Let me introduce you to the Pizza Braid, lifesaver to busy moms everywhere! I love having these in my freezer. It's like pizza and garlic breadsticks all-in-one just waiting to be devoured. I took a million pictures, so follow along!
Husband Rating: 4 stars
Note: For this batch I used Rhodes frozen bread dough in the freezer at Walmart. Ironically it was cheaper to buy 2 little bags with 3 loaves, then one large bag with 5 loaves. I let the dough thaw, then rolled it out and made the braid. My husband loves my homemade Best Ever Bread Dough and thinks it tastes better, but I used Rhodes to save time. Obviously the homemade tastes better, but Rhodes it a great option. The recipe below is for 6 pizza braids.
6 Rhodes loaves
9 cups cheese
1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
6 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1/8 tsp. garlic salt
Your choice toppings
I used 1 diced green pepper,1 can olives, sliced and 12 slices ham, diced
Roll out dough into a large rectangle. In the center layer sauce, cheese and your favorite pizza toppings.
Use a pizza cutter to cut each side into strips. Make sure you have an even number on each side.
Stretch out the strips one by one and cross with the opposite side.
Just like braiding, get it? (It's actually kind of fun, hehe)
Your braid should look like this, all wrapped up.
Melt butter. Stir in Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and garlic salt. Spread over the top of the pizza braid, this is like your "breadstick" portion. (I always scoot my braid on to foil at this point)
Fold carefully and pinch the ends. Label and date. My dollar store sells extra wide aluminum foil, which is super handy for these. Place in your freezer, careful not to smash them. Use within 3 months.
You need to thaw the pizza braid prior to baking. The night before you want to serve for dinner take out your pizza braid, place it on a cookie sheet and unwrap the foil. Cover the cookie sheet with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
2 hours before you want to bake it, remove from the fridge and let sit on the counter in room temp to rise.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic wrap and bake for 25-30 minutes. I like to leave the foil on the cookie sheet so there's no cleanup.
Serve with a salad or sliced fruit and you're good to go! And don't forget to serve with marinara dipping sauce. After we started eating I had to jump up and get the dipping sauce. I like to rip off the top part and dip them, then eat the bottom part just like pizza. Yummy!
Also, I want to recommend using a thicker tomato sauce. The "traditional" Ragu and others are so thin and runny that they just disappear into the dough and make it soggy on the bottom. I would recommend one of Ragu's "robust" varieties, or make your own with canned diced tomatoes.
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