Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pepperoni Bread

My Pre-Op appointment yesterday went good.  I was very happy to find out that I won't be in a cast and just a heavy-duty brace.  Hopefully this means that after this week I can return to baking and keep you guys entertained - because let's be honest, me baking with a brace after surgery, something is bound to go wrong.  So before I go off to the hospital for what I hope is my last surgery in this never ending saga, I wanted to put up my last post for the week.  I hope to have a great remainder of the week, and even celebrate my birthday tomorrow as well, and get back into the kitchen sometime next week. 

When one of my cousins was down for a visit she was talking about Pepperoni Bread and ever since then Ween has been asking for me to make it.  So as part of my final day of baking for a while, I made her request.  I even made the dough - which is amazing. It's really easy to make pizza dough.  And now that I've made my own, I will never go back to store bought.  Plus whatever you don't use you can wrap and freeze.  It's good in a freezer for up to 2 months. 

First up, I made the dough.  It came together quickly and the thing that takes the most time is for it to raise.  But once it's doubled in size, you get to roll it out into 2 portions and then make them into balls and let them rest again for up to 30 minutes.  Then it finally comes - time to roll out the dough and make the bread!  And seriously, this couldn't be any easier.  You can use store bought dough if you like or if you're short on time.  Once rolled out to the proper shape, you get to fill it up with the toppings. 

Pepperoni and cheese
A line of ingredients down the middle, then you fold over 1/3 of the dough and cover the top of that with more ingredients.

looking good
Then fold over the top and tuck the ends underneath.  Repeat with other ball of dough if you are making 2 - and let's face it, this is that good that you will want to make both.  Once both are ready to go place on a pan and make 4-5 slits along the top to allow bread to vent while baking.  Brush some melted butter over the tops......

all ready to go
.....and then into the oven they go!  Shortly afterwards they come out all golden brown.

why hello
Let it cool a little and then you can eat this wonderfulness of bread.

I mean really, you can fill the middle with whatever you want - it will work with anything.  Quick and easy bread that is sure to be a hit with everyone.  Let's just say when I told Ween what I made her she got really excited about it and couldn't wait to get home to try some of it. 

Pizza Dough

1/2 cup warm water
1 envelope instant yeast
1 1/4 cups room temperature water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tsp salt
olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the bowl

  1. 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.
  2. 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 1/2 - 2 hours.  Press the dough to deflate it.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Pepperoni Bread

shredded mozzarella cheese
sliced pepperoni
1 tbsp melted butter

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. Dust a clean work surface with flour.  Roll out dough into a long oblong shape, about 12-14" long and about 8" wide.
  3. Visually divide the dough into thirds long-ways.  Down the center third of the dough sprinkle the cheese and pepperoni.  Fold one side of the exposed dough over the stuffed center.  Repeat a layer with the remaining cheese 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.
  4. Place dough on a pan lined with parchment paper. 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.  
  5. Place pan into the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes until nicely browned.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Cut into pieces. 

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