Pizza Monkey Bread and Homemade Pizza Sauce

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Gooey, Cheesy Pizza Monkey Bread
A recipe for pizza monkey bread (also known as pizza bubble bread), that combines balls of fluffy dough, pizza sauce, pepperoni, and plenty of gooey cheese.

Back in middle school – we had middle school instead of junior high – every child took the requisite home economics class. We were forced to sew a pair of flannel boxers and participate in cooking instruction classes. For years children were taught to make a very short list of foods that included things like Orange Julius (combine ice cubes, milk, water, orange juice concentrate, vanilla and blend), cinnamon rolls, and pizza bubble bread. I know for a fact that some of those items are still in the curriculum because my daughter had the opportunity to make them during the school day last year.

Pizza bubble bread always came early on in the class, made with canned biscuit dough, pizza sauce, cheese and pepperoni. There wasn’t a whole lot to complain about, and it didn’t contain any “weird” ingredients for those picky kids (read: vegetables). A quick and simple primer into the world of food.

While I’m not much of a canned biscuit fan, I am a fan of lightly spiced dough bites covered in sauce and gooey cheese. There’s not a whole lot that can go wrong in that equation. Serve it up with a hearty salad and dinner is served for family members of all ages. It’s an easy introduction to simple doughs (so easy, I promise!) that come together in minutes and turn into family-friendly fare in no time.

Gooey, Cheesy Pizza Monkey Bread
Recipe notes: You can, of course, use canned biscuit dough and whatever your favorite pizza sauce happens to be. I won’t tell.

Pizza Bubble Monkey Bread
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Proof time: 1 hour
Bake time: 25-30 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water, 110 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups pizza sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup quartered pepperoni slices or other pizza toppings

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Add in the olive oil, oregano and salt. Stir to combine. Using a fork, add 2 1/2 cups of the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the remaining flour onto a dry surface and turn the dough out on top of it. Knead the dough until smooth, adding flour as necessary to prevent it from sticking. You may not use the remaining 1/2 cup of flour, depending on humidity in the room you’re working in.
  2. Once the dough is smooth, place it in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together the pizza sauce, mozzarella, 3/4 cup of the Parmesan, and the pepperoni slices. Add in the dough balls and stir to coat.
  5. Lightly grease a Bundt pan or a pie plate with a ramekin inverted in the center. Add in the bread balls and sauce mix, scooping to fill the pan evenly. Top with the remaining parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the dough is cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Gooey, Cheesy Pizza Monkey Bread
Easy Pizza Sauce
Prep Time: 3 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon oregano or Italian seasoning blend (oregano, basil, parsley)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the garlic and stir for 20 seconds. Immediately stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano and salt.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool, and use as desired.

Makes about 2 cups of pizza sauce

Photo credit: Shaina Olmanson

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