Today I have a recipe for pepperoni rolls, but you might not know what I am talking about. It’s probably a whole new food term for you. I first heard about them when I was a college student at West Virginia University. I learned that the coal miners took/take pepperoni rolls down in the mines with them for lunch or for snacks. These rolls are filling, flavorful, packable, affordable, easy to make, and don’t require refrigeration. They were started in West Virginia, and are now the food most closely associated with that state. They are often for sale in convenience stores in the coal mining regions of the state. They are simply dinner rolls that are stuffed with pepperoni and sometimes cheese. While in the oven, the flavors from the pepperoni ooze into the dough, and enhance the bread’s flavors. They became popular in the early 20th century when the coal was mined and the railroads were built by immigrants from Italy, according to Wikipedia.
Two Ways to Make Pepperoni Rolls
There are two ways you can make pepperoni rolls. The easy way is to buy frozen bread dough at the grocery. Follow the package’s directions and then form the dough into balls. (I took these unedited photos with greasy hands while forming the pepperoni rolls.)
Flatten each ball.
Fold the pepperoni in the middle of it.
Form a roll around the pepperoni, and place it in a baking pan to rise a second time.
Then bake them according to the directions.
If you are like me, then you prefer to make things from scratch. I found an easy homemade dinner roll recipe on Laughing Spatula that is the perfect vessel for the pepperoni. It is a little different from the way most bread is made, but it is easy.
- 3/4 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- 3/4 cup hot water (uncomfortable to the touch)
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 to 5 cups flour
- 1 ounce package dry yeast
- 1 5-ounce package pepperoni (I used Hormel)
- Salt, optional
- Butter, optional
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees.
- Heat milk and butter on high in microwave for 90 seconds.
- Put in a mixing bowl and add hot water, sugar, and salt. Mix till well blended.
- Let it rest 5 minutes.
- Add 2 cups flour and yeast. Stir till thoroughly mixed.
- Add remaining flour, one cup at a time. Mix till dough separates from the bowl.
- Knead for 5 minutes. (I used my Kitchen Aid mixer with the dough attachment).
- Divide dough into 12 equally sized balls. Flatten ball and put 3 to 5 pieces of pepperoni in the middle. Form a ball around the pepperoni.
- Put in a greased 9 x 13 baking pan.
- Place in 170 degree oven and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Then set temperature to 350 degrees. Do not open door or remove dough from oven.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes or till done.
- Remove from oven and brush top with butter and sprinkle with salt, if desired.
These pepperoni rolls are great served with a meal. However, they can be packed in your lunch or your kids’ lunches, and they are good to take to a pot luck or a tailgating party. I have even eaten them for breakfast. If you have some time, I highly recommend the dinner roll version because this roll recipe is really good. Be sure to use the frozen bread method if you are short on time. Enjoy!