Pizza Bread

This is an easy, pretty bread that looks great on a buffet. My grandma used to make it, and it’s a must-have at my family’s holiday table. Although it’s a breeze, it’s no last-minute affair, as you must thaw or make the bread dough ahead of time.

white bread dough for one loaf, either frozen and fully thawed or made from scratch and allowed to rise
salt and black pepper
olive oil
flour for rolling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a cookie sheet or round cake pan. Using a very lightly floured, clean dishtowel as your work surface, roll, stretch or pull dough the best way you can manage to make it as thin as possible. It’s called pizza bread because it should start rolled out like pizza dough, but mine’s never a circle.It’s perfectly fine if you thin-rolled bread looks kind of irregular and homely. Just spread it with plenty of olive oil (the cheap stuff’s just fine), salt, and lots of pepper

Generously spread with olive oil, then shake on some salt and plenty of medium-to-finely ground (anything but coarse) fresh black pepper.

Roll up into a rope, stretching dough a bit more as you go. Coil the rope snake-fashion in the pan, oil the top, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let rise at room temperature at least 30 minutes for a denser loaf. Alternately, to double in size, cover with oiled plastic wrap, refrigerate, and let rise overnight (handy for hectic holiday meals).

Longer rising times make a larger, prettier loaf, but I somewhat prefer the denser version I get when I’m impatient and don’t want to fuss over the rising time.

Bake until golden, usually 25 – 30 minutes. Serve warm or reheat 5 – 10 minutes before serving.



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