If your life is like mine, wiith warmer weather comes more frequent get-togethers with friends and family. It’s smart to have delicious, quick and easy-to-make, no fail recipes in your entertaining arsenal for those planned and impromptu spring and summer parties. The Cheesy Pepperoni Bread recipe that I am sharing today is just that…simply delicious, quick, easy, and no fail. My version is a modification of this recipe that Chef Mario Batali shared on The Chew.
For years, in the summertime on our mountain, family and neighbors would gather late in the afternoon at the home of my husband’s Aunt Bea and Uncle Jay for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Uncle Jay would signal that it was time to gather by standing on their porch and blowing Reveille on his bugle. The sound of the bugle would echo down the valley and soon we’d begin to gather on the porch. We would laugh and converse, sip a cocktail, a glass of wine, or a soft drink, and snack on the delicious goodies that Aunt Bea could throw together at a moment’s notice. Those gatherings are some of my fondest memories of our summer visits to the mountains while we were still living in Florida. Sadly, Aunt Bea and Uncle Jay have passed on. The bugle call is silenced and we no longer can experience the delicious morsels prepared by Aunt Bea.
But the tradition of gathering that they established still persists and when we get together, we often drink a toast in memory of Bea and Jay. And, while I am not the intuitive cook that Aunt Bea was, I do my best to provide “Aunt Bea-worthy fare” when I host. This pepperoni bread is one of my most popular nibbles.
Here are its main ingredients:
Mario Batali’s original recipe calls for bread or pizza dough. I use Pillsbury canned pizza dough. His recipe calls for Swiss cheese and I sometimes substitute Fontina. I don’t top the toasted bread with burrata. Instead I serve home-made or store-bought marinara sauce to dip or top the toasted pepperoni bread. But, like the original recipe my version contains a yummy blend of three cheeses and layers of spicy pepperoni. And it’s a bite that always has my guests reaching for seconds!
1. Chop 1/4 pound provolone cheese. (Note: I often buy a block of provolone from the deli counter and grate it, but in this case I used sliced provolone because that is what I had on hand. ) Grate 1/4 pound Swiss or Fontina cheese and 1/4 pound mozzarella.
2. Break one egg into a medium to large mixing bowl. Break the other into a smaller bowl and set aside.
3. Whisk the egg in the larger bowl.
4. Add the three grated (and/or chopped) cheeses to the bowl. (Mozzarella, Swiss or Fontina, and provolone) Mix well.
5. Whisk the egg in the second (smaller) bowl and add a splash of water. This will be used as an egg wash.
6. Open the canned pizza dough and unroll onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. (I use olive oil spray.)
7. Spread the cheese mixture in an even layer on the pizza dough.
8. Top the cheese layer with a layer of pepperoni (about 1/2 pound).
9. Roll the pizza dough into a log.
10. Tuck and pinch the ends of the dough log to seal. Turn the log so it stretches the long direction on the cookie sheet. Brush all over with the egg wash.
11. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and sesame seeds.
12. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the bread from the oven and set aside to cool.
When the bread is mostly cool, slice into 1/2 inch thick slices. Place the slices on the cookie sheet and lightly toast in the oven. (At this point, you can top the slices with a little fresh mozzarella cheese and toast until the cheese is melted and a little browned. My preference is to just toast the bread slices without the added cheese.)
Enjoy the layers of creamy cheesy and spicy pepperoni deliciousness! And after you try this recipe, be sure to let me know how much you love it. 🙂
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