A few days ago, I was sitting outside and it was 60 degrees. Today it is snowing. I love winter. I am one of those rare people that loves being cold, bundled up, and craves snow days. But even I am over this winter.
Winter, I don’t want you to think that I don’t love you, I really do. But you’re killin’ me. Enough already.
In the meantime, I suggest dealing with winter by embracing carbs. Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread does the trick. I call it coping, okay?
Applegate sent me a really cute pizza making kit to introduce their new mini pepperoni. It was a perfect snow day activity. Except that the kids were too engrossed by Minecraft to help me. Which was okay, because I had a lot of fun making this on my own. As soon as they smelled it baking, they appeared out of nowhere and were amazed that I made something a) so fun and b) with pepperoni.
I normally don’t buy pepperoni. The kids think that I am the fun police when it comes to pepperoni. But now that I have a healthier version to buy I might reconsider my stance.
I used a recipe from Cook’s Country, it is more method than recipe, but I didn’t follow it exactly. If I had, then I would have had completely enclosed dough balls. I will fight you for the crispy burnt bits, so I was totally okay with my cheese melting. If you have more patience than me, then take your time.
2 balls pizza dough (store-bought or homemade)
4 ounce package Applegate Natural Uncured Mini Pork Pepperoni
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
8 mozzarella cheese sticks
Tomato sauce for dipping (I love the sauces from Scarpetta)
Microwave pepperoni in a bowl until it gives off some fat, 60 to 90 seconds. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate using tongs, and reserve the oil. Pat the pepperoni dry.
Add the olive oil to the pepperoni oil. In another small bowl, combine Parmesan and oregano.
Brush a Bundt pan with a little of the pepperoni oil.
Roll out the pizza dough into an 18×9 inch rectangle. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Lay a row of pepperoni 2 inches from the edge. Lay 4 mozzarella sticks across. Sprinkle half of the Parmesan cheese mixture over the top.
Roll up and seal the edges.
Using a sharp knife, cut in half. Pinch the sides, and then cut the log into thirds and pinch those edges. (Mine didn’t stay shut, but I didn’t try very hard. I kind of like the idea of them being all gooey and melty.)
Place the dough balls into the Bundt pan. Brush on more of the pepperoni oil.
Do the same thing with the second ball of dough and remaining ingredients. I sort of smooched them down a little. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Adjust your oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Bake until brown, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, let stand for 10 minutes.
Place the serving dish on top and carefully flip over. Sprinkle with a little extra Parmesan, why not? Serve with tomato sauce.