A few weeks ago Elina had a little gathering at her house, and I arrived just in time to help her finish assembling some pepperoni pizza monkey bread. To make the bread, she was flattening small balls of pizza dough, sealing pepperoni and cheese inside them, coating them with garlic butter, and tossing them in a Bundt pan. The ingredients and recipe were pretty simple, but the end result was an impressive party treat. After Elina baked the monkey bread, she set a bowl of tomato sauce in the middle of it, so guests could pull off a chunk of the bread and dip it in the sauce. And the whole thing was gone in no time... it was just as addictive as pizza, having all those same flavors.
I found myself craving the bread a week or so later, but having no party guests coming over to serve the bread to, I thought it would be fun to make it on a smaller scale and put my mini tube pans to use. And just as I had helped Elina, I got Jeff to help me. I set Jeff to work weighing out 1/2 ounce balls of dough. As he prepped those for me, I flattened them and filled them. I made two mini breads using pepperoni and mozzarella and one with pepperoni and provolone. (I think Elina used cheddar -- so you can see how versatile this recipe is.)
Jeff and I each got a mozzarella version to ourselves and then split the provolone one. It was fun to make the little breads instead of just throwing together a pizza for dinner.
Mini Pepperoni Pizza Pull-Apart Breads
These mini pepperoni pizza pull-apart breads make a great snack or appetizer
especially when served with a little tomato sauce.
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Makes 3 mini pull-apart breads
4 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound store-bought pizza dough
32 pepperoni circles, cut in quarters (use more if you like)
Mozzarella (shredded), provolone (cut in small pieces), or cheese of your choice (I didn't measure but about 4 ounces should be enough)
Pizza sauce, warmed, for serving (optional)
Melt butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook just until garlic is fragrant and starts to brown. Remove from heat.
Brush 3 mini Bundt or tube pans with a little of the garlic butter.
Divide the dough into 32 1/2-ounce pieces.
Flatten each piece of dough, and fill with 4 pepperoni quarters and a little bit of cheese.
Seal the dough with the fillings inside. Brush the dough balls with the garlic butter, and toss them in the prepared Bundt or tube pans. (You may need to wash your hands occasionally because the dough will start to get slippery and not make a good seal from all the butter.)
I did two layers of five balls in each pan and had two balls leftover, which I just tossed in one of the pans. If you do this, you'll have two pans with 10 pieces of dough and one with 12 pieces.
Brush the remaining garlic butter on top of the dough balls in each pan.
Cover the pans with a towel, and let rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Uncover the pans, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden brown. (I got a little impatient and could have left them in a bit longer to get more browning.)
Let sit for 5 minutes and then invert onto plates (or onto a cooling rack and then transfer to plates, whichever is easier).
Serve with warmed pizza sauce, if desired.
Note: You could easily double the recipe and make 6 pull-apart breads, perfect for a small gathering or dinner party.
Filled with gooey cheese and spicy pepperoni, these little pepperoni pizza breads are the perfect stand-in for traditional pepperoni pizza and are super-cute and fun to eat too.
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