What do you get someone who has absolutely everything they need and the means to get themselves anything they could ever want?
I mean, how HARD does that short, simple sentence make gift giving? Hella hard.
I don’t have the problem of giving a gift that isn’t heartfelt. That’s not my style, any gift given by me always have a loving thought behind them. Always, non-negotiable.
And as (my) luck would have it, those that I want to show an immense love and appreciation for through my savvy gift giving ways, always end up being the ones who stump me due to said reason above.
And it sucks, people.
I know, I know… it’s the thought that counts but dangit I want the item itself to count too. I don’t want it shoved in the darkest corner of your least used closet to gather dust. I want it to be loved.
It’s stressful. I’m stressed. Did I stress you out? Here, have some bread.
Not just any bread. This is the love child of swirled bread and pizza. All the ooey, gooey saucy toppings of a pizza surrounded by soft, pillowy bread. This really can’t get any better. Bake it and serve it up warm with extra pizza sauce for dipping/slathering. Eat and de-stress.
Pizza Swirl Bread
adapted from How Sweet Eats
makes one loaf
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (you can sub AP flour for the WW)
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup warm water
1 large egg
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
28 slices pepperoni
1/3 cup tomato sauce, or more if desired
1 tablespoon italian seasoning
In a measuring cup, combine milk and 2 tablespoons butter and pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds or until the butter melts; set aside to cool slightly.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together flours, yeast, and salt.
In your measuring cup with the milk/butter, add 1/4 cup of warm water and the egg and whisk to combine.
With the mixer on low speed (using a dough hook), add the milk mixture to the flour mixture. Mix on medium speed until dough comes together, about 5-6 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and lightly flour your workspace, then knead by hand for a minute or two until the dough becomes smooth. Add a few more teaspoons of flour if dough is sticky.
Coat the stand mixer bowl with non-stick cooking spray, then place dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl and set in a warm place to double in size for about one hour.
Optional: while your dough is rising, stick the pepperoni in the microwave on a paper towel lined plate for 30 seconds to remove a bit of grease. I then dabbed the tops of the pepperoni’s with a paper towel to get the excess grease off the tops as well.
Lightly spray an 8 1/2 x 4″ loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
After dough has risen, gently press you hand down into the dough to deflate it. Flour your workspace and roll into an 8 x 12 inch rectangle. Spread tomato sauce on first, then minced garlic, then pepperoni, then your cheeses (reserving a small handful) then italian seasoning. Starting at one of the short ends, tightly roll dough into a loaf. Place in loaf pan and brush with a little butter, and sprinkle with reserved cheese and more italian seasoning.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until top is golden brown (the top of my bread exploded so it began to leak some cheese and sauce so I slipped some foil in under the loaf to catch the drippings). Let cool for 30 minutes, or not. Reminder: HOT cheese, proceed with caution 🙂
This post was inspired by Di’s Homemade Loaf roundup. A bunch of swell bloggers got together and all made some yummy bread. Head on over to check them all out. A round-up will be posted soon.