Pizza Bread is a wonderful homemade bread filled with all the pizza toppings you love.
Cleverly cut and twisted, this bread is as beautiful as it is tasty. Pizza Bread goes perfectly with a bowl of warming soup.
How to use yeast.
My Pizza Bread is made using a yeast dough. If you’ve never baked with yeast before, fear not! There are really only three things to get right.
- Live (fresh as opposed to stale) yeast
- The right water temperature
Serve this up with some of my delicious cavatelli pasta or all on it’s own. So tasty.
Let me explain.
I like to use active dried yeast which comes in 7g sachets. This yeast is easy and convenient and has a long shelf life. Always check the date on the packet. But the best test to check the yeast is to mix it with warm water and a little sugar. If the yeast is not bubbly and frothy after 10-15 minutes, it’s most likely dead and can’t be used.
Warm water is used to activate and wake up the yeast. It’s important to get the water temperature correct. For active dry yeast this is 105 and 110°F (about 40 – 45°C). This correct temperature allows the yeast to fully dissolved and active. Too cold the yeast will lie dormant, too hot and the yeast will be killed.
Baking with yeast is not meant to be rushed. It takes time for the rising to happen. If the room temperature is cold, find a spot in the sun for the dough to rise. Or do as I do, put a little warm water in the sink, place the bowl into the water and cover with a cloth to trap the warmth and moisture in. Remember too hot and you will kill the yeast. The dough is ready when it’s press with a finger and the indentation doesn’t spring back.
Of course, I know the next thing you’re asking.
How will I get my Pizza Bread to look like that?
Yes, this cut and twisted Pizza Bread looks tricky. But it’s not. I got the idea for shaping this bread here
Firstly on a sheet of non stick baking paper, roll out the dough into a large oblong shape.Then top with the pizza sauce, cheese, meats and basil. Now roll up along the long side into a swiss roll shape. Press the ends to seal. Take a sharp knife and cut into the Pizza Bread starting a little way in from the sealed end. Cut the length of the roll and cut into two layers of bread dough. The roll will want to open up but remember it’s not cut all the way to the end, so it won’t. Carefully twist the roll to form and “S” shape. Finally just tuck the ends under as if you are making a figure “8”.
And there you have it – your very own Pizza Bread !
Once you get the hang of if, yeast baking is rewarding and fun. Just follow the 3 rules of yeast baking and soon you’ll be baking lots of different breads. You can also try my Ligurian focaccia, tear ‘n’ share garlic bread, Cheese Bread with Bacon or even crunchy breadsticks. That’s not to mention the delicious sweet breads but that’s a whole other story!
More recipes like this
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- 2¼ teaspoon active dried yeast (7g sachet)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1½ cups warm water
- 3 cups bread flour more if needed
- 2 teaspoons bread improver optional
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 clove garlic (crushed)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ onion (sliced thinly)
- ¼ cup pizza sauce (homemade or store bought)
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese (diced)
- 1 cup diced prosciutto and/or Italian salami
- ⅓ cup black olives (stoned and chopped)
- ⅓ cup basil leaves (shredded)
- ⅓ cup grated parmesan (plus more for sprinkling)
- Egg wash to glaze (optional)
- In a small bowl mix the yeast, ¼ of the warm water and the sugar. Allow to stand for 5 – 10 minutes until frothy.
- In a stand mixer bowl combine the yeast mixture with remaining warm water, flour, bread improver (if using), olive oil, oregano, finely chopped garlic clove, salt and pepper. Using a stand mixer with a dough hook attached (or you can mix by hand), knead on low for 10 minutes until smooth, elastic and slightly sticky. If you are using a stand mixer the dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl. If it seems very sticky add a little extra flour one teaspoon at a time.
- Oil a large bowl and scrape the dough into it. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for 1 ½ hours until doubled in size.
- While the dough rises, heat oil in a pan and fry onion until just caramelized. Allow to cool before using.
- Prepare a large flat baking tray by lining with baking paper.
- Dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Roll into an oblong shape about 30cm x 40cm.
- Spread pizza sauce evenly over the dough then evenly scatter mozzarella, prosciutto/salami, black olives, caramelised onion, basil and grated parmesan.
- Roll the dough starting from the long side into a log. Pinch edges to seal. Place on baking paper lined tray, seam side down.
- Lightly oil a sharp knife. Start a 1inch/2cm from one end and cut the log lengthwise down the center 1inch/2cm deep, to within 1inch/2cm of the other end, to reveal the filling and layers.
- Keeping the cut side up, carefully twist the log into an “S” shape then tuck the ends under to form a “figure 8”.
- Lightly cover with plastic wrap and allow rising for 45 minutes.
- While the dough is rising preheat oven to 350°F/180°C
- When ready, brush with egg wash if desired and sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
- Best served warm. Cut into slices with the Global Ikasu Bread Knife.
- I like to use a combination of prosciutto and salami. You can also use ham or pepperoni.