Thursday, February 4, 2010

Recipe: Braided Pizza Bread


Thanks to the excellent recommendation of my friend Heather, this recipe has become a regular in our house! Delicious as a dinner or an appetizer, it’s a nice change from traditional pizza. It may look fancy, but it’s actually not difficult – and it makes GREAT use of the $0.25 Hormel Pepperoni on sale at Kroger this week (and any Kraft shredded cheese you might happen to have on hand)!


In your bread machine, add the following ingredients:

1 1/2 cups water
3 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. active dry yeast


  1. Mix ingredients on the “dough” setting (this usually takes around 90 minutes, so you’ll want to plan accordingly).

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  2. Remove dough from pan and divide in half. The dough will be sticky; flour it generously to be able to work with it. Roll each half into a rectangle, pressing the dough between 1/4” and 1/2” thick.

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  3. Layer pizza (or other) toppings down the center, according to your family’s tastes. (In this example, I layered pepperoni, then topped it with sauce and cheese, but you can make it as complicated as you like!)

  4. Cut 1” thick strips on each side of the toppings.

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  5. Braid by alternately bringing each strip to the center of the toppings, beginning from the top. Fold any extra dough underneath the loaf.

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  6. Transfer both loaves carefully to a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing – bread will be very hot.


Along with our toppings, we like to use this recipe for Way Easy Pizza Sauce to give the bread a little zing. It will make enough for 2 batches, so I freeze half of it and use it for next time! I’ve amended the recipe slightly from the original to give it a little more flavor:

6 oz tomato paste
8 oz tomato sauce
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. minced garlic or garlic salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder


  • No bread machine? Check out your local thrift store, a garage sale, Craigslist – or ask a friend! There are plenty of well-intentioned bread machine owners who are looking to pass one along. You can usually find one for around $5!

  • The ideas for ingredients are endless. You can just as easily add ham and cheese for a fun braided sub, or chicken fajita, taco or philly cheesesteak fixings for a new twist! We usually make 2 different pizza bread loaves each time – with different toppings to suit our family’s preferences!

  • You can prepare the pizza bread ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator before baking. It can also be baked and frozen (though it never makes it to the freezer in our house).

  • I like to schedule pizza bread the day after we grill chicken or have other meat leftovers as a creative way to use up toppings. Extra bacon or sausage from breakfast will get chopped and frozen to return as pizza toppings. We also buy a turkey ham chunk from Aldi every month or two, cut the meat into cubes and freeze it. Having chopped toppings on hand makes everything easier! The veggie tray from your last party can become part of tomorrow’s pizza bread, too!


  1. This looks great! I might be changing what's for dinner. I use my Kitchen Aid when I make bread. Do you know if this recipe needs a double rise like regular bread or a single rise like pizza dough?

  2. I'm not sure, Heather, since I've never tried it without the bread machine. Since it's just regular flour (rather than bread flour), I'd think that a single rise might be okay. The bread machine dough setting does a double rise, I believe. If you experiment with it, please let us know what works!

  3. We used to have cheesesteak braids a lot when I was growing up. Super easy and super yummy!! I might make these tomorrow night instead of regular pizza ;)

  4. Now THAT looks yummy. I think I'll do this on Sunday for my Dad's superbowl party. Now to put my thinking cap on. I need to plan on it getting done right before we leave. :) Thanks for sharing.

  5. I might have to try this with all the sauce, cheese, and pepperoni on sale this week. Only one of my bread recipes have turned out so far :o)

  6. I may have to get me a bread machine. My mom had one when I was younger and I lloved it I used it the most.

  7. I'm looking forward to trying this recipe tonight! I made the pizza sauce this morning and it's great.


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