Pull-Apart Garlic Rolls Recipe

Updated on March 7, 2020
WordPlay profile image

I'm a long-time cook and a fairly new vegan. The combination has caused me to explore new culinary territory and learn a lot along the way.

This garlic roll recipe sprang from my love of cast iron cooking married with my desire to create new vegan recipes. But you don't have to be a vegan to enjoy them—and they don't have to be made in a cast iron pan. They could be made in a round or even square baking dish instead. Whatever you make them in, the idea is that you bring the pan to the table and let people pull the rolls apart themselves. Or like me, just stand at the stove and eat most of them right after they come out of the oven.

I used pre-made pizza dough from my grocery store to make this recipe. Most pizza dough is automatically vegan but check the ingredients of the dough you plan to buy, just in case.

You could make your own dough but purchasing it fresh from the store makes this recipe so much easier. The instructions below are for using purchased dough.

9 stars from 1 rating of Pull-Apart Garlic Rolls


  • 16 oz. pre-made pizza dough, purchased or homemade
  • Approximately 25 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried minced garlic or garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil or other oil, plus enough to put in the pan to brown the garlic
  • A 10-1/4" cast iron pan or equivalent sized round or square baking dish

Cooking Time

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 1 hour 20 min
Yields: Makes approximately 35 rolls


1. Let the Dough Rise

Take the dough out of the fridge before you begin to let the dough rise a bit while you prepare the other ingredients.

Pre-made pizza dough from the grocery store or Whole Foods is surprisingly good and makes preparation of this recipe go much faster
Pre-made pizza dough from the grocery store or Whole Foods is surprisingly good and makes preparation of this recipe go much faster

2. Slice the Garlic

I used 25 cloves of garlic but you can use fewer if you want. Or, you can use 25 cloves but eliminate the garlic powder. It all depends on how much you like garlic. I happen to love it.

Slice off the sharp end of the garlic where it connects to the plant and then slice each clove into four to six vertical slices, as shown below. (Mine look pretty shiny because I store my garlic in oil in plastic bags in the freezer.)

Vertically sliced garlic cloves
Vertically sliced garlic cloves

3. Brown the Garlic

This is where using a cast iron pan is an advantage: it browns garlic perfectly.

Add enough avocado oil (one of the healthiest oils, IMHO) or whatever oil you prefer to cover the bottom of the pan with a thin layer.

Add the garlic slices and then brown them and set them aside. Keep in mind that cast iron pans retain heat, so if you use one, don't brown the garlic too much before you turn off the heat and take the pan off the stove.

We're looking for a light golden brown color for this recipe. See the cloves in the middle of the photo below for about the color they should be when you stop the browning.

TIP: Garlic is best when heated slowly. If you do it too quickly, it will turn dark brown, lose all its nuances and taste bitter.

Garlic slices browning slowly in a cast iron pan
Garlic slices browning slowly in a cast iron pan

4. Divide the Dough Into Four Strips

Use a knife to divide the pizza dough roughly into four pieces as shown below.

Packaged fresh pizza dough divided into four strips
Packaged fresh pizza dough divided into four strips

5. Stretch the Dough, Cut It and Roll It into Balls

You get to play with your food a bit here while you stretch the four pieces out as far as they'll go without breaking. Once you've done that, cut them into pieces that will result in approximately 1 1/4" balls after you roll them in your hands.

We're not looking for perfection here. Just get them approximately round and that will be fine.

Nine of the approximately 35 dough balls that 16 oz. of pizza dough will yield
Nine of the approximately 35 dough balls that 16 oz. of pizza dough will yield

6. Preheat the Oven to 350 Degrees F

7. Mix the Oil, Salt, Minced or Powdered Garlic and Browned Fresh Garlic

Add the 1/4 cup oil, 1 tsp. granulated or powdered garlic, the browned fresh garlic and 1/4 tsp. salt (optional) to a large bowl. Mix well.

I used minced garlic with parsley in it, which is why you see green flecks in the photo below.

This admittedly looks a little gross, but it's the oil, salt and garlic mixture that will give your rolls their flavor
This admittedly looks a little gross, but it's the oil, salt and garlic mixture that will give your rolls their flavor

8. Coat the Dough Balls and Put Them in the Pan

Roll the dough balls in the oil mixture and place them in the pan or baking dish. Start from the inside of the pan and work your way out, with each of the dough balls touching.

Tip 1: Put the browned garlic underneath and between each of the dough balls, so the flavor soaks into the dough while they cook. I made the mistake of putting some of the garlic on top of the rolls when I made this batch. It got too brown and bitter-tasting, so I ended up pulling it off after the rolls came out of the oven.

Tip 2: You can also provide a little extra rising time once you put the dough balls into the pan. Depending on the dough you use, the rolls might rise even more if you let them sit another 15 minutes or so while in the pan. If you let them rise until they stop, you'll have amazingly fluffy rolls.

Optional: If you'd like, you can pour any remaining oil mixture over the dough balls in the pan. Most of it will just be absorbed, delivering extra flavor.

Here are the finished rolls, ready to pop into the oven | See TIP 1 above about not putting the garlic on top though
Here are the finished rolls, ready to pop into the oven | See TIP 1 above about not putting the garlic on top though

9. Cook the Rolls at 350 Degrees F

Cook the rolls for 15 minutes and then turn off your oven and leave the rolls in for another five minutes with the oven off.

Ovens vary, so this timing might be somewhat different in yours.

10. Tear Them Apart and Enjoy!

Please leave me a comment if you make these! I would love to know about your experience with them.

© 2018 Carla Chadwick


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    • WordPlay profile imageAUTHOR

      Carla Chadwick 

      2 years ago from Georgia

      Mmm, chocolate in between would be amazing in this recipe--once the garlic is removed, that is. LOL Thanks for your comment, Dred.

    • dredcuan profile image

      Travel Chef 

      2 years ago from Manila

      I love making pull apart breads at home. As this recipe may come up with different variations. Actually, the last time I've made one is chocolate flavored. It was so delicious as I stuffs each pieces of bread with a small block of dark chocolate inside. Eating the bread straight from the oven makes it looks like just a lava cake.


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