Pepperoni Bread- Yum!

My dad always makes this at the holidays to feed the lot of us during those pre-big dinner snacks.  Much to the delight of pretty much everyone who knows me, I’ve recently adopted it as my own. 

Dough: Dad uses the frozen white bread dough you get from the grocery store, while I make it with my own pizza dough.  Half of the Cook’s Illustrated basic pizza recipe, when the whole recipe makes 3 medium pizzas, makes one huge loaf, but any decently sized pizza dough recipe should do fine. 

Other ingredients (this really isn’t a measurin’ recipe; I’ve given some ballpark amounts so you know how much to buy, but use your own judgment)

  • Pepperoni, sliced- about 4 oz.
  • Provolone Cheese, sliced- about 4 oz. 
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil- 1-2 TBS
  • Oregano- sprinkling
  • Grated Hard Cheese, such as Parmesan or Pecorino Romano- around 1 oz.
  • Coarse or Kosher Salt- sprinkling

Process: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare the dough per recipe or package directions through the first rise.  When the rise is complete, punch the dough down on a floured surface and roll into a large square (approx. 12 x 12 inches).  Try to press out most of the air bubbles. 

Barely drizzle the dough with olive oil, leaving 1/2-1 inch border on all sides.  Spread it evenly with a pastry brush. 

Spread the provolone slices over the dough, avoiding the border.  Leave at least 1 inch of dough uncovered on the side closest to you.  Break up the slices to ensure a thorough covering. 

Top the cheese slices with pepperoni slices, covering the cheese completely.  Sprinkle with oregano. 

Beginning at the side furthest from you, roll the dough tightly in a spiral (like a jelly roll or a cinnamon bun).  Pinch the edges and bottom, and ensure that the seam is on the bottom.  Transfer to a pizza stone. 

Allow to rise until puffy and noticeably larger, approximately 20-30 minutes.  Brush very lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle top with grated hard cheese and a pinch of coarse salt. 

Bake 20-30 minutes.  Bread is complete when lightly browned and poofed. 

The bread is best served sliced and slightly warm, although it is excellent at room temperature or even cold.  You should probably avoid slicing it when it is very hot, as tempting as that will be.

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