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Pull Apart Pizza Bread

Pull apart pizza bread celebrates a tender homemade dough (I’ll give you tips for using store bought too, don’t worry!), a blend of spices and cheese, and any add ins you like for a fun dinner or party appetizer. Just tear and share!

a plate with pull apart pizza dough and sauce in a bowl in the center

What Is Pull Apart Pizza Bread

Pull apart pizza bread is a delicious and fun twist on traditional pizza. It is essentially bread dough that has been tossed with pizza toppings and baked until golden brown and crispy. The bread is then pulled apart into bite-sized pieces, making it a perfect snack or appetizer for sharing with friends and family.

The bread is typically made with pizza dough, which is shaped and filled or tossed with a variety of toppings, such as tomato sauce, cheese, pepperoni, and vegetables. Once the toppings are added, the dough is rolled or cut into small pieces, which are then arranged in a baking dish. The bread is then baked until golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly.

One of the great things about pull apart pizza bread is that it can be customized to suit any taste. You can add your favorite pizza toppings, such as sausage, mushrooms, or olives, or experiment with different cheeses or sauces. It can also be made with different types of bread, such as sourdough or French bread, to add even more flavor.

Essential Ingredients

Bread Base

The bread base is the foundation of any pull apart pizza bread. It’s important to choose a bread that is sturdy enough to hold up to the weight of the toppings, but also soft and fluffy. A good option is a pre-made frozen pizza dough, or a homemade bread dough.

I don’t recommend using the tubes of pizza dough in the refrigerator section. These not only taste horrible but they don’t rise like a freshly made dough will.

How to use frozen bread dough in this recipe

If using frozen bread dough, it’s important to thaw it properly before using it in the recipe. The best way to do this is to place the frozen dough in the refrigerator overnight. Once thawed, the dough can be divided out to make balls.

Plan ahead if you are going this route.

Cheese Varieties

The cheese is an essential ingredient in any pizza bread recipe. Mozzarella cheese is a classic choice, but other options like cheddar, provolone, and parmesan can also be used. It’s important to choose a cheese that melts well and has a good flavor.

Meat and Vegetable Add-Ins

Adding meats and vegetables to the pull apart pizza bread can take it to the next level. Popular options include pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, peppers, and onions. It’s important to chop the add-ins into small pieces so that they can be easily distributed throughout the bread.

If you want to use vegetables that might leak a lot of water (mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant) it may be better to saute them first to cook off some of the water before mixing them in.

I used full size pepperoni in this recipe but you can use the smaller ones if you would like to. I find them thick and tough though–keep that in mind.

Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices are the final touch to any pull apart pizza bread recipe. Oregano, basil, garlic, and red pepper flakes are all great options. It’s important to use these ingredients sparingly so that they don’t overpower the other flavors in the bread.

Italian seasoning will bring most of those flavors together for you if you don’t want to buy individual spices.

There are also specific “pizza seasonings” on the market you can use if you have that on hand.

a ball of pizza bread dipped in sauce by a hand

Preparing the Dough

Dough Mixing

To prepare the dough for pull apart pizza bread, start by mixing together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. This typically includes flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Once the dry ingredients are combined, slowly add in the wet ingredients, which usually include warm water and olive oil. Mix the dough until it forms a ball and is no longer sticky.

It’s important to knead the dough for at least 10 minutes to activate the gluten and create a smooth and elastic texture. This can be done by hand or with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Once the dough is kneaded, cover it with a damp towel and let it rest in a warm place for at least an hour.

Dough Rising

During the resting period, the dough will rise and double in size. This process is essential for creating a light and fluffy pizza bread. After the dough has risen, punch it down to release any air bubbles.

Once the dough is risen, break off balls of dough about 1″ in size. You should get about 40 total from one batch of dough.

Mix the butter, oil, and spices together in a very large bowl. Add the dough balls, cheese and pepperoni and toss gently to combine. Try not to mash the balls.

Transfer this mixture to a greased bundt pan, deep 10″ skillet or even a baking dish and bake.

Baker’s Note: It’s flatter on the bottom

The balls on the bottom of the bread will be flatter than those on top. That’s normal and impossible to remedy because the weight of the bread and toppings above make it harder for the yeast in the bottom balls to lift all the weight.

To use frozen bread dough or bread balls

If using frozen bread balls, you’ll need to thaw them first. This can take 8 hours or more. Once they are thawed, cut them in half so you don’t have bread balls that are too large.

You can also use a loaf of frozen bread dough or pizza dough and cut off chunks to make balls.

Need to learn to make balls? Try this video for tips.

Serving ideas

Dipping Sauces

Pull apart pizza bread is a delicious appetizer that can be enjoyed on its own or with a variety of dipping sauces. Here are some ideas for sauces that pair well with this dish:

  • Marinara sauce: This classic pizza sauce is a great choice for dipping the bread pieces in. It’s tangy and flavorful, and complements the cheese and pepperoni in the bread.
  • Garlic butter: This rich and buttery sauce is perfect for those who love garlic. It’s easy to make by melting butter and adding minced garlic, and it adds a nice depth of flavor to the bread.
  • Ranch dressing: For those who prefer a creamy dip, ranch dressing is a great option. It’s cool and tangy, and pairs well with the savory bread.
  • Pesto: This flavorful sauce made from basil, garlic, and olive oil is a great choice for those who want a more herbaceous dip. It’s light and refreshing, and adds a pop of color to the dish.

Presentation Tips

To make the most of your pull apart pizza bread, consider these presentation tips:

  • Serve it hot: Pull apart pizza bread is best enjoyed when it’s warm and gooey. Make sure to serve it right out of the oven, or reheat it in the oven before serving.
  • Use a colorful platter: To make the dish more visually appealing, consider serving it on a bright and colorful platter. This will make the bread pieces pop and add some extra visual interest to the dish.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs: To add some extra flavor and freshness to the dish, consider garnishing it with some fresh herbs like basil or parsley. This will add a pop of color to the dish and make it look more appetizing.
  • Serve with a variety of dipping sauces: To give your guests some options, consider serving the pull apart pizza bread with a variety of dipping sauces. This will allow everyone to find a sauce they love and make the dish more interactive and fun to eat.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Once the pull apart pizza bread is cooked and cooled, it is important to store it properly to maintain its freshness and taste. The best way to store the pizza bread is to wrap it tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. This will help prevent any moisture from entering the bread and causing it to become soggy.

If you plan on reheating the pizza bread, it is important to do so correctly to prevent it from becoming dry or overcooked. To reheat the pizza bread, preheat your oven to 350°F. Place the pizza bread on a baking sheet and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake the pizza bread for 10-15 minutes, or until it is heated through.

Alternatively, you can reheat the pizza bread in the microwave. Place the pizza bread on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave the pizza bread on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until it is heated through.

It is important to note that reheated pizza bread may not be as crispy as when it was first baked.

a side view of pull apart pizza bread with a piece being pulled out and cheese stringing with it

Customization Ideas

Vegetarian Options

For those who prefer vegetarian options, there are several ways to customize the pull apart pizza bread. One option is to use a variety of vegetables as toppings. Some popular options include sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and tomatoes. Another option is to use meat substitutes, such as vegetarian sausage or crumbled tofu.

To add some extra flavor, consider adding herbs and spices to the bread dough. Basil, oregano, and garlic powder are all great options that can complement the flavors of the vegetables.

Spicy Variations

For those who enjoy a bit of heat, there are several ways to make the pull apart pizza bread spicy. One option is to add sliced jalapenos or other hot peppers as toppings. Another option is to mix red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper into the bread dough.

To balance out the heat, consider adding some creamy elements to the bread. For example, a dollop of sour cream or a drizzle of ranch dressing can help cool down the spice while adding some extra flavor.

Overall, there are many ways to customize the pull apart pizza bread to suit different tastes and preferences. By adding different toppings, herbs, and spices, it’s easy to create a unique and flavorful dish that everyone will enjoy.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When making pull apart pizza bread, there are a few common mistakes that can be easily avoided. Here are some tips to help you make the perfect pull apart pizza bread:

  • Using too much cheese: While cheese is an essential ingredient in pizza bread, using too much can result in a greasy and heavy bread. Stick to the recommended amount of cheese in the recipe.
  • Not fully defrosting the dough: If using frozen dough, make sure to fully defrost it before using it. Otherwise, the dough may not rise properly and result in a dense and heavy bread.
  • Overbaking the bread: Pull apart pizza bread should be golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside. Overbaking can result in a dry and tough bread. Keep an eye on the bread and remove it from the oven once it’s done.
  • Not adding enough seasoning: Pizza bread can be bland if not seasoned properly. Make sure to add enough salt, pepper, and other seasonings to enhance the flavor of the bread.
  • Not letting the bread cool down before serving: Pull apart pizza bread is best served warm, but it’s important to let it cool down for a few minutes before serving. This will prevent the cheese from being too hot and stringy, making it easier to pull apart.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your pull apart pizza bread turns out perfectly every time.

Want more pull apart cheesy loaves? Try these:

a plate with pull apart pizza dough and sauce in a bowl in the center

Pull Apart Pizza Bread

The perfect tear and share pizza bread loaf! Make your bread at home, toss in savory flavors and bake to golden perfection.
Print Pin
Servings: 10 servings
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Rise time 1 hour


  • 1 bundt pan optional


For the dough

  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 package active dry yeast about 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the pizza seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning


  • 4 ounces pepperoni
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese


  • Add the yeast to the warm water. 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, 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 to keep the dough from forming a hard crust.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until doubled or almost doubled–about 45 minutes to an hour depending on the room temperature.
  • Once risen, roll balls of dough about 1" wide. You should have about 40.
  • Set the balls aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the olive oil and melted butter.
  • Add the garlic powder and Italian seasoning and mix well.
  • Add the cheese and pepperoni to the bowl and the dough balls and use your hands to mix everything together gently. Try not to mash the dough balls.
  • Grease a bundt pan or 10” cast iron skillet well with oil. Add the dough ball mixture to the pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Let the dough balls sit 15 minutes to puff slightly while the oven preheats, then bake 30-35 minutes until the dough is cooked through. Tent with foil as needed if the top gets dark. You can use a thermometer to check the center which should be about 200 degrees in the center.
  • Turn out the pizza bread by running a knife around the edges then placing a plate on top and inverting the bundt pan.


Serving: 4balls | Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 514mg | Potassium: 83mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 230IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Yeast Breads
Cuisine American
Keyword pizza bread, pull apart pizza bread, tear and share loaf
The Dough Dabbler

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