Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pepperoni Bread

Superbowl Sunday is tomorrow!  Let the parties begin!  I know that everybody is always looking for new appetizers to bring to get-togethers because, let's face it, the buffalo chicken dip is starting to get old.  It's so delicious, don't get me wrong, but predictable.  I've been bringing homemade pepperoni bread to parties for about 4 years, and I swear it's always the first food to go.  Maybe it's because each loaf only yields 12 slices or so...but I like to think it's because the recipe is SO GOOD.   I've even had friends come a little early to my house when i'm throwing a party so they could make sure they get one of the first slices right out of the oven!  I love how it's a finger food that seems fancy, but only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish!  Try it tomorrow!

I start by preheating the oven to 400° F.  Then I roll out a Pillsbury traditional style pizza dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or aluminum foil coated with nonstick cooking spray if you don't have parchment paper).  I drizzle it with olive oil, a dash of salt, and a few sprinkles of garlic powder, basil and oregano.  

I then lay slices of mozzarella cheese on top of the herbs.  You can do shredded mozzarella if that's what you have on hand, but I prefer the slices because it helps the pepperoni stick more evenly to the bread.  Also, notice that I overlapped the slices of cheese.  I don't normally do this, but the deli cut my mozzarella paper thin...I kind of had to in order to make the all-important cheese to pepperoni ratio correct!

I put a single layer of pizza pepperonis on top of the mozzarella, and it's done.  Literally less than 5 minutes start to finish for prep work.  I roll the log from short end to short end to make sure that there are lots of layers of cheese and pepperoni in each slice.

After I roll the log, I carefully pick up the roll and center it on the baking sheet to accommodate the expansion that happens when it cooks.  I also make sure that the end seam is on the bottom of the roll so none of the ingredients ooze out; the weight of the roll kind of keeps it in somehow.  I drizzle the roll with a little bit of olive oil, then sprinkle the top lightly with garlic powder, basil and oregano so it looks pretty and turns golden brown.  Be sure to use a knife and cut 3 slits on top of the bread so steam can escape while it cooks!

Pop it in the oven for 18-22 minutes, and you officially made the best appetizer at your party!  I usually check on the roll after 15 minutes, and if the top is getting really golden brown, I put a piece of aluminum foil on top so the inside has a chance to finish without the outside getting too dark.  Cool it for at least 20 minutes, then slice and serve!

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