Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pepperoni Rolls

Pepperoni rolls are a local foodway here in northern West Virginia (and they come with a long origin narrative about having started out as food for guys working the mines).

Rose has had pepperoni rolls on the brain since talking about them in her folklore class recently. So when we saw some pre-packaged ones up on Shopping Mountain today, we thought about buying them to have during the Buckeyes basketball game. Before we even got them in the cart, though, I said, "Hey, why don't we just buy a big pepperoni stick and make our own with the pizza dough I've got thawing out?"

(We often have pizza on a Friday night, making enough dough one week for two weeks' worth of pizza, with the extras frozen and defrosted. We had missed our regular pizza night this week, so it was thawing for tonight.)

Of course, the big pepperoni stick was actually a good bit cheaper than the whole bag of rolls, and the pepperoni itself was good and spicy.

It was easy enough to cut it to length and to mix in some equally lengthy mozzarella (in the distinctly non-foodie-approved form of 'string cheese' that we had left over from a visit from Justin, Rose's nephew).

I rolled 'em up in small bits of pizza dough, sealed on the edge and at the ends; Rose brushed them with some olive oil and sprinkled on a few spices; and then we baked them until they seemed done. They came out of the oven looking pretty much like you would expect.

Served with a spinach salad and dipped in tomato sauce, they came out more like tubular calzones than the traditional local pepperoni rolls (which have more of a dinner-roll crumb, as they would say on tv), but they were quite tasty, for all that.

B+, I think, and better than the Shopping Mountain ones, I'm pretty sure.


Beth said...

OK, now I need to know more about pepperoni rolls. When you say "dinner roll crumb," do you mean a softer, airier bread than a pizza crust which is crispy and chewy? To me these seem like calzones, what's the difference other than shape?

I want to take Rose's class. I would do really well in that class, but I'd gain 80 pounds in my research. I would research pasties (road trip to Cornwall and northern Michigan!).

Must. Have. Pepperoni. Roll. Nom nom nom.

Pam said...

Justin would approve of the use of his string cheese for your yummy rolls.

Rosemary said...

Beth, to answer your questions: yes, the bread is usually more like soft white bread dough...not a crusty dough like Tom made these with. In that respect, these are definitely more like calzones (and are probably vaguely healthier than the traditional pepperoni roll, since we make our pizza dough with wheat flour).

If you want to see examples of more traditional looking rolls, click on the link at the beginning of Tom's post.

I'll make you some next time I see you. That'll give us a good excuse to keep experimenting!

Beth said...

We could add a pepperoni roll taste off with the Great Buckeye Challenge that I'm trying to pull together.

Rosemary said...

Beth, you're on. I'll start working out now so I can have *both* pepperoni rolls and buckeyes in the same sitting.