This is great when you want something a little more impressive than plain breadsticks. It also makes a nice hearty meal when served alongside some tomato soup. One loaf made a few meals for us this week.
- One batch of dough for The Best Homemade Breadsticks EVER!
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Parsley or other herbs
- Garlic powder
- roughly 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese (more if preferred)
- 1 package Pepperoni
Follow the dough recipe up to the point where you punch the dough down.
Instead of rolling the dough in to a rectangle divide it in to two balls. Roll one ball in to a long rectangle, about 7 or 8″ x about 20″. It doesn’t need to be perfectly square. Place on to greased cookie sheet. Next, sprinkle some shredded mozzarella cheese over the dough, leaving the outside edge clean. Spread pepperoni over the cheese in an even layer, again staying away from the edge. This will be the bottom of the loaf.
Now you’ll make the top. Roll the remaining ball of dough out as you did the bottom. Cut in to 3 strips. Fold the strips over, pinch to seal, and roll a bit to form long ropes. Smush (isn’t that a word?) the ropes together at the top and braid carefully. Really stretch the dough out each time you curve it. At the end, smush the ropes together again. This is what you’ll end up with.
To transfer the braid to the bottom drape one end over your rolling pin and hold the other end on your palm and wrist. Gently place it on top of the pepperoni. Don’t worry if it gets stretched, it is easy to tweak back. Then fold the sides of the bottom up and pinch them to the underside of the braid.
Melt the butter; drizzle about a quarter of it over a small bowl of Parmesan cheese. Mix well. Paint the remaining butter on to the braid. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Top with parsley and garlic powder. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 350 F for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. If you prefer, trim the edges for a neater appearance. Slice and serve warm.