There are few universal truths in life, but I know this to be true: Everyone loves pizza.
Pizza is quite possibly the world’s most perfect food. Between the crispy yet chewy crust, savory-sweet tomato sauce, and gooey cheese, it’s easy to understand the appeal. While some may dispute the ideal approach to each individual component, no one will disparage the overall concept. Even as it shape-shifts into different forms, that fact remains unshakable.
Thus, in honor of World Bread Day, I present to you pizza bread like you’ve never seen before. Forget the juvenile cafeteria fare that the notion may evoke and brace yourself for the ultimate pizza experience reconfigured as a generous loaf. Accordion-Style Pull-Apart Pizza Bread takes notes from monkey bread as an irresistible finger food, translates it into savory terms, and then flips it on its head for the final grand presentation.
If you want to impress friends, this is your new party trick. Though it may look complicated, it takes little more effort than shaping a standard loaf of bread. Divide and conquer, rolling out small sheets of dough piece by piece, then reassemble the whole thing like Frankenstein’s monster, but far more attractive. Tomato sauce gets baked right in for complete coverage so all you have to do is add cheese and toppings, then slap it together. There are no points awarded for cleanliness, so get in there and have fun!
The trick is knowing your spacial limitations. There is no loaf pan that I know of designed precisely for such unconventional culinary experimentation, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find creative solutions. I quickly ran out of dough before my standard 8 x 4-inch pan was filled, which ultimately came at my benefit. Simply tuck in the open end using foil as a brace and insert a ramekin with water for support. Now, you have both the perfect package and a built-in steam bath to help it rise to even greater heights.
What else can you add to your pull-apart pizza bread?
I’m glad you asked! Like the classic, fillings are as limitless for toppings. Dig into any of your favorites, such as:
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Sliced olives
- Diced red onion
- Plant-based pepperoni, sausage crumbles, or bacon
- Sauteed mushrooms
- Diced bell peppers
- Fresh basil, parsley, or scallions
- Baby arugula or spinach
- Diced pineapple
The only way you can go wrong is if you don’t try it in the first place. Even bad pizza is pretty good, and I can assure you, this one far exceeds all expectations.
Accordion-Style Pull-Apart Pizza Bread
Imagine all the flavors of pizza reconfigured somewhat like monkey bread as finger food. You get all the gooey goodness, savory tomato flavor, and tons of fun wrapped up in every buttery slice.
- 1/4 Cup Warm Water (110°-115°F)
- 1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
- 1 (1/4-Ounce) Packet (2 1/4 Teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
- 3/4 Cup Pizza Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/4 Cup Coarse Yellow Cornmeal
- 2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Tablespoons Vegan Butter
- 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 1 Cup Shredded Vegan Mozzarella-Style Cheese
- 1/4 Cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives, or Red Onion, Roughly Chopped (Optional)
- Combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Let it sit to reactivate for about 10 minutes, or until lightly frothy. Add the pizza sauce, oil, salt, red pepper flakes, cornmeal, and flour. Begin mixing at low speed to incorporate all the ingredients. Once generally blended, continue to let the machine knead the dough for 10 minutes, until it's a cohesive ball that's smooth, elastic, and tacky but not sticky.
- Lightly grease a medium bowl and place the dough inside. Cover lightly with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, until roughly doubled in volume.
- Once risen, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 2 or 3 minutes. Set aside and allow the gluten to relax again. Meanwhile, line a 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with foil and lightly grease.
- Prepare the filling by melting the vegan butter and adding the garlic powder and oregano. Have the cheese and your desired toppings at the ready.
- Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, approximately 12 x 20-inches. Brush the top liberally with the butter mixture and sprinkle the cheese and toppings all over. Try to distribute the goodies as evenly as possible.
- Use a sharp knife or pizza wheel to cut the dough horizontally into 6 long strips. Cut those strips into squares, roughly 2 x 3-inches each. Stack the stips on top of one another and carefully fit them into the pan, holding it vertically to keep them upright. Fold the end of the foil so it's flush against the final piece of dough, then place an oven-safe ramekin on the other side to hold it up.
- Let the loaf rise in a warm place for 30 - 45 minutes, then preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Add water to fill the ramekin at least halfway. Carefully move the pan into the oven, being sure not to spill the water, and place it on the center rack. Bake for 45 - 55 minutes, until golden brown all over and baked all the way through. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before unmolding and serving. Enjoy hot or warm while the cheese is still gooey and gorgeous!
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 299Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 466mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 9g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.
10 thoughts on “Pull Yourself Together”
Oh wow, this is such a creative recipe! My baking/bread skills are weak, but this looks too fun to miss. Thanks!
[…] So does Hannah’s pizza bread. […]
Hmmm, my comment never made it.
Your creativity is on full display with this one, Hannah. Congratulations!!
Oh my god, I am drooling. A brilliant idea! Thank you for your participation in World Bread Day.
hey hannah: getting ready to make/bake this today. your ingredients say that the all purpose flour is divided but i don’t see anything else about that in instructions. also, you say to cut the dough in strips then squares but your photos look like strips across the width of the pan. and how many squares do i stack together? thanks for your input. jude
I’m so glad you’re reading through carefully in advance! Thanks for asking, I should hire you as an editor. 😂 You’re right, I ultimately didn’t divide the flour, so ignore that reference and I’ll update the recipe. After cutting the dough into strips, the next step is “Cut those strips into squares, roughly 2 x 3-inches each.” You’ll ultimately use all of those squares stacked on top of each other to build the loaf vertically. Let me know if that doesn’t yet add up!
thanks for getting back right away, hannah. i would LOVE to be your editor!!!!!!! i’m sure i can just wing it but i’m having trouble visualizing the stacks. are there 6 piles of stacks? am i being too anal?
Of course! I’m truly happy to help, and I realize this is an unconventional assembly procedure. The number of squares stacked up is unimportant; I just star with a sizable batch so they can support one another, until I’m able to continue layering the next ones directly on top. Give it your best shot; if it doesn’t look right, you can always take them apart and try again. Worst comes to worst, it will be a little bit messier, but every bit as tasty.
thanks again, hannah. i’m good to go now.
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