The Washington Post

Pepperoni Pull-Apart Bread

Pepperoni Pull-Apart Bread 8.000

Scott Suchman for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Aug 4, 2021

This enticing, pull-apart loaf from "Great British Bake Off" winner Nadiya Hussain is essentially pizza bread. With both baking powder and yeast in the mix, you get a lofty, tender dough that is relatively quick to rise and manageable for even bread-baking novices.

Feel free to customize this recipe with whatever cheese, meat or sauce you like or have on hand (as written with the sriracha, the bread skews spicy, so adjust accordingly to your tastes). You can even use it as a template for other pull-apart loaves, including garlic bread made with an herb-packed compound butter.

Active time: 45 mins; Total time: 2 hours 45 mins

Storage Notes: While the bread is best when freshly baked and warm from the oven, you can store leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 days and reheat individual portions in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings; makes one 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch loaf

  • For the dough
  • 3 1/4 cups (400 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 4 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea or table salt
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (270 milliliters) warm water
  • For assembly
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) sriracha (or other hot sauce or tomato sauce of your choice)
  • 8 slices (6 to 8 ounces/170 to 226 grams) cheese, such as provolone or mozzarella
  • 16 slices (about 3 ounces/85 grams) pepperoni, such as Boar's Head Sandwich Style
  • 8 basil leaves


In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, oregano, sugar, salt and yeast, making sure to keep the salt and yeast on separate sides until you begin. Whisk or stir together until thoroughly combined.

Make a well in the center, add the water, and using a flexible spatula, wooden spoon or even the dough hook of a stand mixer, stir the dough by hand until it starts to come together.

Now, either flour a work surface and knead the dough by hand, or attach the dough hook and knead in the stand mixer. If you are doing it by hand, it should take 10 to 12 minutes of continual kneading. If you are doing it with the stand mixer, 6 minutes on medium speed should do the trick. What you are looking for is a stretchy dough that is smooth, shiny and still just a little bit tacky.

Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel, plate or greased plastic wrap, and let the dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, 35 to 45 minutes.

Generously grease the inside of an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch (900 grams) loaf pan with olive oil.

As soon as the dough has risen, gently deflate it and tip it out onto a flour-dusted work surface. Pat or roll it out to a rectangle that is 10 by 14 inches (25 by 35 centimeters). The dough can be sticky, so don't be shy about dusting your hands, rolling pin and counter with flour.

Brush the top with the sriracha, and distribute the 8 pieces of cheese evenly over the dough. Place 2 slices of pepperoni on each slice of cheese and then top with a basil leaf. Using a sharp knife or bench scraper, cut the rectangle into 8 equal squares. Take each square and fold it in half like a book. Stack them side by side in the pan with the filling a bit exposed at the top. If your pieces are not of completely equal thickness, place the thinner pieces at the two ends of the pan and save the thicker ones for the middle. This will keep the dough from rising and baking over the edge. Then let rise, covered with a bowl large enough to fit over the pan, a large reusable zip-top bag or greased plastic wrap, for about 15 minutes, or until the dough is puffy and just a little higher than the edge of the pan.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the middle position.

Once the dough has risen, uncover the pan and place on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any sauce or cheese that may bubble over.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top is pale golden brown. Brush the top of the loaf all over with some of the oil. At this point, the bread will not be cooked through. Cover loosely with aluminum foil to prevent the top from burning and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out mostly clean with no raw dough (you may get melted cheese, depending on where the tester lands).

Brush the top of the loaf with another light coating of olive oil, then let cool in the pan for 20 minutes before pulling apart and tearing and sharing, removing the loaf from the pan first, if desired.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Nadiya Bakes," by Nadiya Hussain (Clarkson Potter, 2021).

Tested by Becky Krystal.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 340

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 12g 18%

Saturated Fat: 6g 30%

Cholesterol: 25mg 8%

Sodium: 1160mg 48%

Total Carbohydrates: 43g 14%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: 3g

Protein: 13g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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