There’s something special about braided breads and when you add pepperoni and cheese to the mix, look out!
I learned how to make this Pizza Braid last week in the Google hangout Super Bowl Plus Week of Champions: How to Make Pepperoni Bread hosted by Jennifer of PastryChefOnline. I’ve made pizza bread before that you roll into a log, but it was more like bread. This version tastes more like pizza and is shaped using a ladder braid so that all the yummy goodness stays inside – well mostly inside.
I was inspired by the shaping method for this bread so I decided to give a try. I invited a friend over to help me make it on Super Bowl Sunday. To entice him, I told him it oozed with cheesy goodness. He loves cheese so that was all it took.
This cheesy pepperoni bread is very versatile. You can make one big loaf, or two smaller loaves or you can halve the recipe if you prefer. You can change up the fillings and customize it to your hearts’ desire. It can be eaten as the main meal with a salad or as a snack or appetizer and served with pizza sauce on the side.
I made one big loaf and we ate it as the main attraction along with a salad. See the cheese! I told you it oozed with cheesy goodness.
Braided Pizza Bread
Makes: 1 large Loaf or 2 Smaller Loaves
You can find Jennifer’s recipe here. The version in the demo is a little bit different than the recipe on her blog so use the version that suits you.
Here is Jennifer’s demonstration on how to make this bread. She does a great job!
If you’re unable to view the embedded video, click here.
Here is my photo tutorial of the process for making the Braided Pizza Bread. I used Jennifer’s dough so you can visit her site for the list of ingredients. The dough and the fillings are really flavorful.
Adapted from: Jennifer’s Pizza Sauce recipe
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (more or less to taste)
- several grindings black pepper (to taste)
- 1 (28 oz) can whole Marzano tomatoes (you can use crushed or diced if you prefer)
- red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- Heat a deep saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the olive oil, then the garlic and let the garlic cook until it is it a deep golden brown. Be careful because it burns really easily.
- Add the canned tomatoes and break them up with the side of a wooden spoon.
- Season the sauce with salt, ground black pepper, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes.
- Turn the heat down to medium low and continue to cook until almost all the liquid is gone. This will take a while. Stir occasionally. This is the part where it’s good to have a deep pot because it will spatter out if you use a shallow pan.
- Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Add the balsamic vinegar and cook a minute longer.
- Puree using an immersion blender or leave chunky if you prefer.
- Let it cool to room temperature.
When I braided the bread, I had a big gap at the end and I was concerned that the filling would fall out while it was baking, but it didn’t.
Instead of dipping the pizza bread slices in the homemade pizza sauce, we drizzled it over the top. The red pepper flakes gave it a nice little kick.
I didn’t take a photo of the sliced bread because we couldn’t wait any longer to eat it. My taste tester was waiting patiently while I took the photos so I didn’t want to make him wait any longer. It was delicious!