Get ready for to make the best Pepperoni Bread you'll ever have! It's loaded with diced pepperoni, mozzarella, and herbs so it tastes exactly like a pepperoni pizza! It will not last long, you won't want to share! Make it using a stand mixer or bread machine.
Turn your love for bread, cheese, and pizza into a snack and appetizer with Pepperoni Bread. It tastes exactly like a pepperoni pizza, and smells like one too.
The dough and your house will smell like a big pepperoni pizza the entire time you're making it and well after it cooks.
You can make this bread by hand or with a bread machine too, so I've included directions for both.
This recipe is based off the recipe for my award-winning sun dried tomato basil bread. If you love this pepperoni pizza bread, the tomato bread is a must try!
The first time I made this, I had to make it 3 times in less than 24 hours. The third time was definitely the charm.
The first pizza bread turned out amazing and we ate almost the entire loaf in a few hours. I gave a few samples to some friends and they both needed more.
This pepperoni pizza bread is irresistible, so I made them each a loaf of their own. By the third loaf, I had the recipe for the best pizza bread down pat.
The final recipe here is the perfect version— made with a few tweaks from from the first few loaves.
You'll be tempted not to share, and once you do, you'll find yourself needing to make 3 more loaves too.
So read on, fellow pizza lovers, to see how to make it and learn my tips and tricks for getting a perfect turn out every time.
💭 Expert Tips
If you want to make the best pepperoni bread, make sure to follow these tips.
- Test the yeast before doing anything else! It's really important to make sure that your yeast is still "alive". If you use dead yeast, you won't know until after you've made the dough and waited for it to rise. If the yeast is dead, the bread won't rise and you'll have to start over. To test your yeast, add 1 tsp sugar and 2 ¼ tsp of yeast to ¼ cup of warm water. Wait 5 minutes. If it foams, then it's good to use. If not, you need new yeast.
- Take temperature of yogurt/water before adding to dry ingredients. This is just as important as testing the yeast. If you add water that is too hot to live yeast, you might kill it. If the water is too cold, it won't activate. Both will cause your dough not to rise. For best results, water should be between 95 and 100 degrees.
- Use the dough hook and never set the speed higher than 2. This is true for all yeast breads. Always use the dough hook. Speeds over 2 on a stand mixer will be very hard on the motor and anything lower will not knead properly.
- The dough needs to rise in a place with a temperature of at least 75 degrees and no more than 90. If your house is colder than this, heat the oven to its lowest temperature while kneading the dough. Turn it off and keep the door closed. Once you're ready for the bread to rise, put it in the oven, close the door, and it will be the perfect temperature to rise your bread.
- Don't add too much cheese to the top. If you add much more than ¼ cup of cheese, the center will sink. It won't ruin your bread, but it won't turn out with a nice dome shape because of the heavy cheese piled on top.
- For small kids, use thin packaged slices of pepperoni. These pepperonis will break up into tiny pieces and not taste too spicy. For adults, use chunky speciality pepperoni for more of a zesty taste.
To make pepperoni bread, you need:
- water + yogurt
- bread flour (see note below for swapping with all purpose flour)
- yeast (active or instant)
- parmesan cheese (grated)
- mozzarella cheese (shredded)
The best type of flour to use when making pizza bread is bread flour. Alternatively, you can use all purpose flour. The difference between bread flour and all purpose flour is the protein content. Bread flour has a higher protein content, and therefore it will rise slightly more and absorb a little more water than all purpose flour.
You can make a 1:1 substitution for all purpose flour in this recipe.
What does this mean for your pizza bread? Not too much. Using bread flour will give you a little more rise, but it won't change the texture too much. I still suggest sticking with bread flour for yeast breads, with all purpose being the second best option.
If you're interested in understanding a bit more about the differences between bread and all-purpose flour, this blog post is for you.
Pepperoni bread can be made with either thinly sliced Hormel pepperoni or thick, hard speciality pepperoni. Specialty pepperoni gives pizza bread a spicier taste and tastes truly like a pepperoni pizza. But for small kids who may be sensitive to the spice or harder texture, pre-sliced pepperoni like Hormel might be a better option.
🔪 By Hand Instructions
The first step to making pepperoni bread by hand is heating yogurt and water on the stove until it's steaming— but not boiling. Remove it from the heat and set a time for 5 minutes so that it cools slightly.
Then combine the bread flour, sugar, salt, oregano, parmesan cheese, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. I love my KitchenAid stand mixer. It's a heavy duty classic, and while a little on the pricey side, it should last forever.
Once you've checked that the yogurt/water is the right temperature, add it to the bowl along with the mozzarella cheese and diced pepperoni.
Insert the dough hook, lock the mixer and set the speed to low 2. Mix for 5 minutes. You can scrape the flour down the sides of the bowl occasionally, but a good mixer will usually get it all by the end of the kneading cycle.
Spray a baking sheet with a little oil and remove the dough from the bowl. Punch it a few times and shape it into a ball. Cover with a heavy towel and put in a warm place to rise for 60 minutes.
The oven is a perfect place to let bread rise. If the house is too cold (less than 75 degrees), the bread may have trouble rising, even in the closed oven.
There's a simple solution: while the bread is kneading, heat the oven to its lowest temperature then immediately turn it off. Put your bread in the oven after turning it off and the oven will stay nice and warm throughout the rise.
Once it's risen for 60 minutes, punch it out a few more times.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Shape the dough into a ball or football. Slice an X in the top. Cover and let rise for 10 minutes.
Cook for 30 minutes. Then brush with a little bit of oil and sprinkle about ¼ cup of mozzarella cheese over the top. Add a dash of parmesan cheese, too.
Cook 10 more minutes, until the cheese is bubbly golden brown. You can see in the picture below where the cheese fell into the large slits that the X made…it is incredibly delicious.
When finished cooking, let cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Then enjoy the best pizza bread you'll ever have! Eat it plain or dipped in pizza sauce for some extra pizza flavor.
Pepperoni bread also makes great toasted bread with sliced cheese on top or as grilled cheese bread. It can be enjoyed as the base of homemade garlic bread along with your favorite pasta dinner, too.
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- 2 ½ cups bread flour
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 ¼ tsp instant yeast
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese (plus more for sprinkling)
- 1 ¼ cup shredded mozzarella (divided)
- ½ cup pepperoni, diced
- In a saucepan, heat water and yogurt until steaming, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
- While the yogurt cools, combine flour, salt, sugar, yeast, oregano, and parmesan cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yogurt mixture ,1 cup of mozzarella and pepperoni. Mix on low speed 2 for 5 minutes.
- Remove dough and transfer to an oiled baking sheet. Shape into a ball, cover with a heavy cloth, and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour. (hint: warm the oven for a few minutes, turn off, and let the bread rise in the closed oven)
- Knead the dough a few more times and shape into a ball or rectangle. Slice an "X" in the top, cover with a cloth, and let rise for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Brush the top lightly with oil and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup of mozzarella and parmesan. Bake for another 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes before slicing.
- You can use plain regular yogurt in place of Greek. I've used both and the only difference is that the bread made with Greek yogurt is a little more moist and chewy.
- If using fresh oregano instead of dried, make sure to use triple the amount.
- You can use specialty pepperoni or pre-sliced packaged pepperoni. Specialty will be chunkier in the bread, while packaged pepperoni will be smaller and softer.
Using a bread machine to bake bread is perfect if you are new to baking or don't want to fuss with hand kneading complicated rising breads and doughs.
You simply throw all the ingredients in the basket, set it to the function you need, and the bread machine does the work for you.
While making pepperoni pizza bread in the bread machine is almost completely hands off, you'll need to know the order that ingredients go into your specific bread machine.
I use a Cuisinart bread maker, which is one of my favorite kitchen appliances.
These instructions are based on the order that my bread machines requires and yours might be different.
- Put the ingredients into the bread pan as the instructions indicate. Note: you will still make the yogurt + water mixture on the stove. The order for my machine is: water/yogurt, flour, salt, sugar, yeast, herbs, Parmesan, pepperoni, mozzarella.
- Set the machine to function 8 for dough, close lid, and press start. It will take 90 minutes to finish.
- When done, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Transfer the dough to an oiled baking sheet, shaped into a rectangle or circle and slice an X in the center.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top and bake another 15 minutes.
Wait 15 minutes for it to cool, and then enjoy your freshly baked pepperoni pizza bread!
As with most homemade breads, pepperoni bread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for around 3 days. It can be stored in the fridge for around 1 week.
Like all breads, pepperoni bread is freezer-friendly. Store in freezer bags or tightly wrapped plastic for up to 1 year.
If you made this delicious pepperoni bread, I'd love to hear how it turned out! Leave a comment below and let me know.