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person holding a plate of pepperoni garbage bread

Cheesy Pepperoni Garbage Bread

  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 55 minutes
  • Yield: 24 slices 1x


Pepperoni garbage bread is an easy game day appetizer recipe that’s made with homemade pizza dough.  Lots of gooey mozzarella and cheddar cheese make this the ultimate cheesy football snack for a crowd.



For the Pizza Dough

  • 4 1/4 cups bread flour (500g)
  • 3 teaspoons fast-action yeast (10g)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (10g)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (12g)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (60 ml)
  • 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups warm water (300-350 ml)

For the Filling

  • 6 ounces pepperoni (170g)
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated (130g)
  • 1 1/2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated (130g)
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce with garlic, basil, and oregano (227g)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper or Italian seasoning, to taste


Making the Pizza Dough (25 min + 1 hr proving)

  1. Mix the dry ingredients.  Place the bread flour in a mixing bowl.  Add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl, then stir each one in with your finger.  Mix in the sugar.
  2. Add the wet ingredients.  Pour in the olive oil and half of the water, then begin to mix with your fingers.  Keep stirring and crushing the mixture, gradually adding more water as needed, until a somewhat sticky dough has formed.  Make sure all of the flour has been picked up from the bottom of the bowl.
  3. Knead.  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes, until it is very smooth and no longer leaves a sticky residue on your hands or the work surface.
  4. Check.  Use the windowpane test to see if the dough is sufficiently kneaded.  Break off a piece and stretch it with your fingers until it's translucent.  It should be able to stretch to translucency without breaking; if it breaks, knead for a minute longer and check again.
  5. Prove.  Pour a little olive oil into a mixing bowl.  Shape the dough into a ball and turn it in the bowl to coat with oil.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let it prove in a warm place until at least doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Shaping (25 min + 40 min proving)

  1. Prepare the filling.  Grate the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses and refrigerate until needed.  Rinse, pat dry, and finely chop a few basil leaves.
  2. Roll out.  Punch down the risen dough to remove the air pockets, then roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle about 11x17 inches.
  3. Add the filling.  Spread the dough with the tomato sauce, leaving a 1-2 inch border all the way around.  Sprinkle with black pepper, Italian seasoning, and chopped fresh basil.  Scatter the grated cheeses on top, then lay the pepperoni slices on top.
  4. Roll into a log.  Starting from the long side of the rectangle closest to you, begin rolling the dough into a log.  Go slowly and try to keep the roll as tight as possible.  Firmly pinch the seam and ends to seal.
  5. Prove again.  Place the log on a rimmed 11x17-inch cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Cover with plastic wrap and let it prove in a warm place until the dough springs back quickly when prodded with a fingertip, about 40 minutes.

Baking (25 min baking + 40 min cooling)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Start the oven about 10 minutes before the bread is done proving.
  2. Bake at 400 F for 25-30 minutes.  Watch the loaf as it bakes; some of the cheese may leak out of the bread if it cracks in the oven.  Check to see if it's baked by inserting a thermometer into the center of the loaf; it should read at least 190 F.
  3. Cool, slice, and serve.  Let the garbage bread cool for 40 minutes on a wire cooling rack, then slice and serve plain or with marinara dipping sauce.  Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3-5 days.


  • Always use bread flour.  All-purpose flour has a lower protein content, which means that the dough won't rise as high or be as chewy.
  • Change up the filling as desired.  Feel free to use up whatever is in your fridge.  Other filling ideas are mushrooms, onions, peppers, sausage, or olives.
  • Pinch the seam and ends tightly.  This will help the filling not to leak out as the loaf bakes.
  • Bake it on a rimmed cookie sheet.  The bread can crack as it bakes, causing melted cheese and grease to leak out.  Using a rimmed baking tray keeps the grease from causing an oven fire.
  • Be sure to let it cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.  It's extremely hot inside!
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: bread stuffed with meat and cheese, garbage pizza recipe, garbage bread