A pizza braid is very kid-friendly, easy on the wallet and extremely simple to make. My aunt and cousin first introduced me to them and I’ve been hooked ever since. The possibilities are endless of the varieties you could make (check out the Apple Dessert Braid!), but the recipe below is for a very basic hamburger and pepperoni braid. You could make your own dough, but I prefer the shortcut of using Rhodes rise and bake dough. This is one of my favorite shortcuts to make a nice loaf of bread or use in recipes like this one.
As I said, this is extremely basic. All you need is one Rhodes loaf (or however many you prefer), ground beef (if you’re baking one loaf it won’t hold any more than 1/2-3/4 lb), pepperoni, pizza sauce and your choice of cheese.
The dough takes a few hours to rise, so I take it out in the morning and place a towel over it. Once it has risen, you spray a cookie sheet and press out the dough into a large rectangle.
Yes, yes the dough in that photo has not risen fully. If you are in a time-crunch the dough doesn’t have to rise all of the way, but it is easier to work with and the finished product will be fluffier if you let it rise for a few hours.
Then you spread out the sauce, lay the meats down, followed by the cheese.
Then with a pizza cutter, start cutting about 1 inch thick strips down the whole rectangle. You want to make the strips on each side the same size and make sure you have the same amount, like the first picture. Don’t get frustrated your first time, it takes a few times to get the braiding down.
Follow the pictures above. You take the first strip and pull it down to the second strip on the other side. You then take the first strip on the other side and do the same. Keep braiding all the way down and make sure to tuck in the ends or the sauce will spill out during baking.
A few minutes before it’s done I brush with olive oil and sprinkle with oregano. I then bake at around 325 until golden brown.
There are so many versions you can make of the pizza braid: Philly cheesesteak, spinach and mushroom, Parmesan chicken- almost anything! You can even make dessert braids like apple or cinnamon roll.