clean.