It’s no surprise that we’re big fans of pizza but there are some nights where homemade pizza just takes a little too long to make. However, when you’ve got that hankering for cheese and bread, you might consider making a pizza bread…or stromboli…or pizza pop…or pizza roll…or however you want to call it. The first time we made this pepperoni bread a few weeks ago, we used the pizza dough that Annie introduced me to. I made a full recipe and split the dough in half, using one half for pizza and freezing the other half, which ended up being used for this bread. The dough was seriously fantastic when we used it for the pizza so I knew it would be perfect for this bread as well.
There really is no set recipe for what to put in pizza bread. We used pepperoni, mozzarella and provolone because it’s what we had on hand. You could use any variety of veggies: spinach, broccoli, artichokes, asparagus, zucchini, etc. The cheeses are pretty standard: mozzarella is a given but you don’t have to use provolone and you could absolutely add some ricotta. Meats are your choice as well: pepperoni, ham (Italian or otherwise), salami, prosciutto. If you want to move away from the Italian aspect, you could use an herbed goat cheese, gruyere, swiss cheese, brie, sliced turkey…basically, the possibilities are endless! The only thing I recommend about this bread is that you don’t skip the melted butter step at the end. The butter gives the crust a wonderful flavor that complements the salty insides wonderfully. The dough recipe not only works perfectly with pizza but also beautifully with this bread and I’ve decided to make this my go-to homemade pizza dough recipe from here on out. Now there’s a reason to keep eating pizza. Not that we need one. Oh and P.S. – you might want to have your cholesterol medicine on hand if you’re going to make the recipe below as we made it.
Basic Pizza Dough
- ½ cup warm water (about 110°)
- 1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast
- 1 ¼ cups water, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 ½ tsp. salt
- olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the bowl
- Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
- Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed. Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms. Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate it.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form both pieces of dough into smooth, round balls and cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.
- Use both halves of the dough or wrap one half tightly in plastic wrap and place in plastic zipper bag. Freeze for up to 2 months.
source: Smells Like Home; Makes 1 bread, serves 3-4
- 4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2-4 oz sliced provolone cheese
- 1/2 cup sliced pepperoni
- Parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
- pizza seasoning (recommended: Penzey’s) – optional
- 1/2 of the above dough recipe or store bought pizza dough
- Preheat a pizza stone in a 500 degrees F oven for 20-30 minutes.
- Dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll out dough into a long oblong shape, about 12-14 inches long and about 8 inches wide.
- Visually divide the dough into thirds long-ways. Down the center third of the dough sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese, place half of the provolone, sprinkle with oregano and Parmesan cheese and layer half of the pepperoni. Fold one side of the exposed dough over the stuffed center. Repeat a layer with the remaining cheeses, oregano, and pepperoni on top of the dough half that covered the first layer. Fold the remaining 1/3 of the dough over the stuffed area and wrap it under the log. Wrap the ends under the log as well.
- With a sharp knife, make 4- 5 slits on the diagonal into the top of the dough to allow the bread to vent while it cooks. Using a pastry brush, brush melted butter over the top of the bread and down the sides. Sprinkle with pizza seasoning.
- When the stone has heated, carefully remove it from the oven and sprinkle it with cornmeal. Place bread on the cornmealed stone and bake for 12-14 minutes until nicely browned. Remove the stone from the oven and allow the bread to cool on the stone for 5 minutes. Cut into pieces using a pizza cutter.