Recipe: Braided Pizza Bread

braided pizza bread

Thanks to the excellent recommendation of my friend Heather, this recipe has become a regular in our house! Delicious as a dinner or an appetizer, it’s a nice change from traditional pizza. It may look fancy, but it’s actually not difficult at all.


In your bread machine, add the following ingredients:

1 1/2 cups water
3 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. active dry yeast


1. Mix ingredients on the “dough” setting (this usually takes around 90 minutes, so you’ll want to plan accordingly).



2. Remove dough from pan and divide in half. The dough will be sticky; flour it generously to be able to work with it. Roll each half into a rectangle, pressing the dough between 1/4″ and 1/2″ thick.

DSC00190 DSC00193

3. Layer pizza (or other) toppings down the center, according to your family’s tastes. (In this example, I layered pepperoni, then topped it with sauce and cheese, but you can make it as complicated as you like!)


4. Cut 1″ thick strips on each side of the toppings.





5. Braid the dough by alternately bringing each strip to the center of the toppings, beginning from the top. Fold any extra dough underneath the loaf.



6. Transfer both loaves carefully to a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing as bread will be very hot.


Along with our toppings, we like to use this recipe for Way Easy Pizza Sauce to give the bread a little zing. It will make enough for 2 batches, so I freeze half of it and use it for next time! I’ve amended the recipe slightly from the original to give it a little more flavor:

Way Easy Pizza Sauce

6 oz tomato paste
8 oz tomato sauce
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. minced garlic or garlic salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder


  • No bread machine? Check out your local thrift store, a garage sale, Craigslist – or ask a friend! There are plenty of well-intentioned bread machine owners who are looking to pass one along. You can usually find one for around $5!
  • The ideas for ingredients are endless. You can just as easily add ham and cheese for a fun braided sub, or chicken fajita, taco or philly cheesesteak fixings for a new twist! We usually make 2 different pizza bread loaves each time – with different toppings to suit our family’s preferences!
  • You can prepare the pizza bread ahead of time and keep it in the refrigerator before baking. It can also be baked and frozen (though it never makes it to the freezer in our house).
  • I like to schedule pizza bread the day after we grill chicken or have other meat leftovers as a creative way to use up toppings. Extra bacon or sausage from breakfast will get chopped and frozen to return as pizza toppings. We also buy a turkey ham chunk from Aldi every month or two, cut the meat into cubes and freeze it. Having chopped toppings on hand makes everything easier! The veggie tray from your last party can become part of tomorrow’s pizza bread, too!
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  1. 1

    Heather says

    This looks great! I might be changing what's for dinner. I use my Kitchen Aid when I make bread. Do you know if this recipe needs a double rise like regular bread or a single rise like pizza dough?

  2. 2

    Tina says

    We used to have cheesesteak braids a lot when I was growing up. Super easy and super yummy!! I might make these tomorrow night instead of regular pizza 😉

  3. 3

    Jen@Scrapingirl says

    Now THAT looks yummy. I think I'll do this on Sunday for my Dad's superbowl party. Now to put my thinking cap on. I need to plan on it getting done right before we leave. :) Thanks for sharing.

  4. 4

    K P says

    I might have to try this with all the sauce, cheese, and pepperoni on sale this week. Only one of my bread recipes have turned out so far :o)

  5. 5


    I'm not sure, Heather, since I've never tried it without the bread machine. Since it's just regular flour (rather than bread flour), I'd think that a single rise might be okay. The bread machine dough setting does a double rise, I believe. If you experiment with it, please let us know what works!

  6. 6

    Staying Lean says

    I may have to get me a bread machine. My mom had one when I was younger and I lloved it I used it the most.

  7. 7

    Jen says

    I'm looking forward to trying this recipe tonight! I made the pizza sauce this morning and it's great.

    • 9


      I’ve done something similar with crescent rolls, though I didn’t attempt any braiding! I divided the crescents into 4 rectangles, put the filling on one half of each rectangle, then folded the it over to make a “pocket,” somewhat like a stromboli. Bake according to the crescent directions. We liked them with pizza fillings and with ham/swiss!

  8. 10

    Nikki says

    I have a quick pizza dough recipe that doesn’t require a bread machine & rises in 15 minutes.

    From 1001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes
    6 slices = 100 calories/0.3g fat/3.2 g protein/20g carbs

    1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1 package fast-rising yeast
    1/2 tsp sugar
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/2 cup very hot water (120°)

    1. Combine 3/4 cup flour, yeast, sugar, & salt in a bowl. Add hot water, stirring until smooth. Mix enough of remaining 1/2 cup of flour to make a soft dough.

    2. Knead on a floured surface until smooth & elastic (3-5 minutes). Cover dough with the bowl and let stand for 15 minutes.

    3. Spread dough on the pan, add toppings, & cook 20 minutes at 425°.

  9. 11

    mindy says

    OMG! this looks fabulous. I am on a strict diet and I can’t have any pizza and I soooo want to. It’s my FAVORITE!!!

  10. 12

    Jamel says

    Awhile back I made a variation of this recipee….so easy and delicious!! One thing I did different was to pinch the ends of the dough together and put that side down on the cookie sheet. Using a kitchen scissors I cut several slits in the top….I use hamburger and whatever is on hand:)

  11. 13

    Tracie says

    I made this for dinner tonight. It was a huge hit. My daughter’s friend wouldn’t go home for dinner, she begged to stay for dinner. It turned out a little smaller than the one pictured, but I was low on time and patience to take the time to roll it out. But it was soooo good.

  12. 14

    SUSANNA says

    thank you soooo much for the method on how to braid the bread, i made mine last night and it turned out so yummy and pretty =) thank you again for all you do, you are a true blessing!

  13. 16

    Dawn Reeves says

    I remembered seeing this recipe and looked it up a couple of months ago. It is so easy to make and delicious! My family asks for it a lot;) Thanks for all you do here on your website!

  14. 19

    Jackie says

    I made this for my son and some of his buddies. Got a text from one of their moms the next day saying her son came home and told her ”Dylan’s mom is the BEST COOK EVER” :)…I did confess that the credit really belongs to you, and I already shared your site with her long ago.Thanks for all you do!