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ERIN SULLEY: In pizza we crust

Pizza monkey bread is easy, delicious and involves one pan. What more could you ask for? – Paul Pickett photo
Pizza monkey bread is easy, delicious and involves one pan. What more could you ask for? – Paul Pickett photo - Contributed

Calling all pizza lovers. If you enjoy making and eating pizza, I have an idea you will love. Ever make pizza monkey bread? How about making pizza in a bundt pan? Food friends, this week’s column is a fun way to prepare a weekend favourite.

“You can’t make everyone happy. You’re not a pizza.” – Unknown
Making pizza is so much fun. A great treat to make on the weekend for yourself and a fun way to get the kiddos involved in making supper. Over the years, there has been a growing list of different ways to make pizza crust: flatbread, naan bread, thin crust and stuffed crust. But monkey bread – this was a new one for me. How about you?

 

Pizza monkey bread is easy to assemble with a handful of ingredients.
Pizza monkey bread is easy to assemble with a handful of ingredients.
Pizza has a vast history, according to history.com. It says pizza developed in Naples, Italy, because Neapolitans required a cheap food that was quick to eat. These words hold true today. It even tells an interesting story of how margherita pizza got its name – after Queen Margherita of Savoy. I’m not surprised to read that pizza comes from Italy. I mean, hello. Italy is known for their amazingly, delicious food.
What makes pizza monkey bread stand out from regular pizza is the way the dough is prepared. Instead of flattening the dough to form a round shaped crust, you cut it up into small one-inch pieces. I see your confused faces. Believe me it’s worth it.
“Yesterday I really wanted pizza. Today I’m eating pizza. Follow your dreams.” – Unknown

Pizza monkey bread is extremely versatile. Although I kept this recipe super simple – the basic marinara, pepperoni and parmesan cheese, you can use any of your desired toppings. You can make Hawaiian, Greek pizza, meat lovers, veggie, BBQ chicken or buffalo. Don’t be afraid to test out different kinds of sauces too. You can use anything from regular marinara to alfredo, pesto or balsamic. Oh dear, I’m getting hungry again just thinking about all these tasty ideas.

Once your dough mixture is placed inside the pan, top it off with additional parmesan cheese. You can never go wrong with extra parm.
Once your dough mixture is placed inside the pan, top it off with additional parmesan cheese. You can never go wrong with extra parm.

Make sure to cut your toppings into little pieces. Smaller than you typically would for a flat pizza as you want the items to stick easily to the bread. If too big, they will all fall off when hauling the pieces out.

This might actually be easier than making flatbread pizza. Just think about it. All you do is pour the sauce, olive oil and all the toppings in a big bowl and stir. Once your dough is cut up, place the dough pieces inside the same bowl and softly turn it over until all the dough pieces are covered.

“Pizza: 73 per cent delicious. 27 per cent also delicious.” – Unknown
Pour all the mixture into your bundt pan and place the pan on a baking sheet to catch any stranglers that fall off. Then, put it in the oven at 350 for about 35-40 minutes. The smell coming from your oven will have you acting like that commercial where the actors are peering into the oven window and end up with an “oven sun burn”. I know that because that was me making this, waiting for it to bake.
Once complete, place the bundt pan on top a cutting board or placemat and put it in the middle of the table. Easy access for everyone to dive in. All you need is your napkins. It’s kind of like serving up a dish of nachos. Same concept.

If you’re wondering if this tastes as good as it looks. It does!
If you’re wondering if this tastes as good as it looks. It does!

Or you can run a knife around the sides and centre tube of the pan and invert onto a serving plate or platter. Additionally, you can serve it with extra sauce placed in the centre opening of the bread.
Pizza monkey bread is a great way to get people around the table. If everyone has clean hands, dig in by pulling each piece away. If you prefer a cleaner way of serving, use tongs to break them apart one by one.

This makes for light clean up too. Whoo hoo! It is a one-dish recipe – thank goodness says you. Double high five for that one.

“Cooking rule: If at first you don’t succeed. Make pizza.” - Unknown

The next time you think about making pizza, give pizza monkey bread a try as it’s definitely fit to eat. Be prepared to have a lie down.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Erin Sulley is a self-confessed foodie who lives in Mount Pearl. Email erinmsulley@gmail.comTwitter: @ErinSulley Instagram: @erinsulley


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