Think pizza meets Italian bread and you have pepperoni bread. ~ by Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD
I’ll admit this right up front.
This isn’t the healthiest of recipes (though I lightened it a bit – see below) but sometimes a girl wants her some pepperoni. Or bacon for that matter.
For as long as I can remember, pepperoni bread – or pepperoni roll as it’s known in West Virginia and surrounding states – has been a classic appetizer served up in the homes of my Italian-American relatives over the holidays. It’s a tradition that I’ve kept going now that we host Christmas.
(Side note: my husband is one of 11 so we have a decent crowd every year and you can never have too many appetizers in my book. It’s the Italian in me that will always worry someone may walk away hungry.)
To lighten this a bit, I’ve tried turkey pepperoni in the past but more often than not, I’ll just use the regular stuff. My cheese ration includes 1 cup shredded of part-skim mozzarella or Cabot Light Cheddar along with2 tablespoons of grated aged Italian cheese like Parmesan Reggiano or Pecorino Romano. And this year I added in some white whole wheat flour – probably to make myself feel just a bit better about the whole thing.Print
- Yield: about 20-24 slices. 1x
- 1 package yeast
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 cup skim milk, room temperature or slightly warmed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/4 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese or light cheddar (I use Cabot)
- 2 ounces (about 32 slices) pepperoni
- In a large mixing bowl, add yeast, water and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes to activate yeast.
- Add 1 cup bread flour, whole wheat flour, milk, olive oil and salt and mix until a soft dough starts to form. Add remaining 1/4 – 1/2 cup of bread flour, a few tablespoons at a time until dough is not sticky. Knead dough on a floured surface for about 5 minutes (or use dough hook in stand mixer.)
- Coat mixing bowl with cooking spray, place dough ball in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and tea towel. Let sit in warm area without drafts for 1 hour.
- Punch down dough and roll into 12×16-inch rectangle on a floured surface.
- Sprinkle oregano over dough, top with Parmesan cheese and then mozzarella cheese. Top off with pepperoni slices.
- Starting with long end of dough, roll up and press firmly to avoid air pockets. Pinch the seam and ends to seal shut.
- Place on a baking tray coated with cooking spray. Cover with tea towel and let rise another hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until bread starts to turn golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap it.
- Let cool 15 minutes before slicing.
And this is a versatile bread recipe. I’ve stuffed it with sautéed swiss chard, broccoli and cheese or you can make it without any stuffing at all and just serve as delicious homemade loaf of Italian bread (it freezes beautifully, too.)
So, while most of you may be deciding on your favorite Christmas cookie or dessert to enjoy, I’ll be having another serving of pepperoni bread to end my meal.
What are your traditional holiday appetizers? (Rosemary Shrimp Skewers at our 7 Fish Dinner is another tradition for me!) Have you ever made pepperoni bread or homemade Italian bread?