Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread

I was scrolling through my bookmarked recipes and since I've been on a bread making high lately and I happened to have a package of pepperoni in my fridge(I intended to make pizza), this one caught my eye. It's really as good as Gaby from What's Gaby Cooking says in her original post and well worth the effort. It's fun for both kids and adults to pull off the pieces of bread and with a name like Monkey Bread, who wouldn't love it? I can't wait to see what other types of monkey bread I can make. Since this bread dough is not too salty, it would likely also work well in a sweet monkey bread with maybe cinnamon sugar, fruit preserves, or chocolate.
I made some substitutions to this recipe such as replacing the butter with olive oil for both ease and nutritional value and it was delicious. In most cases, I find that replacing butter with oil works just fine and doesn't sacrifice much in terms of taste, especially when there's cheese to make up for it. It doesn't work in the case of pie crust or cookies, but it does work in most savory applications such as mac and cheese and bread. If the pepperoni you're using in this recipe is oily, you may want to cook it over a low heat to remove some of the oil before you use it. Also try to use a lower sodium pepperoni if you can as it can be a bit salty when baked. If you make this for your next party or get together, kids or not, it will definitely be a hit.

Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread
Adapted from What's Gaby Cooking

2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp fine salt
2 cups bread flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup parmesan or asiago cheese, grated
1/2 cup pepperoni slices, cut up
1 tsp dried oregano (I used a mix of dried Italian herbs)
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used granulated garlic)
2 large pinches of salt

Mix the yeast, sugar, and water in the bowl of a stand mixer and let sit for 5 minutes to activate. If it doesn't become frothy, try again with new yeast.

Add the flours gradually to the bowl and mix with a dough hook on low-medium speed. Mix in the salt, then knead for 8-10 minutes in the mixer until the dough starts to pull away from the sides. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and let rise for about an hour or doubled in size.

After the first rise, punch dough down and portion out the dough into balls about an inch in diameter. Combine the olive oil, cheese, pepperoni, dried herbs, garlic, and salt in a bowl. Mix the dough balls in this mixture and arrange them in a large bundt pan. Let rise for another 40 minutes or so.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, bake the bread for 30 minutes until it is golden brown. Serve with pizza sauce or on its own.

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