A long, long time ago I made monkey bread for the first time and fell in love with that sweet, yeasted, cinnamon-sugar pull apart bread drenched in a sugar icing. Honestly, what’s not to like about that previous sentence?! I’ve been toying with the idea of a savory version for some time now, and after seeing these pepperoni pizza puff muffins, I was determined to make a pepperoni version, especially since pepperoni bread has long been a staple of mine and my husband’s families since we were both kids.
Pepperoni bread for life!
This pull-apart bread starts with pizza dough. You can use a half batch of my favorite fresh pizza dough, or you can use frozen (and thawed) dough. My grandma and my husband’s family both used Rhodes frozen bread dough for their pepperoni breads, and that brand makes a frozen pizza dough as well, so if you go that route, that’s what I would recommend.
I toyed with the idea of incorporating the sauce into the actual bread, but I was fearful that it would cause the dough to become a little bit too soggy and that it wouldn’t bake up as fluffy as I would have liked. So, I cooked the sauce separately and served it on the side, which worked out perfectly. Those who like more sauce can dip as much as they like, while those that are more sauce-averse can dip sparingly or not at all. I used the sauce from my Chicago-style deep dish pizza, as it’s especially flavorful, a tad bit sweet and nice and thick – perfect for dipping.
This is a great base for mixing together your favorite cheese and topping pizza blends. You could do crumbled sausage and sautéed mushrooms, prosciutto with Gruyere cheese, meat lover’s… so many possibilities!
My husband has requested that this be added to a future Sunday dinner menu… done!
One year ago: Hi-Hat Cupcakes Two years ago: Crab Dip Three years ago: Bacon and Cheese Quiche Tart Five years ago: Guacamole Six years ago: Traditional Hummus Seven years ago: Homemade Pita Bread
Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, toss together the pepperoni, cheeses and oregano. Place the olive oil in a small bowl.
Take the prepared (or thawed) pizza dough and pat into an 8-inch square. Cut into 64 one-inch pieces and roll each into a ball.
Briefly dip each ball of dough into the olive oil and add to the bowl with the cheeses and pepperoni. Once all of the dough balls have been added, toss well to combine. Transfer the mixture to the prepared Bundt pan in an even layer. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position. Once the dough has risen, place the pan in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.
Make the Sauce: While the bread bakes, heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted. Add onion, oregano, and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and sugar, increase heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until reduced to about 2½ cups, 25 to 30 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the basil and olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Then, turn the bread out onto a plate and serve warm or at room temperature with dipping sauce.