It’s universally accepted that there are very few dishes more loved than pizza. This recipe for cheesy pepperoni pizza bread uses freeze-dried cheese from Lio-Licious to offset the oil from the pepperoni to create a fluffy, almost muffin-like consistency.
When it comes to baking your own pizza bread, freeze-dried cheese might not seem like an obvious ingredient to use, but it works incredibly well. The mix of grated cheddar and mozzarella provides a fantastic flavour without overpowering the other ingredients, while freeze-dried cheese is really easy to use and store as it comes in handy resealable bags that you can store in the cupboard, freeing up space in the fridge.
Freeze-dried cheese rehydrates slightly while cooking, due to the moisture in the dough. This helps to balance out the oil that comes out of the pepperoni as it heats up, preventing the dough from becoming too wet and creating a sludgy, overly doughy bread.
This recipe uses a roasting dish to create one large, tear-and-share-style ‘loaf’, but you could also use a roasting tin to create smaller individual portions. Not a fan of pepperoni? Experiment with different ingredients to discover what works for you – I bet Cwm Farm charcuterie’s nduja sausage would make for a tasty addition!
Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Bread
This cheesy pepperoni bread is delicious served warm, fresh out of the oven and makes a brilliant accompaniment to soups, pasta dishes or salads. The texture, based on a muffin mix, is fantastic at soaking up sauces and dressings so it’s perfectly suited for dipping. It also makes for the perfect base (minus the pepperoni) for your own perfect pizza bread - experiment with different toppings to discover which ones you prefer!
- 50 g salted butter
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 100 g freeze-dried mozzarella
- 50 g freeze-dried cheddar
- 75 g pepperoni
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1.5 tsp mixed herbs or dried oregano
- 0.5 tsp black pepper
- 0.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 60 g sour cream
- 1 large egg
- 230 ml whole milk
- 85 ml sunflower oil
- 300 g plain flour
- 0.5 tsp salt
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, mixed herbs and black pepper in a bowl.
In a separate bowl lightly beat the egg, then whisk in the milk, oil, tomato puree, sour cream and two-thirds of the diced garlic.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and begin to gently fold the two together.
After five or six folds, add the cheese and pepperoni and continue to gently fold until all the flour is incorporated into the mixture.
Let the mixture sit while you melt the butter and remaining garlic together over a low heat, brush some of the butter and garlic into a square roasting dish and set the rest aside.
Tip the mixture into the roasting dish and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the top is golden and a knife comes out of the bread clean.
Remove from the oven and brush the top with the remaining garlic and butter mix.
Dice leftover bread into cubes and lightly fry to create croutons for use in salads.
If you want a gooier topping, top the bread with freshly grated cheese and place it back in the oven for a few minutes to melt.
Just like a regular pizza, there are no real rules as to which ingredients work well as toppings. If you fancy adding some veggies to the mix, go for it!
How often do you bake at home? What’s your favourite bread recipe? Leave a comment in the box below.