This Pull-Apart Oat Bread recipe has been sponsored by Mornflake. The recipe and opinions in this post are entirely mine.
Oats (in just about every size, shape and form), and bread (in just about every size, shape and form), are possibly my two most favorite things on Earth. Give me a bowl of yogurt and granola, or a basket of bread with salted butter, and I’ll be the happiest camper on the planet.
Therefore, when I received a box of oats from the (awesome) folks at Mornflake, the first thing I did -after joyously clapping my hands like a seal, of course- was make myself a batch of fresh, pull-apart oat bread.
With Ramadan right around the corner, I wanted to incorporate my treasure chest of oats into recipes that are popular during Ramadan, regardless of whether or not those recipes traditionally call for oats. I grew up in Saudi Arabia, where pull-apart cheesy bread is a common and standard tea-time accompaniment all year round, but an especially popular item on the Iftar table during Ramadan. Each little pillow of dough is stuffed with a cube of firm white cheese (mozzarella, halloumi, or Kiri), because there is no such thing as “too much cheese” or “too many olives” in the Middle Eastern vocabulary.
Whether you choose to stuff the bread with or deprive your inner child of the joy of warm stringy cheese, is entirely up to you and your conscience, but neither option should stop you from making the bread a little healthier. Substituting some of the all-purpose flour with some whole-wheat and some Mornflake Superfast Oats instead not only makes the bread healthier, but also adds more depth of flavor and texture. Throw in some flaxseed, and these little bad boys go to a whole new level.
Despite it’s popularity in Saudi Arabia, this recipe surely isn’t a traditional Arab one and has probably made it’s way to Arab kitchens through Western inspiration. Food and cuisine are ever-evolving though, so I decided to reincorporate some traditional Arab flavors into this recipe, and make pull-apart oat bread with cheese, olives, fresh zaatar kneaded into the dough, and a zaatar spice dipping sauce. If you can’t find fresh zaatar, you can swap it with cilantro, basil, dill, or just about any fragrant herb you fancy, really.
You can place the dough balls close to (but not touching) for a pull-apart bread, or you can space them a little more if you want to make dinner rolls instead. This recipe works both ways.