I found this recipe on Confections of a Foodie Bride and tucked it away for all of 24 hours before I made it. I was hosting some friends at my place one night, many of whom I thought might not have a chance to eat before coming over, so I wanted something more substantial than junk food. These pizza bites were a genius solution.
There is a bit of prep work involved, but the timing worked out surprisingly well and they were ready to eat just after people arrived. Unfortunately, I was a little stressed while making them, which is never a good thing. The only reason I mention it is because since I was already a little aggravated, frustrations like the dough sticking to the cutting board and not staying stretched out long enough to put pepperoni on it were amplified. Generally speaking, however, this was not too difficult a recipe – especially if you buy pre-made pizza dough, as I did.
The original post includes a recipe to make 2lbs of dough, which you’ll need for this, but I went out and bought some pre-made from a local food store. I bought one pound each of regular dough and whole wheat because I wanted to do half pepperoni bites and half plain cheese and be able to tell them apart. There was no difference in baking time, which was lovely since they were all going into one big loaf.
PEPPERONI PIZZA MONKEY BREAD – makes about 48 bites
- 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 4 Tbsp butter – I used salted, doesn’t matter
- 2 lbs pizza dough
- 6 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into about 48 small cubes – I used shredded because it was on sale
- 48 slices of pepperoni (the package I bought was around 30 slices, so just check)
- 2-3 cups marinara sauce, warmed for serving
- optional – ranch dressing for dipping as well
You don’t need to preheat the oven just yet because there will be rest time for the bites before you have to bake them.
Heat butter over medium heat until it starts melting. Add the garlic and let it cook until it starts to brown. Remove the saucepan from heat.
Using a pastry brush – lightly brush the inside of a bundt pan with garlic butter.
Breaking off about 2/3 oz of dough, about the size of a large marble, flatten it in your palm or on a lightly floured surface. If you’re so inclined, a kitchen scale will make this a lot easier. Keep in mind, though, that once the dough is torn/separated, it’s hard to patch it back up.
I used my palm to flatten the dough because it kept sticking to the wooden cutting board I was using. My hand became the easier option, but do what works for you. Flatten the dough, stretch it apart gently with your fingers, just enough so that you can fit a piece of the pepperoni on there as well as a cube, or pinch, of mozzarella. (For the plain cheese ones, I just used double the cheese – about a teaspoon.)
Wrap the dough around the pepperoni and pinch it to seal it shut. Then, using the pastry brush or your fingers, lightly brush the ball of dough with the garlic butter. This will become increasingly more difficult as your fingers become slick with butter, so I found it easiest to wipe them on a paper towel in between making every few. (This whole process took me about 45 minutes.) Throw the finished ones into the bundt pan.
Once they’re all made, cover and let the dough rest for half an hour. This is a good time to preheat your oven to 400F.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is very brown. (If only making half a batch in a pie dish, bake for about 20 minutes.)
Remove from the oven and let your bread cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing it to a plate and serving to hungry friends with your choice of dipping sauce.
These bad boys will get an evil rating of 4, because they were super addictive, though not really unhealthy 🙂