This loaf-style Pepperoni Bread is easy and packed with flavor…and perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches!
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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!
- 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.)