I have been making pepperoni cheese rolls (we call it pizza roll) since I can remember. My grandma made them for all our special family occasions, and always kept some frozen―just in case. Often she would take them out when we stopped to visit.
Of course she makes the best, but mine are close. After all, the recipe is hers, and she taught me. I remember sitting at the kitchen table watching as a child, getting my sample when they came out of the oven. When I got older, she let me roll out a small piece of dough. Eventually, she let me make the entire recipe. Well, let’s just say, said she would say she would let me make the recipe. However, she always took over, and I ended up watching. At least I had the recipe.
While we waited for the pizza roll to come out of the oven, we had coffee and biscotti. We sat in the living room watching cooking shows and grandma told stories of her childhood, or about my aunts and uncles, or about my mom. As the timer ticked down, the aroma of yeast and spices filled the house. Twenty minutes later, we pulled the soft, delicious pizza roll out of the oven.
Not only are these pizza rolls my go to covered dish, they are a memory of the time I spent cooking with my grandma. I am very fortunate, grandma is still with us, she is ninety-seven and still going.
If you need something for your next pot luck, this is a great go to recipe. If you are short on time, you can always use frozen bread dough to make this recipe.
7 cups flour (plus bench flour)
1 package dry yeast
1 egg beaten
1 stick pepperoni – sliced
2 pounds sliced mozzarella cheese
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 stick butter softened
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups canned milk
2 cups warm water
In large bowl add flour and salt, make a well (hole in center). In separate bowl combine 1 tbsp sugar in warm water (110 degrees) with dry yeast (let stand for yeast to proof approximately 10 minutes). In small pan melt butter in 2 cups milk, remove from heat, let cool slightly, add sugar and beaten egg. (Note: do not boil milk). Put milk and yeast mixture in the well in the bowl with the flour.
Mix the flour into the liquid until dough is formed. Dough should not be sticky. You may need to add more flour or water to obtain a soft but not sticky consistency.
Knead for 5 minutes. Shape dough into a large ball. Rub Crisco on top of dough ball and the sides and bottom of the bowl. Cover with wax paper and dishtowel and let dough rise for 1-1 ½ hours (dough should double in size). Remove cover and punch down dough and knead again for 5 – 10 minutes. Rub Crisco on top of dough ball. Cover and let raise 1-1 ½ hours or until double in size. Uncover and divide dough into 4. Roll on lightly floured surface into 13 x 9 inch rectangle. Arrange pepperoni and cheese evenly and roll long ways like jellyrolls. Put on cookie sheet seam side down.
Poke each roll with fork several times with fork. Brush it with oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder and oregano. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and slice. Serve Warm.