Wednesday, June 17, 2015

West Virginia Pepperoni Rolls

If you are a born and raised West Virginian, you know that one of our most famous foods is the Pepperoni Roll. We did invent it after all. I can remember when I was very little, growing up in Shepherdstown, WV, my Mom taking me and my brother to this little family owned grocery store. If we were really good, and my Mom had some extra change to spare, we always got treated to a fresh baked, delicious pepperoni roll. In honor of my home state, I had to create my own pepperoni roll recipe and I hope you appreciate it and love it as much as my family does. Most traditional WV pepperoni rolls don't have cheese - but I love the extra flavor and texture it adds.  My kids always beg for this recipe, and whenever extended family comes to visit - these pepperoni rolls are always requested!

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2/3 sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBLS active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 20oz pepperoni stick
  • 1 8oz block of sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 8oz block of mozzarella cheese
  • 4 TBLS butter
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1. Start by making your roll dough. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water and stir blend. Add the yeast, stir, and allow to proof for 15 minutes. 

2. Next add the salt and oil and stir. Finally begin to add the flour 1 cup at a time folding it in as you go, or if you like to cheat like me, utilize the dough hook on your kitchen aid mixer. I let my dough hook do the kneading for 5 minutes. 

3. Remove the dough and place it in an oiled bowl; cover with a warm, damp towel and set it somewhere to rise for 1 hour. 

4. While your dough is rising, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Take your pepperoni stick as well as your blocks of cheese and cut them into approximately 3" strips (pictured below). Set them aside until your dough has finished rising. 

5. Tear or cut the dough into 18 pieces. Press it down gently and alternate the cut pepperoni sticks with one stick of sharp cheese and one stick of mozzarella (pictured below)

6. Close up the rolls and pinch them shut, placing them on an ungreased baking sheet seem side down. Cover with a warm damp towel and allow them to rise for another 30 minutes. 

7. Melt the butter in a small dish and stir in garlic powder. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of each roll with the garlic butter. 

8. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

Serve them warm or eat them cold. When my kids are in school, they love it when I pack these in their lunches!

Yields approximately 18 rolls

**Our Southern Style Tip** There's no Break Maker machine at my house - I use my Kitchen Aid Mixer for all my mixing and kneading in all of my bread recipes.