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Pizza Braid

Homemade Braided Pizza Bread


I know right away what some of you are thinking...

This looks daunting. Too hard. I've never made bread...or homemade pizza dough.

STOP.

It's not hard. The dough comes together in your bread machine, you just throw the ingredients in.

And the braid? It's a total cinch! Just wait until you see! You'll be amazed!

I did not make this recipe up. I saw it on an episode of Judie Byrd's Kitchen. It looked so yummy, I wrote it all down and I've been making it ever since. She used a frozen bread loaf that she thawed (so that is another option), shredded chicken and Thousand Island dressing in hers. I opted to keep mine more kid-friendly with pepperoni and pizza sauce. I sometimes get a little wild and do ham and bacon ... or add some mushrooms and peppers for Mr. Diy and I. 

You can't add a lot of ingredients because there's just not a lot of room.

Let's start with the dough. Here's what you need:


See that packet of Fleischmann's Pizza Crust Yeast? That's your ticket to success! You just follow the instructions on the back of the packet. For those of you who need it, here are the ingredients:

Crust: 
1-3/4 to 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1 envelope Fleischmann's® Pizza Crust Yeast 
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar 
3/4 teaspoon salt 
2/3 cup very warm water (120 to 130°F)* 
3 tablespoons oil 
1/2 to 1 cup pizza sauce 
Other toppings as desired 
1 to 2 cups (4 to 8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
The trick is to add enough flour, a little at a time, so that your mixer basically cleans itself. The dough makes itself into a nice, neat little ball with nothing sticking to the sides or bottom - see the picture on the right. Then you let the mixer knead it for about 4 minutes (I use the low setting). After that, even though the instructions say to use it right away, I've found it's better to oil it with a little olive oil and let it rest for awhile (while I'm getting the rest of my ingredients together). I just remove it from the hook, leave it in the bowl and cover the bowl with a clean towel.

I went to my pantry to get my pizza sauce and found I didn't have any. No panic, I made my own. Here's what I used: 


A small can of tomato sauce, a few squirts of "fresh" basil (this stuff rocks - tastes like it's fresh from the garden and keeps forever in the fridge!), some Italian seasoning and fresh chopped parsley. Mix it all together and you're good to go.

Next up, I got my pizza ingredients together. Again, I wasn't as prepared as I should have been. My pepperoni that I was planning to use had turned on me. So I fried up some bacon. Oh, my poor, poor children will have to have bacon pizza. Haha, they will be ecstatic. Do you have bacon wars in your home on Saturday morning? We sure do...fighting over who gets the most pieces...I have to be diligent in counting out the bacon to ensure it's evenly distributed or there is sure to be war!! And my kids like it too (haha!)


I've got my sauce, the bacon, shredded mozzarella and some spinach for good 'ole mom :) Mr. Diy was at a meeting and missing out on this yummy dinner. Poor him! More for us :)

Now it's time to grab that dough and roll it out. Do NOT, under any circumstances, use flour! Your dough will be sticky and that's ok. Pour a little olive oil on your hands and it will not only keep it from sticking to you, it will help it roll out better. At this point, flour will just dry it out! My awesome MIL bought me this giant mat for just this purpose and I love it, but a clean countertop will work just as well.


Roll your dough out to about a 20 x 15 inch rectangle. It should roll very easily for you. Then spread sauce down the middle. You won't use all your sauce. Add the toppings on top of the sauce. Taking something with a flat edge (I used my black scraper), make slits evenly along the width the whole way down, leaving about an inch of space between the slit and the toppings in the middle. 

To make the braid, start with one of your top pieces and fold it over the toppings, then take the opposite piece and fold it over. Continue in this pattern all the way down your dough until you get to the end. Tada, you just created a braided pizza!! Wasn't that easy?! Pinch that last big edge to seal a bit.

Carefully transfer the braid to a baking sheet (I love my Silpat; if you don't have one, lightly grease your baking sheet beforehand). Make an eggwash by whisking one egg with one tablespoon of water until it's well mixed. Brush the eggwash over the pizza dough. That will ensure you have a nice, golden crust.


Pop it into the oven at 425 degrees for 12-15 min.


Oh my heavens, doesn't that look amazing?? Smells amazing too! The crust bakes up nice and puffy

 Let cool for a couple minutes before slicing into wedges. And enjoy!


Your children will thank you! Your husband will thank you!

And they will be impressed and wonder how you got it in that amazing braid. 

But we can let that be our little secret!

Enjoy!!!


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4 comments:

  1. Mmm--this sounds yummy! Love the bacon peeking out from the braid. Thanks for posting! Dee :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dee, it is really yummy...the bacon puts it over the top :)

      Delete
  2. How smart are you? That looks amazing and so much more difficult. Totally wish I could eat flour right now :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, you are so sweet! And yes, I totally wish you could eat flour too!! Maybe in the future?! Because it is SO yummy (sorry, don't want to rub it in).

      Delete

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