Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Pizza Braid

Lately my kids seem to be uber picky. They're upping their finicky game and it often feels like they've banded together and agreed never to enjoy the same meals at the same time.  I'm all for sibling solidarity but not at the expense of a delicious meal.  Or perhaps they're training for the Picky Eater Olympics and have their eyes set on winning gold.  Anything is possible.

Either way, they're pickier than ever when it comes to food -- and Mama no likey.  I also don't like the war zone that family suppers can be when something that kids deem unappetizing is set before them.  Occasionally I will wave the white flag and offer up something that I know that they can't complain about.  These situations where no one complains are rare, like seeing an albino platypus playing the ukulele, but it can happen.  This pizza braid is one of those rare meals that none of my kids can hate.  It's pizza, nuff said.  

This meal is quick, easy and you can stuff it with whatever you want.  Our family of five needs two of these braids to feed us so I made one for the kids (el pickatitos) and one for Brad and I.  This was the perfect meal that I could throw on the table with a salad after suddenly being called into work for the day. With some kids recruited to cut up the toppings supper was on the table in no time flat.  Perhaps I have snuffed out their Olympic dreams.  One can only hope.

2 packages of Pillsbury crescent rolls
pizza sauce

Toppings of your choice:
pepperoni - diced
sausage - crumbled
red pepper - diced finely
red onion - diced finely
mushrooms - diced finely
green olive slices
Grated marble cheese (or mozzarella)
Garnish - dried basil and oregano, if desired

If using a baking stone, set your oven rack to the lowest setting. I prefer to use Pampered Chef baking stones to make these but you could use regular baking sheets too (just lightly grease them first and perhaps use a slightly higher oven rack in your oven so the bottom doesn't burn).

Preheat your oven to 400F.

Pop your crescent rolls and scream if you're like me and they scare you. It's called Pillsburyaphobia.  For reals. ;).  Roll one tube of dough onto each baking stone/sheet.

Pinch any perforated edges that started to separate and, with a rolling pin, roll the dough out flat.  It doesn't have to be a perfect rectangle.

Using a small knife, carefully make slices into the dough, about 1-inch apart down each side leaving a couple of inches in the centre (this is where your toppings will go).

Spread pizza sauce onto the section of dough that hasn't been cut.

Note: In the future I'll try putting all toppings into a bowl, adding the pizza sauce and mixing it up to make things easy and to ensure sauce coats everything.

Sprinkle pizza toppings onto sauce. Sprinkle with cheese.  Now let's wrap this baby up!

Taking one ribbon of dough from each side, bring them up over the toppings, cross each other slightly and tuck them in on each side.  You can see that I've done that with the first ribbons in the picture above.  Pinch the dough on the ends of the braid to ensure sauce/toppings don't escape during cooking.

Continue to 'weave' your dough ribbons over the toppings, making sure that the toppings are tucked nicely inside.  Pinch the dough at the other end.  Sprinkle with Italian seasonings (dried basil and oregano), if desired.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is nicely browned.  

Allow braid to sit for a few minutes and slice.  Serve with a green salad.


Kym said...

I do this technique all the time. "Stuffed Bread" is requested at almost all potlucks I attend. I make my dough in the bread machine (I know you do that too!)) and VOILA! I have never used the crescent rolls but this is a great idea for a quicker version of the same thing.
Picky eaters!!!! Balderdash!!!!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Balderdash, I love it! I do so adore my bread machines but yes, this Pillsbury method is a little less time consuming. From my Pampered Chef days I also make a cherry Danish-like version as well. So delish!

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