Pizza Bread? Stromboli?

I don't know what you call this exactly. My intent was to make pizza bread like my mom makes it, but it really didn't turn out that way. I think it could have, but I made one giant loaf rather than two smaller ones. What she always did when I was younger was make them two at a time, cook one and freeze the other. Hers always fit nicely into a loaf pan, a much more manageable size for freezer storage. Mine did not.

I got the dough recipe from Robert Irvine's Dinner Impossible on the Food Network. However mom's pizza bread was always made with wheat bread, something that I guess helped differentiate it from stromboli or a massive pizza roll. So what I did was use half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour.

Pizza Bread Dough
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) packet fresh fast-acting yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water, between 100 and 115 degrees F, as measured with a thermometer (any hotter will kill the yeast - an organic leavener; too cool and the yeast won't be activated)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus some extra to knead the dough (I used 2 cups wheat flour and 2 cups all-purpose)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
Dissolve salt, sugar, and yeast in the warm water and allow the yeast to proof. ("Proofing" the yeast is testing it for viability. It will develop foam which looks like the head of a beer. If it doesn't proof, the yeast is dead and should be discarded.) Proofing takes about 15 minutes.

Mix the wet and dry ingredients in your stand mixer (or by hand) with the dough hook on medium speed for 4-5 minutes or until all the flour is gone and the dough is slapping around
your otherwise cleaning mixing bowl. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and form a ball. Rub the dough ball with a tablespoon of olive oil, put it back in your mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Allow the dough to rise for 45-60 minutes, so that it roughly doubles in volume (the dough has risen enough if you make an indentation with your finger and it does not spring back.). Then punch the dough down and allow it to rise again. (Allowing the dough to rise a second time gives it a finer texture.) Note: It will not rise as much the second time.

When your dough is ready, turn it out on floured surface and roll it out with a rolling pin into two 14-inch circles (or one massive square like I did).

  • 8-10 oz tomato sauce (I used Prego Organic Tomato & Basil because of its smooth, thicker texture)
  • 2 cups (1 pkg) Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 pkg (40?) sliced pepperoni
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 beaten egg
Saute your diced peppers in for about 5 minutes in 1tbsp olive oil. Do the same in a separate pan with your pepperoni until they are slightly crunchy. You don't have to do either of these steps, but the peppers get a little sweeter and the pepperoni just seems better when its crisp around the edges. I considered adding pineapple, but eventually decided against it because of concerns about the added moisture of the pineapple juice.

Spread your sauce and cheese around your dough, leaving a dry 1 inch perimeter around the edges. Add your toppings and then roll the whole thing up like a jelly roll. Seal the edges and put the seam side down on a baking sheet (or a loaf pan if it will fit). Brush the exterior with the beaten egg.

Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes. Remove and let it rest for 5 minutes so the bread softens.

One thing I found out after the fact was that this super loaf didn't quite cook all the way through the center of the middlemost piece. The centermost curl of dough in that piece was still a little
doughy. So I'd advise you to make this as two smaller loaves regardless of the situation. I don't know if you can tell by the pictures, but this thing is deceptively large. It doesn't seem that way when its all spread out like a pizza. But once you start rolling it up it seems to grow exponentially.

It tasted fantastic. Fresh bread is always much better than I remember. The pizza bread/stromboli makes for great leftovers and you can put pretty much whatever you want inside it. Just make sure the ingredients are cooked to your liking before they go in. Its also a really cheap way to make dinner. In the future I'll make an actual pizza using that same dough. I always though pizza dough was more complicated than that, but I guess all it takes is the right amount of patience.