2019: P… A to Z Italian Famiglia Foods and Memories: Pepperoni Bread
I’m back for “Year 4” of the A to Z… April Challenge!
My first year of this challenge had me racking my brain for a writing topic… especially as I didn’t quite understand the process. But finally I came up with 2016: Southern Foods and Memories. They said write what you know… and being a girl born in the South… well this was what I knew. 2017: Conversations with Mama was a somewhat easy one for me as I’d journaled our conversations for years so I researched some of my favorite topics to write on. 2018: All About Nancy Drew has been my favorite topic so far, and I don’t know if I’ll ever come up with another to equal it. It literally had me researching every day for over six months… researching, reading and perfecting every post. I was totally consumed with Nancy Drew for months… and still am! I didn’t want to “not” participate this year, but I was drawing a blank. Finally, mid February, I came up with writing on my husband’s Italian family foods and memories. I did my Southern foods the first year, so it was time to finally give his family their due! I’m also participating in the yearly 52 Ancestors 52 Stories this year… I am really feeling over-extended this month. April is a tough month for me, as we usually are traveling to my mother’s and my son in Florida… but somehow I’ll manage!
I think I can safely say that before marrying into an Italian family, I had never eaten any of the foods I’m blogging on this month… such an underprivileged child I was! Growing up in the South where we ate fried chicken, okra, black-eyed peas, butter beans, mashed potatoes, creamed style corn and southern biscuits! Oh My…!
Another great recipe I learned from my mother in law… one that she often brought to family functions. Being it was a favorite of my husbands, I made it quite often. There have been many changes through the years to this recipe… as it started with using either frozen dough or dough bought at the local pizzeria… and here in New Haven… we have plenty. My husband was often sent to pick up dough for his mother… they’d cut off a pound and throw it in a brown paper bag… how easy was that!
We soon progressed from the timely process of using fresh pizza dough… having to wait for it to rise… to a “use now” dough sold in the dairy department of your local grocery store. It was Aunt Catherine (Celia’s sister) who discovered this new pizza dough and after we all ate it… we were hooked… it was just too easy! Soon everyone abandoned the old favorite pizza dough! No waiting for it to rise… just make and bake… and you’re done!
One thing about pepperoni bread… you can never make just one loaf… as it goes way too fast. If you’re making it for a party, make the day before, slice and wrap in foil… just before serving, heat slightly in oven. I find it great cold, but hubby enjoys his warmed. But the real secret is… always have enough because it goes fast! It will be the hit of the party.
Be warned… if you happen to have a dog in your home, keep the pepperoni bread out of reach. We quickly discovered that our puppy, Kneeko, stretched with all his might to reach the top of the counter and drag off a loaf… and before we discovered one was missing, he had devoured the entire loaf… we found him lying on the bathroom floor… with a tummy ache! Hmmm, I wonder why?
I’ve shared this recipe with many family and friends… even sharing it to my hometown paper, The Houston Home Journal, in Perry, Georgia. I sent it to Miss Mildred Warren, who wrote the “Cook’s Nook” baking column; she featured it with an article about me living in Connecticut, and cooking Italian foods. I decoupaged it onto a wooden plaque and it now hangs in my daughters kitchen.
Pepperoni Bread Ingredients:
My husband has taken over now as the “Pepperoni Bread King” and kicks it up a notch… as he likes to say!
He begins by laying parchment paper on a baking pan… using clips to keep the paper from moving. There are two types of the Pillsbury Pizza Dough… classic and thin. Hubby prefers the thin… his answer is, “less bread, so I can eat more.”
The pizza dough is unrolled and slightly stretched to fit the inside of the pan. I find it easier if you add grating cheese to your beaten eggs… helps it to not run off your dough… and you definitely don’t want that! Pouring in the center will give you better control for it not to reach the sides.
Sprinkle your cheeses and pepperoni all over… don’t overdo the pepperoni as it’ll make it too heavy to roll up, and you’ll get holes in your dough. When I start rolling “jelly roll style”… I slightly roll the dough over about half an inch before rolling the bread up. By having your dough already on the parchment paper… you are ready to now bake. Hubby slightly brushes the top with some of the leftover egg and sprinkles with sesame seeds… his signature on pepperoni bread! Bake 350, 30-40 minutes till nice and golden brown. Let rest before slicing… if you can resist, but I love slicing the ends off as soon as I can!
Continue reading more of the A to Z… Cooking Famiglia Italian Foods and Memories
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