As most of you know I’ve been on a bread baking frenzy. Well it got to the point where I had ‘too’ much bread and honestly, we can only eat so much toast or garlic bread. I have croutons that’ll last me til kingdom come and let’s not discuss my freezer. I don’t think I could fit a freezer pop in it!
This past Friday night was Date Night with Mr. Fantabulous. Now even though I made a hearty dinner for him it is an unwritten rule that anytime we watch movies snacks are a requirement. Now I’m not talking about your typical bag of chips ‘n salsa or veggies and cheese. Please…not in my house! We’re talking it must be meal-like. Or as my one girlfriend would call it, “Dinner Jr.” as it’s not quite a meal but could pass for one.
I looked through my cupboards and pantry and nothing really jumped out at me that would be substantial enough for him. But then I turned around and saw this beautiful fresh Boule I had made the other day staring back at me. Now often I’ll make us homemade pizza but I really had neither the time to make the dough or the energy to do it. But once you have pizza on the brain, it’s hard to get it out of there. Usually the only way to get it off of your mind is to have it.
Admit it.. you’re thinking of a slice right now — hot and cheesy, thick & rich tomato sauce… Ah yeah! You know you want a piece and it’s going to bug you until you eat some now! I know, I’m evil! MUAHAHAHA!
Haha… anyway, as I’m standing there thinking of pizza while staring at the bread it dawned on me… make a type of pull apart monkey pizza bread with the made loaf. Now if you’ve ever made monkey bread you know you start with raw dough. Well this is obviously cooked so I couldn’t make it exactly like monkey bread.
What I ended up doing was cutting the bread about 1″ apart almost all the way through but leaving about a 1/4″ in tact at the bottom. I did this is a cross patch pattern. Stuffed it with cheese, pepperoni and herbs and baked it for 15 minutes covered and uncovered for 10 minutes. What came out of that oven was something truly AMAZING! I mean really, REALLY good!
Now you know me by now, I’m one that likes universal recipes. What’s cool about this recipe is that you can easily take out the pepperoni and cheeses and make it in other fashions:
- Buffalo Chicken Pull Apart Bread – shred chicken, mix with buffalo sauce then add in some scallions or minced celery, blue (yuck) cheese or cheddar then serve with ranch
- Pesto Pull Apart Bread – shred chicken, mix with pesto sauce then add some spinach, diced (seeded) tomatoes, some herbs and maybe parmesan cheese then serve with garlic dipping sauce
- Chicken Parmesan Pull Apart Bread – shred chicken, mix with marinara, fresh basil and mozzarella
- Apple Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Sweet Bread – mix up cinnamon, brown sugar, butter and finely diced peeled apples then serve with cream cheese frosting sauce
- See! This is really, REALLY universal! If you make your own variation of it, post it on our Facebook page! I’d love to see your creation!
- 1 Round Bread Loaf
- ½ pound of mozzarella slices cut into 1” squares
- ½ pound of provolone slices cut into 1” squares
- 50–60 pieces of pepperoni (this will depend on the size of your bread)
- 5–6 Tbl of butter, melted
- 2 tsp pizza seasoning or 1 tsp garlic powder + 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 Tbl grated Parmesan cheese
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Pizza sauce
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut your bread in 1” increments both horizontally and vertically being sure to NOT cut all the way through. Essentially leave a ¼” of the bread connected on the bottom. Think of how a ‘bloomin onion looks’
- Place the cut loaf in a big sheet of aluminum foil.
- Insert a piece of cheese and pepperoni into every cut section. Alternate the cheeses – by doing this will allow the cheese, when it melts to blend.
- Mix the melted butter with the pizza seasoning.
- Drizzle the blend all over the bread trying to get some into each cut section. If you feel that it’s too dry (as you may have a huge round loaf of bread) mix up more butter/seasoning mixture. You don’t want it soaked but want to ensure that each section has some of the mixture.
- Wrap the bread completely in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
- Remove the foil, sprinkle on the grated parmesan, drizzle with the oil and bake 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bread is golden and crusty.
- Serve with warm pizza sauce for dipping!