Easy homemade pepperoni bread transforms gooey mozzarella, pepperoni and a homemade dough into a simple dinner or easy party food your guests will love to tear and share.
There’s just something about digging in to a big cheesy slice of easy pepperoni bread. Not quite a stromboli and definitely not a calzone, this recipe comes together without any sauce inside so it doesn’t get too wet.
Save the marinara for dippin’ and let’s make this!
Homemade dough or store bought?
I love the homemade pizza dough recipe included here. It’s not complicated and doesn’t require days in the fridge. I think it’s worth making if you feel like you can.
If not, buy a ball of frozen pizza dough. Avoid the rolled up kind in the box. It’s horrible and will probably be too small for this recipe plus it rips when it bakes and your filling will pour out. :/
If you are sticking with me on the homemade dough, it takes about an hour/hour and a half to rise once and it’s ready to go.
How to make homemade dough for pepperoni bread
Start by activating your yeast in water. I don’t care if you have active dry or instant. If you’re new to baking put the yeast in warm water and let it foam a little. This takes about 7-10 minutes. Make sure the water is no hotter than about 115 f.
Mix flour, sugar, salt, the yeast, and some olive oil together in a bowl.
The dough will be shaggy, but give it a good knead and avoid putting extra flour on it. If it sticks, you can use a bit of olive oil on your hands.
Knead it until the dough is smooth and put it back in your bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap or a towel and let it rise in a warm place until doubled. About 1 1/2 hours.
Turn the dough out and roll it to a rectangle or oval shape that’s about 16 inches long.
To assemble pepperoni bread
Layer on good quality pepperoni. You can use the large ones from the deli or small ones. Just don’t buy the super cheap version because they taste awful. We tested with Applegate Farms uncured pepperoni.
Next comes a layer of fresh mozzarella. For maximum melt we want to skip the bagged shredded cheeses (they come with anti caking powders that prevent melting). You can find fresh mozzarella balls in the area of your grocery store where they keep the specialty cheeses.
Roll up another layer of pepperoni inside the dough as you fold it over. This gives you maximum pepperoni impact all the way through the pepperoni bread.
Brush the top of the rolled dough with butter, parmesan and Italian seasoning or dried Italian herbs like basil, parsley and oregano.
Bake seam side down on a rimmed baking sheet (it will probably leak a little when it bakes).
Let this easy pepperoni bread stand for five to seven minutes before slicing and serving. It’s great warm or at room temperature.
For other pizza inspired dishes
I can’t get enough of these copycat Little Caesar’s cheesy breadsticks. The Muenster cheese and golden crust are absolute perfection.
Pizza dip is certainly easier to make and lower in carbs.
And the fun presentation of pizza stuffed mushrooms is something your guests will love snacking on.
What to serve with pepperoni bread
Anything you like with pizza would work with this easy homemade pepperoni bread. Try some of these ideas to round out a meal or holiday table.
For the pizza dough
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast instant yeast will substitute; 7 grams; 1 packet
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 cups bread flour
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the pizza bread
- 6 ounces pepperoni sliced
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese sliced as thinly as you can
- 3 tablespoons butter salted or unsalted
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Make the dough:
- Add the yeast to the warm water along with half of the sugar from the recipe. Stir slightly then let the mixture sit until it just starts to foam–5 to 8 minutes or so.
- In a medium bowl, add the flour, remaining sugar, salt, olive oil and yeast mixture. Stir to combine, then use your hands to mash the mixture around in the bowl until a shaggy ball starts to form.
- Sprinkle the counter lightly with flour and knead the ball until smoother and more elastic–about 4 or 5 minutes. Place the dough back in the same bowl and drizzle with a teaspoon of olive oil. Rub the oil over the surface of the dough.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until doubled or almost doubled–about one hour or so depending on temperature of the room but it can rise for 2-3 without hurting anything.
Make the filling:
- Roll the dough into a 16 inch long oval or rectangle.
- Add the pepperoni on the dough in a single layer, shingling them (slightly overlapping them)
- Add a few slices of mozzarella but leave a bit of space between them. It will ooze at it bakes.
- Working from the long end, pull the dough up and over the pepperoni layer about ⅓ of the way.
- Add a row of pepperoni on the top of the dough you have rolled. Tuck in two or three small pieces of mozzarella and roll it again to ⅔.
- Add a last row of pepperoni and small pieces of mozzarella and roll it the rest of the way up. Pinch the seam to seal and place it seam side down on a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet.
- In a small bowl melt the butter in the microwave. Add the garlic powder, Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese and brush the mixture over the surface of the dough.
- Bake until golden brown; about 20-25 minutes. Tent with foil if the bread starts to get too dark.Move to a large cutting board when cool enough to handle and let it rest 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving with marinara.