This loaf-style Pepperoni Bread is easy and packed with flavor…and perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches!
Back in late December when my wife and I were packing up the car to head back home after Christmas, my mother-in-law offered us a huge chunk of pepperoni to take with us. Yes, you read that correctly. Pepperoni. Who’s mother-in-law is awesome enough to send you home with a massive chunk of pepperoni? Mine! You see, my wife comes from a large Italian family, so it’s no surprise that there was leftover pepperoni hanging out after Christmas. Of course I grabbed that pepperoni and put it into the back of the car as fast as possible! I was planning on just making a delicious pepperoni pizza with it. But when we got home, my wife suggested that I use some of the pepperoni to make pepperoni bread. Pepperoni bread? I asked her if this was a family recipe, and she said, “No, but you’re always looking for an excuse to make bread.” (She’s right. I am always looking for an excuse to make bread.) So off I went to the kitchen and a couple of hours later, this Pepperoni Bread was born. This bread is so delicious that it’s now a family recipe!
I topped this bread with a bit of shaved Parmesan cheese for an added flavor boost. And flavor boost was right! This bread was delicious when lightly toasted with a little bit of butter…but it was magical on a grilled cheese sandwich! My wife and I rationed out this bread over the remaining days of the holiday break. (Yes, I’ve been holding on to this recipe for a while now.) And in case you’re wondering about the cayenne pepper in the recipe…it’s not very much at all. The 1/4 teaspoon is just enough to give this bread a small kick without overpowering it. Of course, you could always leave it out if you’re worried. Either way, this bread is delicious!
- 2¾ cups bread flour recommended brand: King Arthur Flour
- ½ Tbsp instant dry yeast
- ½ Tbsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp shaved Parmesan cheese divided
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter softened
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper optional
- 1 cup nonfat milk warm but not hot
- ¾ cup ~4 ounces pepperoni, diced into 1/4” cubes (see note below)
- Using a countertop mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the bread flour, yeast, sugar, 2 Tbsp of the Parmesan cheese, salt, softened butter, and cayenne pepper (optional). Stir until well combined. Add the warm milk and diced pepperoni, and mix on low speed for 3 minutes. Increase speed to medium and continue mixing for 3-4 more minutes.
- Transfer the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place bowl in a warm (80-85°F) location and allow dough to rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled countertop and gently fold the dough 4-5 times, rotating 90° after each fold. Allow the dough to rest (covered) for 10 minutes.
- Shape dough into an 8" x 6" rectangle. With the small side of the rectangle closest to you, fold the bottom 1/3 of the dough up and then fold the top 1/3 of the dough down on top of that (just like folding a letter). Finally, fold the dough in half lengthwise and pinch the seam at the bottom closed. Place the dough into a 7" x 5" loaf pan and gently press the remaining 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese into the top of the bread. Cover the pan lightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm location until almost doubled in size (about 45 minutes).
- Bake loaf at 375°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the top of the loaf turns golden brown in color. (Note: Tent the top of the loaf with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent the Parmesan on top from burning.)
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This bread is AWESOME!! My husband will go crazy over this. Thanks for the recipe. Hope you are having a great weekend.
Thanks, Zainab! Tell your hubbie I’ll send him a loaf. 🙂
Love the idea of pepperoni bread. I am dreaming of a grilled cheese with it 🙂
Thanks, Laura! I made a couple grilled cheese sandwiches with that bread…and they were amazing. Have a great weekend!
Do you think you could make this in a bread maker?
Hey Hayley! I honestly have never tried making this bread in a bread maker. However, if you have a good white bread recipe for your bread maker, I would think you could easily adapt it to include the pepperoni. Give it a shot the “old-fashioned” way, though…if you have time of course. There is something magical about working dough with your hands (and a mixer to start it off). If you do make this bread (bread maker or not), come back and let me know how it turns out! 🙂
This looks delicious. We had a friend who owned a bakery in PA for years, this looks a lot like his pepperoni bread, with the exception he added diced pepperoncini’s to his. We would slice it and top with sliced cheese, pepper jack, provolone or mozzarella and place in the broiler to melt cheese. It was heaven. He is no longer with us and the bakery closed. He is truly missed by his family and friends. His bakery was an icon in the community. Thank you.
Thank you so much, Cindy! Wow, your friend’s bread sounds incredible. I love the idea of adding diced pepperoncini into bread. And then turning that bread into a grilled cheese (open-faced) sandwich is a stroke of pure genius! It’s almost like a pizza sandwich! I’m sorry to hear that your friend is no longer around, but memories like his bread are still wonderful to hang on to. Thanks for sharing…I really do appreciate it! 🙂