Looking for a new appetizer recipe that will wow guests at your next gathering? This pizza monkey bread is a cheesy, savory treat that is perfect for a crowd and sure to be a hit with people of all ages. Read on for the recipe!
- 1 cup warm water (105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
- 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup sliced pepperoni
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1-pound block of mozzarella cheese, cut into (8) 1/2x4" sticks
- Marinara sauce, for dipping
- Combine the water and yeast in a liquid measuring cup, and allow to sit until frothy, about 5 minutes.
- While yeast blooms, place the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with a paddle attachment. Mix in the salt. With the mixer running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil, mixing until combined. Gradually mix in the yeast mixture, running the mixer until dough comes together. (If the dough seems too dry, add a bit of water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together.)
- Switch to the mixer's dough hook attachment, and knead at medium speed for about 5 minutes, until dough is smooth. (Alternatively, you can knead by hand by transferring dough to a heavily floured surface, and kneading for about 10 minutes.) Divide dough into two even portions, and place in two greased bowls. Lightly cover the bowls with a towel, and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 60-90 minutes.
- Place the pepperoni in a bowl, and microwave for 1 minute, until oil is rendered. Transfer the pepperoni to a different bowl, reserving the pepperoni oil. Mix the olive oil into the pepperoni oil, and set aside.
- In another bowl, combine the Parmesan, oregano, basil and crushed red pepper (if using).
- Working with one ball of dough at a time, place the dough onto a floured surface, and roll into a rectangle that is about 18 inches long and 10 inches wide. Brush the surface of the dough with the olive oil mixture and then line up a layer of pepperoni along one of the long edges, about 1 inche from the edge. Line up 4 of the mozzarella sticks end to end on top of the pepperoni layer, and then sprinkle with half of the Parmesan/herb mixture. Starting along the long edge with filling ingredients, tightly roll the dough in a jelly roll fashion. Pinch the ends and seam to seal. Using a very sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 equal sections, pinching the open ends to seal and shaping each section into a ball. Repeat with the remaining dough ball and filling ingredients.
- Spray a 12-cup Bundt pan with non-stick spray. Place a single layer of the prepared balls in the bottom of the pan, and brush tops gently with the remaining pepperoni oil mixture. Continue layering the remaining balls in this fashion, brushing each layer with oil as you go. Cover the pan with plastic wrap, and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour. (Dough will be puffy, but not quite doubled in bulk.) Bake at 400 degrees F for 40-50 minutes, until well browned. Allow to cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.
Each yummy morsel of the delectable bread is filled to the brim with gooey mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and the perfect combination of flavorful herbs. It really is indescribably good!
I recommend serving this pizza monkey bread with a bit of my favorite homemade marinara sauce (although jarred sauce would work just fine, too).
By the way, this same dough recipe is my go-to for our family pizza nights.
For any recipe requiring a Bundt pan, I highly recommend this pan from Nordic Ware. (affiliate link) I received my Nordic Ware bundt pan as a wedding gift 11 years ago, and it is still going strong!
On the lookout for even more delicious appetizer recipes? See all of my appetizer and salad recipes here, or scroll down to see some of my personal favorites!
AND, if the mention of monkey bread has you craving the sweet version now, I’ve got you covered there, too!