Gluten Free Chocolate Pull-Apart Bread

Gluten Free Chocolate Pull-Apart Bread

This gluten free chocolate pull apart bread is the fun bread everyone’s making—gluten free! Make it chocolate, or a cinnamon-sugar version.

Gluten Free Chocolate Pull-Apart Bread
I used to get emails asking me to make one of those recipes for the now-famous-on-the-Internet pull-apart breads all the time. I kept saying “I will I promise I will.” And then I didn’t.

Because I knew I was working in my mad scientist nerd-o-matic gluten free kitchen on a whole new way of making gluten free bread. I was writing Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread, and it was going to be a gluten free bread revolution if it was the last thing I did!

But it was a looooong process and success was just barely on the horizon. But now that the new book has been out in the world for a solid month (!), it was time. Clearly, it was time.  And oh my was it ever worth the wait.

Gluten Free Chocolate Pull-Apart Bread

Sometimes, a recipe or technique that catches fire on the Internet kind of just leaves me scratching my head. Like, say, Oreos stuffed in … other cookies? I don’t judge those who do it, but I have no desire to join them. Just not my thing.

But pull-apart bread? Made with real, proper honest-to-goodness gluten free yeast bread since, well, we can do that now?

Turns out that this one’s totally legit. It’s like French toast that you serve yourself layer by delicious layer. Warm, toasty, tender bread. And mine is all chocolatey. Trust me—you’re gonna want to make it yours.

Gluten Free Chocolate Pull-Apart Bread

I made mine into chocolate pull-apart bread, but really? You can really sprinkle whatever you like in there.

You can just do cinnamon and sugar, or you can do any of the savory types that are swirling around out there on other blogs. The technique is the same, and it really isn’t difficult at all.

Gluten Free Chocolate Pull-Apart BreadGluten Free Chocolate Pull-Apart Bread

Now I know it can be frustrating making yeast bread dough from Bakes Bread, and then having to wait at least 12 hours before you shape it and bake it. It really does make a difference in the bread and in the shaping (it is much easier to handle and rises much more evenly).

But this particular dough is rather highly enriched, so I tested it both ways—the usual way (letting it rise in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours) and the quicker way (letting it rise until doubled in a warm place). Both worked.

I much preferred the shaping and rising experience the slower way, but who could blame you, really, if you just couldn’t take the waiting.

Gluten Free Chocolate Pull-Apart Bread

Just look at that sugary, chocolatey goodness. It’s made with our gluten free bread flour blend, a revolution in gluten free bread baking.

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 loaf gluten free bread


3 cups (420 g) Gluten Free Bread Flour*, plus more for sprinkling

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 teaspoons (6 g) instant yeast

1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon (3 g) kosher salt

2/3 cup (5 1/3 fluid ounces) warm milk (about 95°F)

2 eggs (120 g, out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

3 tablespoons  (42 g) unsalted butter, melted

2 ounces finely-grated bittersweet chocolate

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar, whisked with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. 1 cup (140 g) Gluten Free Bread Flour, as discussed more fully on pages 8 to 10 of GFOAS Bakes Bread, contains 100 grams Mock Better Batter all purpose gluten free flour (or Better Batter itself) + 25 grams whey protein isolate (I use NOW Foods brand) + 15 grams Expandex modified tapioca starch.
  2. For a calculator that helps you build the flour without math, please see my Gluten Free Flour page.
  3. If you would like to use Ultratex 3 in place of Expandex, please see #6 on my Resources page for instructions.


  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, place the flour, cream of tartar, instant yeast and sugar, and use a handheld whisk to combine well. Add the salt and whisk to combine well. Add the milk, eggs and butter, and mix on low speed with the dough hook until combined. Raise the mixer speed to medium and knead for about 5 minutes. The dough is a lovely, smooth, enriched dough. It climbs up the dough hook during kneading but remains intact and smooth. Spray a silicone spatula lightly with cooking oil spray, and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl or proofing bucket large enough for the dough to rise to double its size, spray the top of the dough with cooking oil spray, and cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap (or the oiled top to your proofing bucket). Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days.**

    **Note: If you prefer, you may make and use this dough on the same day. It will not be as easy to handle, and will not rise as smoothly, however. To use the dough the same day it is made, after making the dough, set the covered dough to rise in a warm, draft-free environment to allow it to rise to double its size (about 1 hour). Once it has doubled, place it in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or until it is chilled. This will make it much easier to handle. Then, continue with the rest of the recipe instructions.

  • Preparing the dough for shaping. On baking day, grease a standard loaf pan (approximately 9-inches x 5-inches) and set it aside. Turn out the chilled dough onto a lightly floured surface and, using the scrape and fold kneading method and using a very light touch, sprinkle the dough with more flour and knead it lightly, sprinkling with flour when necessary to prevent it from sticking, scrape the dough off the floured surface with a floured bench scraper, then fold it over on itself. Repeat scraping and folding until the dough has become smoother. Do not overwork the dough or you will incorporate too much flour and it will not rise properly.

  • Shaping and filling the dough. Divide the dough into equal pieces. Set one piece aside and cover lightly with a tea towel so that it does not dry out. With a floured French rolling pin, roll the remaining half of dough flat into a rectangle until it is about 6-inches x 10-inches, shifting the dough around frequently and sprinkling lightly with more flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Brush the entire surface of the dough with about half of the melted butter from the filling. Sprinkle with half of the grated chocolate, and then half of the cinnamon sugar. Press gently on top to secure the chocolate and cinnamon sugar. Using a very sharp knife or pizza wheel (the wheel works best), slice the rectangle into 3 strips along the 10-inch length. Carefully lift the strips and stack them squarely on top of one another. Slice through all 3 strips in 5 places, making 5 equal stacks of small rectangles, each 3 high. Set the stacks aside. Gather together any of the filling that has fallen off, and set it aside. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough and the remaining filling in the exact same manner.

  • Assemble and bake. Place all of the stacks of dough in the prepared loaf pan, all back to back. The pieces of dough will touch, but will reach across the length of the loaf pan without being too crowded. Sprinkle the top with any filling that fell off during shaping. Cover the dough loosely but securely with an oiled piece of plastic wrap, and set in a warm, draft-free location to rise until doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours, but rising time can vary greatly depending upon your kitchen environment). About 20 minutes before your dough has finished its final rise, preheat your oven to 350°F. Once the dough has finished rising, remove the plastic wrap and place the pan in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until deep golden brown all over (35 to 40 minutes), or until the top of the bread is relatively firm when pressed gently on top. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before running a thin spatula around the edge of the loaf pan and turning out the bread onto a wire rack to finish cooling until no longer hot to the touch. Serve immediately.

  • Adapted from the recipe for Cinnamon Rolls on page 166 of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread. Pull-apart bread concept from Joy the Baker (and the rest of the internets for a couple years now!).



P.S. Still don’t have a copy of Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread? What are you waiting for? ;)

Comments are closed.

  • Judy G Mosesman
    January 20, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    Can this bread be frozen and baked later? If so, at what stage in the preparation can it be frozen?

  • January 18, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    Wow, my sister is going to go nuts for this. We’ve been flipping through your book (which she received for Christmas) trying to decide which recipe to try first, and she was really into the chocolate bread. But she also misses pull-apart bread like crazy. I have a feeling this may be in our near future. (Because, don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate and pull-apart bread, too!)

  • […] Gluten Free on a Shoestring shared Chocolate Pull-Apart Bread […]

  • jswwrites
    January 13, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    Do you buy the 5lb Now Whey Isolate? That seems like it would take forever to use!! I don’t see it in a smaller container… But this looks delicious! We just moved this weekend, and my goal is to be unpacked by the weekend so I can experiment with your new cookbook!

    • January 14, 2014 at 7:40 AM

      I buy a lot more than that, jsw, but I’m the one developing recipes so I go through it lightning fast. It’s not much of a big deal to store, though, at all.

    • Pam
      January 14, 2014 at 12:10 PM

      I found a 1.2 lb size of the Whey Isolate on Amazon. Took a few minutes but I did find it. Now I am just waiting for the UPS girl to bring it today!

  • Abby
    January 13, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    Looks amazing. I pinned it to my GF Pinterest board so I will always have the link back to this recipe.

  • Shruti Nath
    January 13, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    I want to cry! can I cry?
    If someone makes this successfully with an egg replacer / flax eggs / any other substitute…pleeeeaaaaase let me know!

  • Mare Masterson
    January 13, 2014 at 3:14 PM

    In my life, never would have dreamed that there would be chocolate and bread together. First the recipe in the book, and now this one! Oh yes, must be added to my baking list for sure!

  • kclark
    January 13, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    Wow, this looks so good. It could be the perfect teenage girl sleepover breakfast. I am going to try doing the last rise in the fridge over night and then letting it warm up to room temperature before baking. I will report back on how it worked out. I can’t wait to try it!

  • Linda
    January 13, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Nicole, what purpose does the whey protein isolate serve in the recipe? I can’t have dairy of any kind. If I understand what purpose it serves I might be able to figure our a way to substitute something non-dairy and non-soy (my other restriction). Love your recipes! Thanks!

    • January 13, 2014 at 2:10 PM

      Hi, Linda, I address nondairy substitutes on pages 10-11 of my new book pretty extensively (and also discuss at length the function of whey protein isolate – that’s really beyond the scope of this post here!). What I can say here is that, after extensive testing of over a dozen protein powders, I recommend NOW Foods Pea Protein (read the description to be sure it’s pea protein isolate, although that is not in the name) and Growing Naturals Rice Protein Isolate (original Flavor). You will need to increase the liquid content in the recipe to 150% in the dough stage, and bake the bread for about 25% longer than the recipe indicates. For a full explanation of it all, though, I have to refer you to my book!

      • linda
        January 13, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        Thank you Nicole! You’ve convinced me :) I am a “learner” and I like to understand how things work, especially since I have this challenging diet of GF/DF/SF. Can’t have potatoes either, which makes things even more challenging. I have been using pea protein products more and more and really like them. Haven’t buying it as an ingredient though, so I appreciate the heads-up on the brand you like! Anyways, I’m rambling, but I appreciate your information in this blog and like I said at the beginning: you’ve convinced me! I’ll be buying your book after payday January 15th.

  • Jennifer S.
    January 13, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    This looks so great – but I’m still recovering from eating almost a whole pan of the pumpkin cinnamon rolls on New Years day. God love my family but they don’t love bread as much as I do – where did they come from anyway!!! :)

    • January 13, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      Really, Jennifer? *shocking*

      • Jennifer S.
        January 13, 2014 at 2:13 PM

        I know – they prefer pasta over bread. I am definitely the “odd one out”.

  • anna
    January 13, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    I cannot wait to make this! Cinnamon/Chocolate pull apart bread without the raisin!? I am so in. My order of Expandex and other hard to find ingredients is supposed to arrive, hopefully (and finally!), within the next two weeks so i can start making all of the recipes that ive flagged in your new book! Also, seriously considering ordering more proofing buckets and an extra refrigerator to store all of the slow rising doughs im planning on making. Thank you!

    • January 13, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      An extra refrigerator, Anna? Wow! Might I humbly suggest that you … just get the 2 liter proofing buckets because they fit on even the shorter shelves in the refrigerator? I can fit at least 3 buckets + all my regular groceries at any one time. No extra refrig needed. ;)

      • anna
        January 13, 2014 at 12:55 PM

        Hmmm… My proofing buckets are both 6-liter. I mustve glazed right over your 2-liter suggestion :) I can barely fit one bucket in our refrigerator with all of our groceries (just my roommate and i but we eat a lot and our fridge is ancient, aka tiny, ha). Ill have to find the 2-liter buckets. Pretty sure those would be much cheaper than even a hand-me-down fridge. Thanks!

        • January 13, 2014 at 1:04 PM

          Here they are on amazon, anna. Just be sure you purchase the “2 quart” size. They’re really 2 liter, which is just a bit more than 2 quarts, but marked for both liters and quarts. They’re the perfect size for a single recipe! And yes … much cheaper than a new fridge. :)

  • Tracey in WA
    January 13, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    I am not finding the info on Ultratex 3 in the book. Is it the same amount as the Expandex?

    • Erin Lowery Baerwaldt
      January 13, 2014 at 9:44 AM

      Tracey she has a link that she posted right after the ingredients on how to use the Ultratex 3 instead of Expandex. I have it bookmarked now since i wasn’t able to get the Expandex. Different make-up than using Expandex.

    • Mare Masterson
      January 13, 2014 at 3:03 PM
    • Mare Masterson
      January 13, 2014 at 3:07 PM

      Tracey, on her resources page at top, click on it and scroll down to I believe #6.

  • Celine
    January 13, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    This looks absolutely amazing! I will definitely give it a try soon :-) Thanks for your yummy recipes!

    • January 13, 2014 at 9:33 AM

      Thanks, Celine! I won’t lie – it at least as good as it looks. :)

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