Pepperoni Pizza Bread

This is not only a perfect game day food, but also a food that I grew up with!  My Mom used to make pizza breads often and she always changed them up, which is why I love this recipe.  There are so many fillings you can use and they are interchangeable….even the food itself is called different things.  I’ve seen it called Stromboli,  stuffed bread, and pizza bread…as I’m sure there are other terms for it!    Today I will be blogging about Pepperoni Pizza Bread (which reminds me I have heard it called Pepperoni Bread as well). I don’t really use a specific recipe for amounts, I just wing it on how much stuff I want to fill it with.  Sometimes I’m in a cheesy mood so I’ll put more cheese, sometimes if I’m making it for a larger group with men,  I’ll put more pepperoni.  Some people serve theirs with a side of marinara sauce for dipping, I do not.  But feel free to add some on the side if you’d like.  You can also use any kind of cheese….mozzarella and provolone are the 2 I’ve used with pepperoni.

PEPPERONI PIZZA BREAD

 1 pound of pizza dough — store bought or homemade (make sure it’s at room temp)

Pepperoni (sliced thin from the deli counter)

Shredded Mozzarella (you can use provolone too, I personally like mozzarella in this)

Olive Oil

1 Egg White

Preheat Oven to 375°.

Roll your dough out flat and longer than a round pizza on a WELL floured surface.  Length should fit in a baking sheet.

Grease the baking sheet with a thin coating of olive oil.

Layer pepperoni, leaving an inch or two the whole way around.

Add cheese to the middle of the layer of pepperoni.

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Gently pull up sides and meet at the middle.  Make sure you press down on the fold to nothing seeps out.

Gently pull up the ends and press down firmly so nothing seeps out.  

Lift the entire thing and place it in the center of the baking sheet (I do mine seem side up).  If you don’t think you can do this part (it takes some practice) you can place your dough on the baking sheet prior to layering the pepperoni and cheese and then fold it up.

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Using a pastry brush, brush the entire thing with egg white.  

 Cook for about 25 minutes at 375° or until the top gets golden brown.  

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Let it set and cool for a few minutes, then slice it gently.   AND ENJOY!   Serve plain or with a side of marinara sauce.  

~gianna~

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Homemade Pizza

Joe and I decided to start (or I should say re-start from my childhood) a family tradition!  Making pizza!     Every Friday, when I was growing up was pizza night!  We would sometimes order pizza if we were busy or if my brother’s or I had something going on…or my Mom would make her own!  I can still remember the smell that took over my house on those nights!  It may be the BEST smell in the world!     Sauce, bubbling on the stove, dough being rolled out, cheese being shredded….and then once it was in the oven……Mmmmmmmmmmm

Now that I have my own family and the girls are getting old enough to help out I am excited to start this tradition and have it continue as long as we can!  Friday nights we normally don’t have anything going on aside from swim.  So I usually pull the dough early in the afternoon so it’s room temperature when I’m ready to roll.  I also start the sauce early and let it simmer for a while.   This is when those familiar smells begin to take over my kitchen!   My girls love spreading the sauce and sprinkling (and eating) the cheese and then it starts “Mmmmm…..it smells so good!”  “How much longer?”   “Is it almost ready?”

Approx 20 minutes later…..DING!  It’s done!  Fresh, hot, homemade pizza for my family….and it makes me happy because it’s one meal I know everyone will eat!   Perfect for football Sunday,Super Bowl, or any time you want some pizza!

One important factor that really makes a huge difference in the taste of the pizza is the dough.  I’ve gotten different kinds…frozen, from the bakery, refrigerated….and once I found the perfect dough (local:  Stop N Shop in the bakery..it’s their own dough) I won’t use anything else.  It’s easy to roll and shape and the taste is like none other!  So make sure you try different brands to find a good fit!

Homemade Pizza

Olive Oil

Garlic (minced)

Basil

Sugar

Large can of crushed tomatoes

Pizza dough (2 pounds = enough 2 pizzas)

Parmesan cheese

32oz of mozzarella cheese (shredded) OR I get the chunks and shred it myself!

Bring pizza dough to room temperature.  While waiting…….

Heat 1TBSP of olive oil in a pan.  Add garlic and basil for about 1 minute.  Add can of crushed tomatoes.  You can add any kind of seasonings to it that you’d like…oregano, hot pepper seeds, etc.  (My girls don’t like “brown stuff” in their gravy so I don’t add anything extra!)  Bring to boil and then lower to simmer.  Simmer on low for approx 25-30mins.

Preheat oven to 375° degrees.   While waiting for your gravy….

Using a small amount of olive oil grease your cookie sheets.

Once dough gets to room temp, begin rolling and stretching on well floured counter top until it gets to the size of your cookie sheets and the thickness you like your pizza..  I normally do rectangle cookie sheets, and like my pizza on the thinner side..but not extra thin.    You can use a round pizza pan, you can make your pizza crust thicker..it’s really whatever you like!

Once it’s to the thickness and size you’d like, carefully lift dough and place it on your cookie sheets/pizza pans.

Pinch gently around the perimeter to form a slight crust.

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Using a cheese grater, shred your cheese (if you are going this route).

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Your gravy should be done, or almost done.   Once it’s finished, ladle it on top of your crust and spread it evenly on top.  Make sure you leave some room around the edge for your “handle”.  

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Next sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and then nice handfuls of mozzarella cheese!  Spreading them evenly and using as much as you’d like! 

 Cook pizza in hot oven for approx 20-25 minutes, but keep checking it and cook to however you like it (crispy, well done, doughy, etc).   Normally 20 minutes is good for us, but we have a brand new oven and it really cooks everything evenly.  I know my Mom’s oven doesn’t so she has to cook it for longer and she sometimes rotates them during cooking time!

When you remove it from the oven, let it sit and settle for approx. 5 minutes.

ENJOY!!!

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~gianna~

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