Turmeric and Garlic Pull Apart Bread#BreadBakers

June 12, 2018mayurisjikoni



When Mireille who blogs at Schizo Chef suggested the above theme, I couldn’t see beyond  beetroot. I wanted to bake a bread with beetroot puree. However, that didn’t happen as twice during my trip to the market I forgot to buy beetroots.

Staying in Mombasa has its few perks amongst the many disadvantages, one of them being that vegetable and fruit sellers come to my doorstep. Two wonderful ladies who balance heavy plastic basins filled with vegetables and fruits on their heads, have a medium size basin full, tucked in between the arm and chest and a full kikapu (baskets made from dried palm leaves) carried in their other hand come practically everyday. They both sell seasonal fruits and vegetables to earn a living. They are at the wholesale market by 5a.m. when the trucks come in, buy their daily stock and make their way to our area, hoping to sell everything before noon. I hope one day they will allow me to take a photo of them. I buy some fruits and vegetables from them so that they can feed their families, they do me a favor by getting whatever is available whenever I request.  I asked one of them to buy beetroots for me and she too kept on forgetting to buy them. So I think these were signs that the beetroot bread has to wait.

As I was cooking lunch, I was waiting for the oil to get hot and was just staring at my  masala tin (spice tin) when it struck me that I can use turmeric. Yes that golden superpower packed humble spice.  Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and as a medicinal herb. It is believed that it has the power to reverse and fight many diseases. It is curcumin, the main component of turmeric that helps to fight so many diseases.

Why its good to include turmeric in your daily diet?

  • lowers risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • is a powerful antioxidant and therefore helps to fight cancer causing free radicals
  • potent anti inflammatory, making it a useful herb to reduce rheumatoid arthritis symptoms
  • also helps to relieve osteo arthritic pain
  • helps digestion and relieves heartburn
  • accelerates metabolism
  • good for the skin
  • prevents blood clots
  • helps to lower blood sugar
  • acts like an antiseptic
  • helps to get rid of cough

Cooking with turmeric naturally turns any dish into a lovely yellow color, from light to dark depending on the amount used. It is believed using fresh turmeric is the best but that is not convenient in our daily cooking. So the next best option is powdered turmeric, also known as haldi in Hindi or hardar in Gujarati.

I was glad I baked this beautiful golden loaf. When added to food, turmeric really doesn’t impart a distinct flavor like other spices do.Its when you add it to hot milk or water that you can get the actual taste of turneric. It was the added garlic and cumin seeds that made this bread so flavorful. As to the shape of the loaf, when it comes to calculations I’m really really bad. As soon as numbers appear before me, I get a mental block of some kind. Hence the uneven stacks and the shape of the loaf. The width of each strip was supposed to be just a little smaller than the width of the tin.  Measure tape, ruler and all, still messed it up and hence the misshaped loaf. Can I call it artisanal?;)

turmeric and garlic pull apart bread 2

turmeric and garlic pull apart bread 1

turmeric and garlic pull apart bread 3

turmeric and garlic pull apart bread 5

turmeric and garlic pull apart bread 4


1 loaf

For the bread dough:

3½ cups plain flour (all purpose flour)

1¼ cup warm water

2¼ tsp instant active dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

¾ – 1 tsp turmeric powder

1½ tsp salt

2 tbsp oil/butter

For the filling:

¼ cup soft butter

½ cup chopped fresh coriander

1-2 green chilis, finely chopped

5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

extra flour for dusting

extra butter for greasing

Preparation of the dough:

  1. Mix flour, turmeric powder, cumin seeds, salt, sugar and yeast in a big bowl.
  2. Add 1 tbsp oil or butter and rub into the flour.
  3. Add warm water and bring the flour together into a dough.
  4. Dust the worktop with some flour.
  5. Tip the dough out of the bowl onto the worktop.
  6. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes till it becomes soft and smooth.
  7. Shape it into a round ball.
  8. Rub the remaining oil or butter onto the dough and the bowl.
  9. Place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel, lid or cling film.
  10. Let the dough rise for about 1½ hours or till its double the size.

Preparation of the filling:

  1. Mix coriander, butter, garlic and chili together in a small bowl. If you are using unsalted butter then you will need to add some salt too.

Shaping and baking the bread:

  1. Grease a 9″ X 5″ loaf tin with some butter.
  2. Knead the risen dough gently and shape it into a ball.
  3. Roll it out into a rectangle of 12″ X 18″.
  4. Smear the rectangle with the butter mixture.
  5. Using a pizza cutter, cut into 5 strips, vertically.
  6. Stack them up one on top of the other.
  7. Cut that stacked strip into 6 parts horizontally.
  8. Carefully arrange the stacks in the loaf tin, each one should be stacked vertically.
  9. Let the loaf rise for 30-40 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  11. Place the loaf tin on the middle shelf and bake for 30-35 minutes till the top is light golden brown in colour.
  12. Remove the tin from the oven. Let it cool down for 10-15 minutes.
  13. Carefully run a spatula or knife around the edges of the tin and carefully remove the bread by inverting the tin onto the wire rack.
  14. Place a plate or board on top and invert the whole thing, plate, bread and wire rack.
  15. Serve warm with some soup, salad or as an accompaniment to a meal.


  • The color of the bread will depend on the brand of turmeric. Remember as the dough will rest, the colour will become intense. Best to buy good quality turmeric powder.
  • I used 6 cloves of garlic as we love garlic. You can reduce the amount and also avoid adding green chilis.
  • Its best to serve the  bread warm. If any is left, wrap it up and leave in the fridge and warm it up before serving.

Check out other naturally colorful breads that fellow Bread Bakers have baked:


Sending this recipe to the following event:


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.



  • Stacy

    June 12, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    Absolutely call it artisanal! It is gorgeous, Mayuri, and if you hadn’t said anything, I’d have assumed you meant for it to be uneven since it’s handmade. How blessed you are to have the market ladies coming round! I’m jealous.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 13, 2018 at 9:58 pm

      Thank you Stacy… and I envy you as you have the biggest supermarkets ever and such a clean environment to live in. Oh well, we make the bast of where we are.

  • Kalyani

    June 12, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    What a stunning idea to use turmeric , Mayuri 🙂 This loaf looks gorgeous ! We love pull apart breads and Garlic too 🙂 I too had beetroot bread stuck in my head for a long time till I cudnt procure any ! Yes , guess sometime we need to stop and read the signs 😊

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 13, 2018 at 9:56 pm

      Thanks Kalyani. But beetroot bread will be made one day 🙂

  • Karen

    June 12, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    Such a beautiful loaf! I’ve made a couple of breads with turmeric, and have loved the results. Your pull apart loaf sounds amazing.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 13, 2018 at 9:51 pm

      Thank you Karen, one style of pull apart bread ticked off the list. One can’t go wrong with garlic butter.

  • sneha datar

    June 25, 2018 at 8:47 am

    I love that vibrant color of turmeric in this pull apart bread.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 25, 2018 at 10:21 pm

      Thank you Sneha.

  • Annapurnaz

    June 28, 2018 at 5:35 am

    Yes, you can very well call it artisanal. In fact the color and unusual shape of loaf attracted me the most

    1. mayurisjikoni

      June 29, 2018 at 7:59 pm

      Thanks a lot.

  • vasusvegkitchen

    April 14, 2020 at 5:43 am

    Turmeric and garlic pull apart bread looks very delicious di, I never tasted this kind of bread. Can feel the flavours of garlic while baking, loved the texture too di, amazing baking.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      April 14, 2020 at 6:01 pm

      Thanks Aruna, it does taste really good and yes garlic baking is aromatic.

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