Pepperoni Pizza Pull Apart Bread
Allow me to introduce you to Pepperoni Pizza Pull-Apart Bread, featuring 20 layers of homemade dough sandwiched together with tangy tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella and pepperoni slices, which are then stacked and brushed with melted garlic butter. Are you still with me?
For the dough: 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 envelope)
1/3 cup whole milk
6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup water 2 large eggs, at room temperature
**Feel free to use frozen bread or pizza dough as well.
For the toppings: 1/2 cup pizza or marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup sliced pepperoni
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cloves garlic, minced
In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together 2 cups of the flour with the sugar, salt and yeast. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the milk and 6 tablespoons butter over low heat until melted. Remove the saucepan from the stove and stir in the water. Let set until it reaches 120-130ºF.
Pour the milk mixture over the dry ingredients, using a spatula to fold them together just until combined.
Attach the dough hook to your stand mixer and knead the dough on low speed until fully incorporated, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, kneading in between each addition so that the eggs are fully incorporated.
Stop the mixer and add 1/2 cup of the remaining flour, kneading it on low speed until the dough is smooth, about 2 minutes. Add 3 more tablespoons flour and knead just until the dough is soft, but still slightly sticky.
Lightly flour your work surface, and then turn the dough out onto the surface, kneading it 5 or 6 times just until it comes together into a ball.
Lightly grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and secure it tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to proof in a warm, dry place for one hour, or until it doubles in size.
Gently deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll it into a rectangle measuring roughly 20″x11″. Brush the dough with the sauce, sprinkle it with the cheese and top it with the pepperoni.
Trim the edges, discarding any scraps, to make straight sides along the rectangle.
Cut the rectangle (width-wise) into 5 equal strips. Stack the strips atop one another and then cut the strips into 4 equal parts to make a total of 20 squares
Lightly butter a 9″x5″ loaf pan. Stack the squares against each other, cut-sides down. (There will be extra space on both sides.) Lightly cover the pan with plastic wrap and let it proof for 30 minutes or until it doubles in size.
Preheat the oven to 350FºF.
Stir together the melted butter and minced garlic.
Place the loaf pan on a baking sheet and bake it for 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven, brush the top of the loaf with the garlic butter, and then return it to the oven to continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
Remove the pan from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before turning the loaf out onto a serving plate.