Fluffiest Pizza Rolls

Who doesn’t love pizza? Yes- that age old question. From my experience a pretty good fan base is kids. I know my two are 100% on board with this, and with these rolls even more so. I think part of the enjoyment for them is knowing that they’ll get to sample the fruits of their labor at the end. Over the years I’ve learned that letting kids take ownership of tasks (no matter how small) can yield bountiful positive results and enjoyment all round. But…I’m here to talk pizza (rolls)!

These pizza rolls are perfect on so many fronts – pizza is popular; you can rope the kids in to helping; guests can eat as much as they like; they’re easily transportable outdoor eating in the summer weather. Like I said- the perfect tear and share popular summer bite. For a snack or appetizer I use one, for a main I use two paired with a leafy, summer salad. Let’s not forget it customizable too. If pepperoni isn’t your thing, swap it in for chicken, or ham.

You’ll notice a couple of things with this recipe. The dough can appear wetter than usual when fully mixed, This is what makes the end baked roll so fluffy. It really is a case of “wetter is better”. You also see that I mention cornmeal in the recipe. Whilst this isn’t an ingredient in the rolls as such, dipping their bases in it and baking them results in a wonderfully toasted, crispy bottom with a delightful crunch.

One last piece of advice before I go. These pizza rolls are at their best fresh out of the oven however if there are any left they can be wrapped, stored in the fridge and reheated for enjoying later.

Makes 12

Ingredients

Pizza Sauce

  • 6oz can tomato puree
  • 1 can (15oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Pizza Rolls

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons quick yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup oil

Filling/ Topping

  • 2 cups pizza sauce, recipe above
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan
  • 1 cup pepperoni, diced/ shredded
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • Olive oil

Method

Pizza Sauce

  1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl, stir well, cover and set aside on the counter until needed

Pizza Rolls

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with dough hook attachment, combine the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, and Italian seasoning
  2. Add the egg and combine on low speed
  3. Add in 3/4 of the liquid and mix on speed 2 to to combine. The dough should come together and start “cleaning the sides of the bowl”. If you dough is still “shaggy” gradually add in some of the remaining liquid until it comes together
  4. Knead on this speed for 7 minutes, until it is uniform and spring to the touch. It will be a bit sticky!
  5. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size (mine usually takes between 50mins to 1 hour)
  6. Line a 9″ x 12″ baking tray with baking parchment, leaving about a 2″ overhang all the way around. This will help fish the baked pizza rolls out of the tin
  7. In medium bowl, combine the mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan and Italian seasoning. Set aside
  8. Spread the cornmeal onto a plate and set aside
  9. Once doubled in size, tip out onto a well-floured counter and knock back the air from the risen dough
  10. Form into a rough rectangular shape 20″ x 12″ with long edge facing you
  11. Spread the surface of the dough with 2 cups of the pizza sauce. Next sprinkle over 2/3 of the cheese mixture, followed by 1/2 of the pepperoni
  12. Taking the long edge, roll the dressed dough up into a long log shape. It’ll get messy- there’s no getting away from it but doing it slow and easy helps keep most of the filling inside
  13. Cut the rolled up log into 12 pieces* and dip the bottom of each piece into the cornmeal. Place the rolls into the prepared baking tray, cornmeal side down in 3 x 4 formation allowing a small gap between each
  14. Preheat your oven to 350F
  15. Cover with some oiled cling wrap and set aside to rise for approximately 35 to 40 minutes. By the end of this time you’ll notice they will have risen again and be quite snug in the baking tray
  16. Brush with some olive oil and bake in your preheated oven for 15 minutes, at which point remove from the oven, sprinkle over the remaining cheese mixture, followed by the remaining pepperoni, return to the oven and continue baking for a further 15 to 20 minutes until the crust is golden, the cheese has melted and the pepperoni is nicely crisped up
  17. Remove from the oven and leave in the pan for 5 minutes. After this time remove from the pan using the baking parchment overhang, serve and enjoy with the remaining pizza sauce for dipping

*A handy trick for cutting your individual rolls is to use some dental floss (unflavored and clean) or some fishing line (again clean!). Cut a length, wrap it it around the long dough log at where you want to cut and pull together. Slices will be clean and you don’t run the risk of squashing them. Repeat to cut more.

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