This Pepperoni Bread Recipe is a loaf of crusty outside and soft inside Italian bread stuffed with layers of pepperoni and cheese.
I’ve talked many times about how I have very strong memories tied to foods from my childhood. Some of them are so strong that I can smell and taste them in my memory. I swear. This Pepperoni bread is like that for me.
Growing up, there was a butcher shop/deli just a couple minutes away from my house. They made insanely, insanely, INSANELY good food. On Saturdays, they made mouth watering prime rib sandwiches. This is where I fell in love with lemon bars and cherry slices. And I tried over and over to nail their Beef Stroganoff recipe until I got it down to just like how I remembered it.
They also had insanely good fresh Italian bread- that really amazing kind that has a crust that crackles when you squeeze it, but it pillowy soft on the inside. Every once in awhile, you’d go in and they would have changed some of them into loaves of pepperoni bread- that same amazing bread, but with layers of mozzarella cheese and pepperoni inside.
It was amazing.
It popped back into my head not so very long ago and refused to budge. The only way to get it out was to satisfy the memory craving. I don’t have an Italian bread recipe that I have fallen in love with yet, but Publix’s Chicago Italian bread is a pretty decent version. I asked if they would be willing to just sell me the dough. They gave me a weird look but packaged up 2-1 lb balls of dough for me. I put one in the fridge as backup, left the other one out until it rose, then rolled it out, layered it with pepperoni and cheese, rolled it up, let it rise again, then baked it.
I ended up needing the second ball of dough (so glad I had a minor amount of foresight there!), because I wasn’t super happy with how the first one ended up baking- too high a temp and for too long. Second time worked just delightfully!
What you’ll need for this recipe:
- Rolling pin- You’ll need this Classic Rolling Pin for rolling your bread dough out perfectly!
- Baster- This Nylon Baster is great for spraying your bread with water to help steam it just the right amount!
- Cooling rack- You always need a Cooling Rack for letting your recipes cool down before you dive into it. Grab yours here!
If you like this Pepperoni Bread, make sure you check these out too:
- Pull Apart Cheese Stuffed Spinach Artichoke Bread
- Pesto Garlic Cheese Bread
- Cheddar Jalepeno No-Knead Bread
- Rosemary and Caramelized Onion Olive Oil Crusty Bread
- 1 lb crusty Italian bread dough
- 4 oz sliced pepperoni
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese or shredded Italian blend cheese
- Let the bread dough rise until doubled in size.
- Lightly flour a clean surface. Turn the dough out and roll out into a rectangle until about 1/2" thick.
- Leaving a 1/2" border, lay down a layer of pepperoni, then top with 2/3 of the shredded cheese. Layer the remaining pepperoni and cheese over top.
- Starting at the short end of the rectangle, tightly roll up the dough into a loaf, pinching the ends closed and tapering them off. Let rise for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 425F and fill a squeeze bottle with water (turkey baster, water bottle, something). Place bread in the oven and spray the sides and bottom with water. Quickly shut the door to trap the steam inside. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Turn the oven temperature down to 350 and bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before slicing.