Pepperoni Spinach Braid

If you have ever hankered to bake your own bread, artisan-type pizza crust is a fail-proof way to start working with yeast.

Pepperoni Spinach Braid

For pepperoni spinach filling:
¼ cup marinara plus additional for dipping
4 oz pepperoni
2 green onions, chopped
1 bunch fresh spinach
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

For braid crust:
1 pack rapid rise active dry yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 ½ cups warm water
2 heaping cups flour
2 Tbsp vege oil
½ tsp salt
1/2 tsp cornmeal
1 egg white
1 tsp sesame seeds

1. In a small bowl, mix yeast and sugar. Pour warm water into bowl. Allow yeast to swell for 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, oil and salt. Pour swelled yeast into dry ingredients.
3. Knead into dough for 5 minutes. Cover bowl, rest dough for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dust a baking sheet with cornmeal.
5. Roll dough out to 12x18 inch rectangle on a floured surface. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
6. Spoon marinara down the center 6 inches of dough rectangle.
7. Add a layer of pepperoni, sprinkle with onions, top with spinach, and finally cheese.
8. Cut one inch strips down rectangle sides like fringe. Braid.
9. Brush braid with egg white, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
10. Cut in 2 inch slices. Serve with a side of marinara.

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