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Wingin’ It: Divisional Round Bread for Bills vs. Bengals

Different than pizza... sort of

2022 wingin it - Bengals at Bills - Divisional Round

Can you believe it? Season 5 of Wingin’ It. Where has the time gone? For any newcomers, here’s the premise: It’s hungry work being a fan of the Buffalo Bills. Every week of the regular season and postseason, Buffalo Rumblings brings you a recipe to try out with a “Buffalo” twist.

The Buffalo Bills host the Cincinnati Bengals at Highmark Stadium on Sunday afternoon, with the winner advancing to the AFC championship game. To honor the city of Cincinnati and this grand moment, I dug deep and asked this question: “What sounds good this week?”

I asked this to my wife. She said pepperoni bread, and here we are. I make a Buffalo-inspired sauce for dipping. As an aside, I did make this a pull-apart version, so you can, ahem, make the bread divisional.

Divisional Round Bread

Serves: 4-6
Active Time: 30 min
Total Time: 2.5 hours


1 cup warm water (about 110ºF)
2 Tbsp honey
1 packet yeast
2 34 cup bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
3 cups shredded cheese (mozzarella or preferred blend)
5 oz sliced pepperoni

2 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz tomato sauce
6 oz tomato paste
2 Tbsp honey
4 Tbsp hot sauce
12 tsp salt (or to taste)
12 tsp oregano (or to taste)
12 tsp garlic powder (or to taste)

You’ll need: Loaf pan (or just place it on a baking sheet if you don’t have one)

  1. Combine water and honey in a large mixing bowl. (If it’s not entirely blended that’s okay — honey can be a little hydrophobic.)
  2. Sprinkle yeast over the top; allow to sit for at least 5 min — there should be a little foam (see below).
  3. Mix flour, salt and oregano together in a separate bowl.
  4. Add dry, mixed ingredients to water-honey-yeast solution, and combine.
  5. Thoroughly knead in 2 Tbsp of olive oil until smooth. Use remaining oil to coat and finish the dough. (You might not need a full Tbsp.)
  6. Set dough aside, covered, at room temperature for about an hour. Dough should double in size. (Remember that means total volume, not height.)
  7. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Stretch dough out to approximately the width of your dough pan and about two feet long (see pics below).
  8. Cover with cheese and pepperoni, leaving about an inch of dough with no toppings on one end. (Optional: add garlic powder, oregano, or other seasoning to the cheese.)
  9. Roll up dough, starting from the end OPPOSITE the one with no toppings.
  10. Place rolled dough into loaf pan. Cut three lines across the top to allow steam to vent. Bake, uncovered, for 20 min.
  11. Remove from oven carefully and cover with foil. Place back in oven and bake for another 25-30 min.
  12. Uncover pan again and finish baking for another 5-10 min. Bread top should be a lighter brown. (Optional: spread butter and add parmesan and garlic powder during this step.)
  13. Remove from oven and allow to rest while finishing recipe.
  14. Make sauce: Add 2 Tbsp olive oil, tomato sauce and paste, 2 Tbsp honey, and hot sauce to a medium sauce pan on MED heat. Mix to combine thoroughly. Season with salt , garlic, and oregano; adjust to taste. Serve with bread when you’ve nailed the preferred sauce flavor.

Wingin’ It Tips and Prep Gallery

Most of these photos are just for illustration purposes. There’s not much as far as actual tips in this section — except the first picture. “Skare, what gives?” That’s just a bowl and a measuring cup with water in them. Whoopidy-do!

No. They’re filled with warm water. Winter baking means cold bowls and measuring cups. That can be a real problem, especially with glass. I might add warm water, but by the time the yeast gets in, it’s colder than the sweet spot. I pre-warm my glass, dump that water, and then get my 110ºF water measured out for the yeast.

Next up, we have yeast before and after the foam. I’ve shown this before, but this saves you from looking up another article.

Then we have the dough stretched. I had to do it across two cutting mats. The toppings one is just to show that, yes, you cover it pretty heavily.

The first baked picture is after the 20 minutes uncovered step. The next one is the final product to show the color I went for. This is a low-and-slow baking recipe, because we have a lot of ingredients with moisture in the middle of this thing. If you cut it in the middle and the inside is still a bit uncooked, don’t hesitate to bake it some more.