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Monday, May 4, 2009

Pepperoni Pizza Rolls

I know. Seriously. And they taste as good as they look. Come to dinner.

Even though these rolls are a huge mess and massively time consuming to make, they are in my regular rotation for Friday night dinners. The dough is airy and moist, and these freeze like a dream for lunches the next day and all the next week.

But they are definitely only as good as your ingredients. I use turkey pepperoni and Trader Joe's Traditional Marinara sauce, for example. Just make sure you really like each ingredient, and then, as with pizza toppings, the sky's the limit!

On a more general note, I'm learning more about working with yeast. First, always proof it, no matter what the recipe says. Proofing involves putting the yeast in some warm water (100-110 degrees) and a pinch or more of sugar, then letting stand for a few minutes. Second, rising calls for a warm, draft-free location. Marcy Goldman says to cover the mixer and bowl with a big clear trash bag to make a proofing room but I haven't found it as effective as the following two techniques: 1) I warm my oven a little while making the dough (like the lowest setting or the Warm/Hold setting), then turn it off and put the dough in to rise, or 2) if I need the oven for something else (if I'm baking one thing I'm usually baking more than one thing), I run the dryer for a few minutes to warm it up and then stick my covered dough in the dryer and close the door.

1 1/2 cups warm water (100-110 degrees)
5 tsp rapid-rise yeast
1/3 cup olive oil
2 T sugar
2 1/2 tsp salt
4 to 5 cups bread flour

2 cups spaghetti sauce
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 T olive oil
Salt and pepper for dusting
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 1/2 pounds shredded mozzarella cheese
8 to 12 ounces pepperoni, sliced (I cut round slices into 1/2 or 1/4ths)

Finishing Touches
Olive oil
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a mixer bowl, proof the yeast. Whisk water, yeast, and part of the sugar and let stand 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in oil, the rest of the sugar, salt and most of the flour. Mix ingredients and then knead dough with dough hook on lowest speed 8 to 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to make a soft, bouncy dough.

3. Remove dough hook. Spray dough with cooking spray. Cover the entire mixer and bowl with a clear trash bag or cover with plastic or a dish towel and place in a warm draft-free location. Rise 45 minutes. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently deflate. Let stand another 20 minutes. Roll or press dough out into a 14x12 inch rectangle.

*Note: I've made this recipe three times and done it this way twice. The third time, at this point, I divided the dough in half and did the pressing, filling, rolling step in two parts, creating two shorter rolls rather than one longer one. It was just easier to transport them to the baking sheet and back that way. I recommend it.

4. Smear on spaghetti sauce, garlic, and olive oil; dust with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Scatter on cheese and pepperoni. Roll dough jellyroll style and place it on lined baking sheet. Refrigerate or freeze (I freeze) 20 minutes and then cut into 1 1/2 inch slices (chilling makes it easier to slice without it compressing dough.)

5. Place slices with some space between them onto prepared baking sheet(s.) Brush tops with olive oil and dust with Parmesan cheese.

6. Cover baking sheet loosely with plastic wrap and let dough rise 20 to 35 minutes. Preheat oven to 375. Bake until cheese is melted adn bubbly and buns are golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

1 comment:

Celeste Elaine said...

Could I get your recipe for that light and airy dough? It sounds great!

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