Pizza Bread

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pizza bread

Soon after a dear cousin of mine past away, family members handed down to me an old metal box containing priceless recipes of my aunt, their mother, it was like I won the lottery!

old recipes

A simple gray slightly rusted box stuffed full of yellow stained index cards, some typed but the majority handwritten treasures by my aunt. I spent some time going through them all recently, what I found were decades of her cooking, some magazine and newspaper clippings, but in between it all were some of our most cherished family recipes. Needless to say it brought back many happy food memories of my childhood. I also came across some unfamiliar recipes that I couldn’t wait to try.

old recipe

Like this pizza bread recipe, sort of a vegetarian version of sausage bread, something we would have each year at Easter time when I was a kid.  Pizza bread mimics the makings of a pizza but it actually gets rolled up and baked as a savory bread.

pizza doughYou can make your own pizza dough which is provided in the recipe or buy a good quality one like I did to make it really quick.
making pizza

I made the filling exactly as the recipe stated but you can certainly be creative and add other ingredients or change up the cheese to make it your own.

making pizza

Make sure to leave about a one inch edge all the way around free of sauce to make the rolling and sealing easier. After all the filling is placed on the dough your going to roll it up jelly roll style. Brush the top with olive oil, sprinkle with romano cheese and crushed black pepper.

The smell in my house was amazing and it lingered for a few hours, much better than potpourri! Just make sure to let it rest before you cut into it with a serrated knife. 


This is a keeper, thank you Aunt Eileen!

Pizza Bread
  • 1 small cake compressed yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ onion, minced
  • ½ teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 2 cups of canned tomatoes
  • 1½ cups of shredded mozzarella
  • ½ cup of grated romano cheese
  • salt and pepper
  1. For the DOUGH, dissolve yeast in water, make a well in flour and add yeast mixture. Knead for 10 miniutes, add oil and knead until smooth. Place in bowl cover with wax paper and towel and set in a warm place. Let rise for about 2 hours. Spread dough in a circular shape about 14 inches in diameter
  2. For the FILLING, saute garlic and onion in oil. Remove garlic and add tomatoes, salt and pepper.cook over medium about 20 minutes, crushing tomatoes with a slotted spoon. Let it cool then cover dough with sauce.
  3. Arrange mozzarella over the tomatoes. Sprinkle grated cheese and oregano on top. Roll pizza like a jelly roll and place on a greased cookie sheet sprinkled with corn meal or polenta.
  4. Bake in a 425 oven for 10 minutes. Lower oven to 375 and bake for 35 minutes more.
  5. NOTES;
  6. I opened one 28oz can of whole tomatoes and just used the tomatoes without the juice.
  7. I crushed the garlic and left it in.
  8. You could easily increase the mozzarella to 2 cups.
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  1. Pat Sherman says

    I have a quick question: when making the dough it says a small cake compressed yeast. I have a bag of King Arthur flour yeast, how many table or teaspoons would this equal? Thank you. Want to make this for Easter. Pat

    • Oh boy Pat, I’m not a baker! but I would make it equal to what is in one envelope of instant yeast,but better yet why don’t you Google that question, I think I will.

  2. How wonderful that you were given the recipes so that the family traditional foods would continue. The pizza bread sounds terrific.

  3. Marie, what a lovely post with the finding of your aunt’s cherished recipe box . . . I just love the photos! They truly take me into the heart of your cucina! I love this idea for pizza and can see serving it on Fridays during Lent and Good Friday. I can also imagine just now wonderful your home smelled while it baked! Thanks for the recipe! PS: Still waiting for the last minute touches of my blog transition. I’m hoping that it will be all complete in a few weeks. I hope that you have a blessed Holy Week and Easter.
    xoxo, Roz

  4. I treasure these old recipes – especially the spotted, handwritten ones. That recipe box looks so familiar. I regularly make this as a sausage cheese bread but love the vegetarian take on it. And you’re reminding me – I haven’t made this in 2013 yet – time to get cracking.

  5. What an amazing stroke of luck to have those recipes. So much of what my family made is lost. We don’t have a lot of “handed down” recipes. That’s one of the reasons why I started my blog. I figured saving my recipes for posterity online might create a tradition somewhere down the line. What a delicious recipe too. Who doesn’t love a good stuffed crust?

  6. I love my grandmother’s old handwritten recipes. They remind me of her.
    How nice to have this collection!

  7. I LOVE that you added the Zip List Save the recipe to your blog website. Now I can easily save all my favs. Your website is one of my favorites. This will help me organize my all my favorite recipes.

  8. Hi Marie,

    I love this type of food!

    I did notice though that the recipe in step 1 is missing a sentence that is on the card.

    “Knead for 10 minutes until smooth”

    Hugs and keep these wonderful recipes coming.

  9. Hi Marie…
    You brought tears to my eyes….thanks so much for posting mom’s recipes. If anyone could do mom’s recipe box proud, it’s you….the torch carrying cook of our family! 🙂


  10. Oh Marie, thanks so much for sharing these wonderful clics of your Aunt’s treasured family recipes. My Mom has wonderful recipe boxes very similar to your Aunts’and I treasure them. I love the recipes in plastic bags and the obvious “love”of the favourites. What a gift. My family will love the Pizza Bread. My plan is to make this over the Easter Weekend as there will be lots of family and friends coming and going.
    Happy Easter to you and your precious family.

  11. I know how you feel when you got all the recipes. My sister and I were cleaning out my Dad’s house and came upon my Mom’s recipes. What a find!
    And recently I have been to a couple of wakes of older Italian women and the children put out copies of their mom’s recipe along with the mass cards!

  12. PLEASE-don’t be sorry.-be sure to scan all of those precious recipes. save one to computer, one to a digital storage off-site and one to a close relative. That stuff is as valuable as money. It would be much easier to share with your children. Thanks for the recipe.

  13. My daughter’s favorite take out item from a Pizzeria, beside pizza, is spinach tolls. They are made like yours pizza bread but have a cooked and well drained spinach/mozzarella cheese stuffing. I should make her one as a surprise!

    I love that you are finding recipes to try from your Aunt Eileen’s recipe collection, Marie. What a treasure trove! The sad thing is that hardly anyone writes down recipes like this on index cards any longer –we rely on the Internet!

  14. Those recipes could not be in better hands, Marie. xo

  15. Diane Bellione-Morgan says

    Can regular yeast be used? I assume so??

    • Yes definitely Diane!

      • Diane Bellione-Morgan says

        thank you…….while I’m thinking of it, many years ago BH$G had a recipe for a meatless lasagna, it was made with a basic tomato sauce with added pureed roasted red peppers, they layered the lasagna with this sauce……lasagna noodles, red sauce, and on top of the red sauce was a bechamel sauce and it was repeated throughout…..(about 4-6 layers)……I made it and it was absolutely outstanding……I lost the recipe and want to make it again, I know I could “wing it” but I wanted it exactly as it was. I tried going to the Better Homes website but no luck. It was so long ago……any suggestions??
        thank you

  16. WOW! What a blessing! Recipes, like photos, are a precious record of your family history. Thank you for sharing. I love, love, love your blog!

  17. My grandmother used to make something similar. She sauted mild and hot melrose peppers with the tomatoes, and rolled it all together. She called it “pepper pie”. We called it delicious…………

  18. connie gotch says

    Wonderful memory of my Grandmother and me copying her recipes because she could not write. I asked once about Caponitina, and she said “take a bushel of eggplant” we laughed so hard…I wanted to make a simple recipe for 4 or 6, she gave me the recope for dozens of jars..That’s the way they did it in those days. I love the pizza bread and will make it on the weekend for my family.
    thank you for sharing.

  19. a sweet story. I’ll keep this one and take to my next bring something supper! thanks!

  20. Thanks for sharing! I’m sure you’re anticipating someone asking this : Where to buy cake compressed yeast?? What is “small” size? You may not know but I thought I’d ask. We did our corned beef /cabbage/potatoes from your suggestion – my kids liked it so much better than soggy cabbage and mushy boiled potatoes. Great idea !

  21. Marvelous! Its almost like having them back with you isn’t it? I have been lucky enough to acquire several of these treasure chests over the years and one of my favorites is a recipe for Scaccia which I got from my Aunt Rose who immigrated from Sicily when she was 2 years old. If you aren’t familiar with Scaccia, its similar to your pizza bread but shaped more like a calzone and has Italian Sausage, peppers, onions and grated cheeses. Very yummy. I love your photos-they make my mouth water.

  22. Oh my, Marie, but even without the fab recipe, this would be a post to remember. My eyes teared up when I saw your collection, yellowed and stained as they are. You have a veritable treasure chest! The more dog eared and marked a reciep is, the more wonderful the end result – it means you made it often. Unfortunately, while seized with a fit of clean-up mania a few years ago I discarded the lion’s share of my collection. I know – I have just beaten myself up endlessly. I am glad you have yours still. I hope you will continue to share them with us.

    And the pizza bread sounds grand – a bit like Stromboli, no? Paired with a green salad, it is a meal in itself – and oh, the wine too, of course! Thanks again. Complmenti!

  23. Oh Marie – These kinds of dog-eared, discolored recipe cards are filled with love and they are true treasures. Moreover, the pizza bread looks great. You did your aunt proud.

  24. I love all your old recipes! That is one awesome looking recipe box.

  25. Keeping the traditions alive.

  26. Diane Bellione-Morgan says

    This sounds amazing!!!!!!! I also make something I think you’d like……you take your pizza dough…….roll out rectangle.
    Then fill with Progresso jarred peppers, drained. Add assorted Italian cold cuts, about 3/4 pound or so, maybe more depending on how much you like, provolone cheese, etc. Roll jellyroll style and top dough with Romano cheese and garlic salt…..bake till done. Slice on an angle into 1″ slices………

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