Nov 14, 2017

Pull-Apart Dill Bread | #BreadBakers

You will love the flavor of this pull-apart dill bread.

Pull-Apart Dill Bread

With a 2/3 cup of chopped dill per loaf, this bread is loaded with dill flavor.

According to Uri Scheft, the author of the book Breaking Breads: A New World of Israeli Baking, the shape of this bread comes from the island of Djerba, (off the coast of Tunisia) where there is a small Jewish community that has thrived for over two centuries. The dough for this bread is formed into a coil and then snipped with scissors to create a flower, the Djerba version of challah.

Pull-Apart Dill Bread

When I saw photos of this bread in the book, I absolutely had to try it, both because I love dill in bread, and because the shape was so intriguing.

I struggled a little with the shaping of this dough, and didn't quite get the clean cuts that I wanted. This recipe makes enough dough for three one pound loaves, so I tried both cutting the dough rope before coiling the dough and cutting the dough after forming the coil. After baking the bread, I couldn't tell which one was which. All I know is, they were both delicious, and make excellent pull-apart bread. I can assure you I'll continue to practice in order to perfect the perfect Djerba flower.

Pull-Apart Dill Bread

This dill bread is delicious with butter or olive oil. It's also wonderful for dipping in soups and stews, or spread with this smoked salmon paté. I took a loaf to work along with some pesto, and the bread just disappeared.

I shaped the third loaf into two large pieces, and tucked them into a one pound loaf pan so we could use it for toast and sandwiches. It made fabulous avocado toast, BLTs, and grilled cheese.

Pull-Apart Dill Bread

It's still pull-apart bread, right?

However you shape this bread, it's really delicious. It also stays fresh for quite a while, even though it is enriched with butter and yogurt.

The finely chopped raw onion in the dough, which you can't really taste or see, also adds additional moisture to the bread.

  1. I needed quite a bit more water than this recipe calls for to create a soft dough. I added water by the tablespoon until the dough was soft and smooth, but not sticky. 
  2. The instructions call for cutting the dough into 12 pieces before adding the onion and dill. This step really helps incorporate new ingredients into the dough.
This month, the Bread Bakers group is baking pull-apart breads, a theme chosen by our host Kelly of the blog Passion Kneaded. After the recipe, be sure to check out the twenty plus sweet and savory pull-apart bread recipes from the rest of the Bread Bakers.

Yield: 3 one pound loaves

Pull-Apart Dill Bread


  • 180 grams (3/4 cup) water, plus more if needed
  • 12 grams (2 1/2 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 840 grams (6 3/4 cups) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 15 grams (1 tablespoon) fine sea or table salt
  • 180 grams (3/4 cup) plain whole fat or reduced fat yogurt
  • 75 grams (5 tablespoons) unsalted room temperature butter, cut into pieces
  • 50 grams (1 small) finely chopped white or yellow onion
  • 35 grams (2 cups) finely chopped fresh dill
Egg Wash
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Pinch of salt


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the water, yeast, flour, sugar, salt, yogurt, and butter. Mix with the dough hook on low for about two minutes. After two minutes, add more flour or water as needed. Continue to mix on low for three more minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and knead for 5 more minutes. The dough should be smooth and shiny. 
  2. Move the dough to your work surface. Hand knead the dough for two minutes by stretching it out until it tears and folding it over itself. 
  3. Cut the dough into 12 pieces and add them back into the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the onion and dill, and knead with the dough hook on low for about one to three minutes, until everything is incorporated. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead by hand for about 30 seconds. 
  4. Place the dough into an oiled bowl or container, cover, and let rise until doubled, about an hour. 
  5. Divide the risen dough into three pieces. Deflate each piece and press them into 9 inch by 5 inch rectangles. Cover two of the pieces with a damp towel or oiled plastic wrap while you are working with the first piece. 
  6. To shape the dough into a long rope, fold the dough into a cylinder, roll it back and forth with your hands, and then flatten it again. Continue to fold, roll, and flatten the dough until you have a 40 inch long rope. If the dough resists, cover it, and let it rest for 15 minutes so the gluten can relax. 
  7. Using scissors, cut the rope at one-inch intervals 3/4 the way through the dough. On a parchment lined baking sheet, coil the dough around into spiral shape, with the cut sides out. Alternatively, shape the dough into the coil, and then cut the dough at one-inch intervals. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Arrange the dough segments in each coil as best you can to separate them and make them pretty. 
  8. Cover the shaped dough with oiled plastic wrap or damp towels and let rise for 90 to 120 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and set it up with a steam pan on the lowest rack. Bring one cup of water to a boil. 
  9. Whisk together the egg wash and brush it on the the loaves just before baking. 
  10. Place the sheet pan with the loaves in the oven and add the water to the steam pan. Quickly close the oven door, and bake the loaves for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. If using a loaf pan, the baking time might be about 5 minutes longer. 
  11. Cool the loaves on a wire rack. 

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Pull-Apart Dill Bread


  1. Hello Karen, I can imagine the lovely flavour of bread. The shaping bit sounds interesting and you have done a good job. I loved the speckled look of the bread.

    1. Thanks so much Namita! Next time I might just make dinner rolls. =)

  2. oh, this would be amazing for Thanksgiving! Do you think I could make it the day before and still serve it with pride? We have our grad students over for TXG this year and I really want to make it special... did you know we have not been home for TXG for about 4 years in a row? My favorite cooking holiday.... I am so looking forward to next week...

    1. How fun!!

      You definitely can make this bread the day before. If you want less stress, you can shape the dough into dinner rolls and nestle them against each other in cake pans or a casserole. I can't wait to hear!

  3. Thanks for introducing this new bread! I love dill to and love it in bread. When I was in pastry school we used to make a bread with dill & cottage cheese that was my favorite. Beautiful work, as always.

    1. I think I might have a dill and cottage cheese bread on this blog!

      Thank you so much Eileen!

  4. That bread looks amazing. I never think to use dill but love it and how versatile this bread is.

  5. I love the dill in this. It would be a perfect accompaniment for a Greek themed meal.

  6. Yumm, yumm!! I've never tried adding dill to bread and it sounds absolutely delicious.

  7. I will have to check the book. You bread is looking Exquisite!!

  8. I like the speckled look! As for the method you have described I will love to try.

    1. Thank you Archana! I loved the speckled look too.

  9. Whether you managed to shape it well or not, the bread still looks so beautiful. I love adding dill to bread... have tried it with pumpkin bread and its delicious.

  10. Your bread is gorgeous, so soft, fluffy and light. Love the dill in this bread.

  11. Fantastic bread, and LOVED the onion-dill combo! Plus it's also versatile, you can use different herbs as well, you can try it with olives...the possibilities are endless!
    M-m-mmm! Thank you so much Karen!

    1. Olives sound wonderful, and, yes, you could definitely play around with the herbs.


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