Monday, November 12, 2012

Pepperoni bread



Imagine cinnamon swirl bread, only instead of a cinnamon swirl, it's a savory gyre of salty pepperoni and cheese.

That sounds pretty good!

This pepperoni bread uses a basic bread dough: slightly sweet, nice and crumby. But rather than baking it into a loaf, you spread it out, pile on the pepperoni and cheese, roll it up and bake it.

First: make the bread dough.

Basic bread dough
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
3 1/2-4 cups all purpose flour
dash salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/2 stick butter, melted, plus more for brushing

Heat milk in microwave for about a minute. Stir in yeast and 2 Tbsp sugar. Leave for about 5 minutes while you prep the other ingredients.

In a large bowl, measure the flour, salt, and 1/2 cup sugar. When the yeast mixture is foamy and yeast is dissolved, pour into bowl with flour. Add egg and melted butter.

Stir with a wooden spoon until it comes together in a dough ball, adding more flour by 1/4 cup if too sticky. (It should be soft, but shouldn't stick to your hands.) Knead a few times - it should be nice and elastic. Cover the bowl with saran wrap or a dish towel and leave for about an hour, until doubled in volume.

Punch down the dough.



And now, make it into pepperoni bread.

Bread dough
Grated mozzarella
Sliced pepperoni

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease two bread pans.



Divide dough into two balls. On a well-floured surface, spread dough into a long rectangle. (The width should be as long as the length of the bread pans, and it should be about 18 inches long.) Line the dough with pepperoni and sprinkle with cheese. Roll the dough into a cylinder, place edge-down in bread pan. Repeat with second batch. (Note: the loaf won't completely fill the pan, it will expand as you bake it.)

Brush the tops of the loaves with melted butter. Bake until tops rise over edges of pans and are nice and golden, about 45 minutes.

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