I keep buying those packets of mini pepperoni because they are so freakishly adorable it makes me happy. But, once I get them home, they sit and wait for inspiration. Surely, there must be something clever and lovely one can make with a pack of mini pepperoni, right? Sure enough, inspiration struck for our Friday night dinner. I plopped together a batch of our 10 minute breadsticks, topped ’em with cheese and those perfectly-sized pepperoni, and magic happened. The kids grabbed. The hubby patted me on the rump. I’d done well for myself. Which goes to show inspiration always comes, so long as you have a little patience and a whole lots of packets of mini pepperoni in your fridge.
- 1 packet yeast
- 1 cup very warm water
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2-2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup mini pepperoni
- 1 cup Italian blend cheese (a mix of parmesan and asagio lends great flavor)
- 1 cup marinara sauce for dipping
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place the warm water in the bowl. Whisk the yeast and sugar into the bowl and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. The mixture should puff up slightly and foam around the top. Stir in two cups of flour, then slow add flour by the tablespoon until the mixture is very soft, but not super sticky. Drizzle olive oil over the dough, then knead it carefully in the bowl until it’s elastic (about 3-5 minutes of kneading). Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough into long, thin ropes. Place on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper or coated with nonstick cooking spray.
Sprinkle cheese on top of each breadstick. Place mini pepperoni across the top. Bake in an oven preheated to 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or just until the breadsticks become ever so slightly golden around the edges and the cheese is melted. Serve warm with your favorite marinara sauce for dipping.