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In Pursuit of the Perfect Pepperoni Roll

Feb
4

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The pepperoni roll, aka the State Food of West Virginia, is one of those simple things that makes life good. I’d never even heard of a pepperoni roll before moving here, but the testament to the pepperoni roll’s popularity in the Mountain State is found in every grocery store, bakery, and even gas station convenience store because the pepperoni roll is sold everywhere as if people might not be able to get down the road without one. They might die. As the story goes, pepperoni rolls originated with Italian immigrants who came to West Virginia to work in the coal mines. Rolls filled with pepperoni were easy meals to carry with them into the mines.

I’ve been working on perfecting my pepperoni roll recipe for awhile, determined to achieve pepperoni roll nirvana at home. When I first started baking pepperoni rolls, my kids called them “pizza rolls” because they aren’t from around here. Lest a native knock them flat for pepperoni roll blasphemy, I drilled the proper lingo into them as I continued to practice my craft.

There are, of course, good pepperoni rolls and bad pepperoni rolls. There’s a little store with a gas station near here that has some of the best pepperoni rolls I’ve ever tasted, better than some bakeries, so you never know. I try pepperoni rolls any time I get a chance. Research, you know. I’ve become a pepperoni roll connossieur. The most important thing in a pepperoni roll is enough pepperoni. (You’d think that was obvious, but some stores sell “cheap” pepperoni rolls by hardly giving you any pepperoni.) Then there is the “peppers or no peppers” question, but that’s really a matter of taste as is whether or not to add cheese (usually mozzarella or pepper jack). And, of course, the bread has to be just right, so you know I turned to Grandmother Bread.

In replicating the texture of pepperoni roll bread, I realized I’d have to add oil and egg. The absence of egg, oil, or milk is in large part the beauty of Grandmother Bread, but there is a definite textural effect. Including egg and oil here, I’ll demonstrate how to treat egg and oil as any other “add-in” to the standard Grandmother Bread recipe (such as when you add raisins or anything else) so you’ll also know how to use it in other breads when added richness makes a difference. Remember whenever experimenting with the addition of egg and/or oil in Grandmother Bread, you’ll need more flour than in the original recipe.

Since I like more of everything, I’m also all about the peppers and cheese, and most especially, the pepperoni and lots of it. And I mean lots of it. Not just in the filling, but right in the dough. Adding pepperoni to the dough itself is possibly a criminal offense as I’ve never found a pepperoni roll sold in West Virginia that did that. But at some point in my pursuit of the perfect pepperoni roll, I had to decide that perfection came first, and that if I had to go to hell for making the best pepperoni roll in the world by breaking tradition, it would be for a noble cause.

If you are all about tradition, you can follow this recipe to create real Italian immigrant-style pepperoni rolls by leaving the chopped pepperoni and cheese out of the dough. You can also leave the cheese and peppers out of the filling, and for an even more traditional result, use stick pepperoni instead of slices. You can also add Sweet Tarts. I’M JUST KIDDING!

Are you still reading? Here’s my SECRET recipe for perfect pepperoni rolls!!
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How to make Pepperoni Rolls:

Start with the one-loaf standard Grandmother Bread recipe, with a bit more flour. (Add-ins: minced garlic, egg, oil, chopped pepperoni, cheese.)

Read more about Grandmother Bread here.

Dough

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 egg*
1/3 cup oil*
1 cup chopped pepperoni
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
4 cups flour

Filling

pepperoni slices or sticks
pepper rings (approx. 1 1/2 cups)**
mozzarella or pepper jack cheese (approx. 2 cups)

*Any time you add egg or oil to Grandmother Bread, calculate the add-ins in the quantities listed here. Per one-loaf standard recipe, add 1/3 cup oil and 1 egg. Per two-loaf standard recipe, add 2/3 cup oil and 2 eggs.

**I use Oliverio Italian-style Peppers (Mild Rings) in Vinegar Olvero. Oliverio products aren’t easy to find outside West Virginia. You can get away with using regular banana pepper rings, or whatever kind of peppers you like, or you can order Oliverio peppers here.

In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, salt, sugar, minced garlic, egg, oil, chopped pepperoni, and the 1/2 cup of cheese. Let sit five minutes. Stir in the first cup and a half of flour with a heavy spoon. Add the next cup of flour a little at a time as needed, stirring until dough becomes too stiff to continue stirring easily. Add a little more flour and begin kneading. The amount of flour is approximate–your mileage may vary! Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let dough rise in a greased, covered bowl until doubled. (Usually, about an hour.) Uncover bowl; sprinkle in a little more flour and knead again before dividing in half into two balls.

Working with one half of the dough at a time, roll each ball of dough out onto a floured surface into a rectangle (approximately 8×12 inches). Sprinkle flour over the dough to keep from sticking as you roll. Make one slice lengthwise down the dough.
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Slicing from the other direction, make a slice down the middle, then again, until you have eight pieces. Sprinkle with cheese.
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Place pepperoni slices or sticks on each piece.
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Add peppers.
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Roll up, pinching seam to seal.
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Let rise approximately 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Bake for 20-30 minutes. (Watch carefully–the size of your rolls will vary the baking time–they’re done when they’ve browned.)
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Enjoy the fabulously scrumptious pepperoni-a-licious perfection!

Makes 16 rolls.

Note: If using stick pepperoni, cut sticks in approximately four-inch pieces, pencil-size. Also, if baking these with pepperoni sticks, there will be some drippings during baking. Be sure to use a pan that has some kind of edge to it to protect your oven from the drippings.
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P.S. My kids love these and now I have to make them all the time, often in double batches. Just a warning. Once you get started, you can’t stop! (They make great quick snacks and on-the-go lunches.)

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.


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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on February 4, 2009  

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  1. 2-4
    1:26
    am

    Ohhhh, those look SOOOO good!! And here it’s 2:30 in the morning and I am hungry! LOL

  2. 2-4
    4:43
    am

    Oh, Suzanne – you’re an evil woman! Making me stare at pepperoni roll goodness at 5:30 in the morning!!

    I’m a long time reader but first time commenter – your pepperoni rolls brought me out of lurkerhood. That and the promise of a cookbook.

    Suzanne, please tell me there’s a print version coming! I would buy at least 3 – one for my MIL, one for my DIL and one for myself, of course. :happyfeet:

  3. 2-4
    4:57
    am

    Wow, Suzanne, when you go for perfection……..THOSE LOOK AWESOME!! I have no idea what a pepperoni roll is, mind you, but I’m sure those are it!!

    And thank you and Kathy for the index!! That will make it so nice!! Usually I go looking for something, then get side tracked on something else in the forum, and forget what I was looking for!! So when I NEED something, this is going to work out great!!
    :snoopy: :snoopy: :snoopy:

  4. 2-4
    5:16
    am

    Mercy!
    You may single handedly throw under my diet bus….
    Off to print this out.

  5. 2-4
    5:58
    am

    Oh my word! THose look great… maybe because I am in Michigan I could make them with ham or bacon………… for variety. (Please don’t pelt me with pepperoni!)

  6. 2-4
    6:03
    am

    yum,yum !!
    They look so good!
    I will be making some this weeend !

    Thanks Suzanne

    You have the makings of a good cookbook with all
    your good recipes.

    Anne

  7. 2-4
    6:09
    am

    These look so good! I’ll have to try them next time the boys are home. Otherwise I might eat the whole batch myself…

  8. 2-4
    6:27
    am

    You are the SOLE reason I have blown my diet!!! LOL Those look wonderful!!!

  9. 2-4
    6:36
    am

    Gosh those look good. Next time I’m ever in West Virginia again, I’m looking for one of these.

  10. 2-4
    7:01
    am

    :hungry:

    pardon the drool but those look TASTEY!
    Though I wonder if you could use stick pepperoni?
    I’ve gotten into these rolls that have it and they are goood..wait..maybe use both!
    HOMG!
    Brilliant!
    :snoopy:

  11. 2-4
    7:31
    am

    I’m not trying to recreate pepperoni rolls as the Italian coal miners had them. I’m trying to recreate what is commonly sold in West Virginia today in grocery stores, bakeries, and little gas station convenience stores–and that’s pepperoni rolls that often include cheese (mozzarella, provolone, or pepper jack) and peppers. Usually, they’re also prepared using sliced pepperoni. I’m sure “authentic” Italian coal miner pepperoni rolls were made with just bread and (stick) pepperoni, but they would have liked mine better. :) And, as I said, you can leave out the pepperoni in the dough as well as the cheese and peppers if you want them plain and follow the recipe otherwise for a more authentic roll, so take your pick!

  12. 2-4
    7:31
    am

    I believe I will be changing tonight’s dinner plans. These sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  13. 2-4
    7:32
    am

    Oh my…they look delicious….I don’t even like pepperoni, but I would eat these!
    I can change.
    Cheers,
    sc

  14. 2-4
    7:46
    am

    I was wondering when you were going to post this recipe. You mentioned them in one of your posts… I think about the kinds of baking you were selling and what was most popular, if I’m remembering correctly. I like the idea of the pepperoni right in the dough as well as inside.

    Our local Krogers started selling these a while ago and hubby and our son have been taking them for lunches. I’ve been thinking about experimenting with a recipe to make them at home… now I can just try yours.

  15. 2-4
    7:55
    am

    Now that looks absolutely amazing. I am anxious to give it a try.

  16. 2-4
    8:08
    am

    These look fantastic. Hope to try them myself soon. Thanks for sharing.
    I’m new to your blog and really enjoy it. :)

  17. 2-4
    8:12
    am

    They look good except for the Pepperoni..I know, I know..substitute..but then I would have to name them another name – like chicken roll. LOL LOL LOL I do love Banana Peppers. I also enjoy Pepperoni if it is PAPER THIN and CRISPY, on Pizza…but I just have never been a Pepperoni fan. My sister LOVES it.

    Othewise, they look soooo yummy!

  18. 2-4
    8:26
    am

    You’re speaking my language. My dad taught me how to make pepperoni rolls and we did just about every Christmas when I was a kid. Dad never did any cooking really, so it was special.

    When I had my own family, I realized the convenience of them and started cranking them out for lunches or road trips. If someone had a baby…they got pepperoni rolls. New neighbor…pepperoni rolls.

    Then a few years ago I saw Al Roker’s show on HG or Food (can’t remember) where he went to Fairmont, WV to a place that sells them. And I put it all together…my dad was from Fairmont and I’m sure my grandma taught him how to make pepperoni rolls. Anyway, just a full circle of family history for me and connecting the dots. Way cool.

    I make mine with cheap pepperoni from Aldi (since I do them all the time). At Christmas, I’ll do the sticks. Mine are more the shape of dollar rolls and I’m a purist…only pepperoni.

    Donna, the think about the pepperoni is the grease. Oh the grease!!!

    Kris7
    Working hard at http://www.sccworlds.com

  19. 2-4
    8:29
    am

    These really look MUCH better than the pepperoni rolls I’ve seen in stores. It is about the bread as far as I’m concerned- if you don’t have a good crust you don’t have a filling good enough to make up for it! Thanks for the recipes, Suzanne, keep them coming!

  20. 2-4
    8:37
    am

    These look fantastic.
    Can you ship some to Oklahoma?

  21. 2-4
    9:08
    am

    Wow! These look good…..and deadly! I don’t even want to think about how many points these might be on Weight WAtchers! LOL!

    I am just trying to imagine how wonderful your house must smell when you are baking these rolls and the other baked goods that you do.

  22. 2-4
    9:09
    am

    When you first mentioned that you had started selling pepperoni rolls… it peaked my interest. I am thrilled :snoopy: that you posted the recipe! I can’t wait to make these for Hubs… he adores pepperoni! Thanks for sharing, Suzanne!

    ~Suzanne @
    http://www.sugarloafcottage.blogspot.com :wave:

  23. 2-4
    9:19
    am

    These look great. And they look like I will be making them when the house is empty on Sunday. Why when the house is empty? Well, because I will have the whole house to my self and no interuptions and I will be in charge of the kitchen too. (I live with my daughter, but until I find an elderly Prince Charming to build me my own place I am not in charge.) But I love in here!!!! Thanks for the new and improved juicy gooey cheesy version. :shimmy:

  24. 2-4
    9:20
    am

    We must be thinking alike. This is what I made yesterday too & posted about today. Yours look super yummy. The peppers do it for me!

  25. 2-4
    9:28
    am

    Oh, wow , this brought back some memories! I grew up in one of those Italian immigrant families in WV and my great-aunts would make pepperoni rolls for everyone to take to the high school football games every Friday night. YUM. I haven’t made them in years, but I might have to give your recipe a try. Thank you!

  26. 2-4
    9:43
    am

    Heavens to Betsy you have ruined my diet plans for the day with this one. This looks like a little roll of heaven :pirate:

  27. 2-4
    9:46
    am

    Those are the best looking pepperoni rolls I have ever seen, and I love pepperoni rolls.

  28. 2-4
    9:57
    am

    I will definitely have to try these out. I also love the pepper rings on my pizza, I thought I was crazy. LOL

    Not sure how you feel about little Blog Awards, but I chose you for one that I was given. If you are interested it is located on my blog.

    Thanks for giving me such a wonderful place to visit daily.

    Cece

  29. 2-4
    10:04
    am

    Thank you, Cece! :heart:

  30. 2-4
    11:31
    am

    I’ve never heard of putting pepper rings in them. I don’t eat meat – so I make them with fake pepperoni. When I was a kid, you could buy those things just about anywhere – with sauce and cheese. Even the dairy queen sold them.

  31. 2-4
    11:51
    am

    Mmmmm….This post makes my mouth water! I’ve never had the pepperoni in the dough either but I’m going to have to give it a try. When I was pregnant with my first born pepperoni rolls were what I craved. My husband took the car to work but every single afternoon I’d walk a mile to the store, buy a pepperoni roll and eat it on the mile back. I didn’t even realize that it was my craving until someone pointed out to me that it’s not normal to walk 2 miles to get a particular thing to eat every single day.

  32. 2-4
    2:43
    pm

    Yum! I’m going to have to try these out on my family. I love pepper rings on homemade pizza- they really kick it up a notch! I’m a newbie to your blog (and to the blogworld for that matter), but am enjoying it so much. It looks so very cold where you live! We’ve been so cold here in Texas that on groundhog day, one of my friends rallied “shoot the groundhog”. Thanks!

  33. 2-4
    3:15
    pm

    And right before I have to heat leftovers for dinner :no:

  34. 2-4
    3:31
    pm

    I’m drooling! :hungry:

  35. 2-4
    3:33
    pm

    i have some of hese raising right now-can’t wait to try them. When you cut the dough use a pizza cuter it goes faster.
    They already smell good and they are not even in the oven yet!

  36. 2-4
    3:34
    pm

    Oh gosh! My Daughter and Hubs are going to love these!

  37. 2-4
    4:00
    pm

    You are now my absolute favorite person in the entire world. My grandmother always had these around the house (minus the peppers) and she passed away before I got a chance to learn how to make them. Now, I can only hope that once I try your recipe it takes me back to some of my favorite times in my childhood. THANK YOU!!!

  38. 2-4
    5:22
    pm

    Wow … these look fabulous :-D

    :: bookmarking ::

  39. 2-4
    5:47
    pm

    Those look delicious! We often make pepperoni rolls at home too. I have to say though, growing up in WV, I did see chunks of pepperoni in the roll once before. The elementary school I attended, oh, about 25 years ago, made pepperoni rolls with little cubes of pepperoni in the dough. Of course, those were more like pepperoni hot rolls rather than a true roll, but still good, even for school food!

  40. 2-4
    6:19
    pm

    Wow never heard of pepperoni rolls, but I’ll definitely be trying them out on farm boy. Hopefully sometime soon. :sun:

  41. 2-4
    6:30
    pm

    Oh, Suzanne, please, please deliver them to Atlanta! :eating:

  42. 2-4
    7:54
    pm

    We were up in Dayton one time and went to the Kroger there for some pepperoni rolls. They didn’t have a clue what we were talking about even after we tried to explain what they were! My hubby says to make these because he hasn’t bought a pepperoni roll from the store since we bought a bag of mini-rolls and they were moldy! He will love the pepper rings added. He eats those things by the jar.
    ~Jenny~

  43. 2-5
    8:41
    am

    Get out!
    Those look SOOOO good!

    Please box some up and mail them to Kansas. Thank you.

    :shimmy:

  44. 2-5
    11:54
    am

    Scroll down to order Oliverio peppers:

    http://www.pennmac.com/page/386

    We just need Suzanne to tell us exactly which kind to use.

    -Lola

  45. 2-5
    12:13
    pm

    Cool! Look at that. I hadn’t thought about people being able to order them online. Well, you could truly use any kind you want, but I don’t actually see the kind I use there, which are regular yellow pepper rings (not hot rings). But like I said you could use whatever kind you like! (Any Oliverio peppers are the best!)

  46. 2-6
    10:24
    pm

    Oh my, I just made these and they are absolutely awesome, this is only the second time in my life I’ve ever made anything with yeast, and I must say that I’m pretty impressed with my bread-making skills. If I can do it, anybody can! Thanks for the recipe, I will be making these again soon. Oh, by the way, I mixed and kneaded these in my Kitchen Aid, in case anybody wants to know.

  47. 2-19
    8:37
    pm

    A friend referenced your site and well, you had me at “Pepperoni Roll.” We are long lost sisters. The way you described them reminded me of myself so much. I will definitely be making these, as well as, making a trip through West Virginia!

  48. 2-27
    1:01
    pm

    Hmmm, these look absolutely sinful! I’ve never made them, but did have them once while traveling through that part of the country. Couple of questions for you? My son is away at school….how long will these keep, and have you ever tried freezing them, results? I’d love to be able to send some to him in his next “care” package! Thanks for any tips you can give me!

  49. 2-27
    1:13
    pm

    They are never around my house for more than a couple of days at the max because my kids eat them right up (and I make them in big double batches, too!). They can be frozen just fine.

  50. 3-4
    10:38
    am

    Thanks! Lots of kiddos will be spending the night tomorrow night so I think I’ll give them a shot, and try to make enough to ship some to DS18 away at school!

  51. 3-5
    9:50
    pm

    I found this post via Okie Sister. Todd Blackledge, who covers college football for ABC, profiled West Virginia’s pizza rolls last season. Since I watched that little piece, I’ve wanted to try making my own version. I’ll give this a shot.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  52. 3-6
    5:49
    pm

    This recipe is absolutely delicious! I stopped buying pizza on Friday nights a couple of months ago, and started making my own. My grown kids now come over on Fri. nights for Mom’s homemade pizza and they are going to love these. Make some pizza sauce for dipping. Thanks for the recipe!

  53. 4-19
    12:51
    pm

    These look yummy!Thanks for the recipe.

  54. 6-20
    6:29
    pm

    Thank you so much for recipe for these… I grew up near Wheeling, WV and have always had these but when I moved to California people looked at me crazy for mentioning them, as they didn’t know what I was talking about! Now I know why :) I had these at school, football games, and just about any other occasion that we could think of!

  55. 8-28
    8:16
    am

    I grew up around Wheeling also, and never realized other people didn’t know what a pepperoni roll was! I can’t imagine! :eating:

  56. 9-14
    2:02
    pm

    I’m making these for the 2nd time today, and I have a question: How do you measure flour for your recipes? It sounds stupid, but I recently discovered the 5 Minute Artisan Bread book, and they recommend the “scoop and sweep” method (i.e., they use the measuring cup to scoop up the flour, then sweep off the excess with a spoon handle).

    I’ve always measured my flour by scooping the flour with a spoon or scooper into the cup, then sweeping off the excess, and I think that’s causing me problems with some recipes. I’ve already added over 5 cups of flour to the recipe above, and it still seems a little sticky. I don’t know if I’m measuring “wrong”, or if my idea of what dough should look like is wrong (everything I know about baking bread, I learned from print sources), or what.

  57. 9-14
    2:27
    pm

    I keep a one-cup scoop in my flour and that’s what I use to measure. I just scoop it then shake it a bit to shake off the excess. Go by how the dough feels, not by the measure of the flour. Always when it comes to bread, I say the measurements are approximate. Your dough will tell you when it’s had enough! If it’s sticky, add more.

  58. 9-14
    7:18
    pm

    Thanks. I tried measuring the other way when I made a second batch, and it didn’t make that much of a difference (I also reduced the water slightly).

    The texture of these was good after I baked them, though, so I’m not gonna sweat it.

  59. 9-22
    12:53
    pm

    I found this recipe the other day and couldn’t wait to try it. Unfortunately I had to until I could get to the store for some pepperoni. OH. MY. GOODNESS! Were these ever heavenly! I’m from Oklahoma so I don’t know if it’s our climate or what but it actually took more like 4 cups of flour total and the rolls weren’t heavy at all. Because I was still able to stir everything easily after adding all 3 cups of flour I double checked to make sure I was using my 1 cup measuring cup and I was. Climate is the only thing I could think of that would make that much difference. Next time I’ll have to definitely make a double batch!

  60. 9-24
    7:19
    pm

    Like your site.
    I have a question though. Have you noticed the bread you buy in the stores are soooo soft. It’s like there’s no substance to it. Does anyone know what they are doing or leaving out to make it so soft and doughy? I don’t like it.

  61. 9-25
    4:25
    am

    I don’t know what they do in store bakeries to make it that way, but I know what you mean!

  62. 10-4
    9:59
    am

    When I went to college at WVU in Morgantown in the late 70s, I was introduced to peperoni rolls and have had them at least once a month. With the cold weather coming in, the rolls make a great combination with a bowl of chili or dipped in nacho cheese sauce or mustard.
    I always make mine the easy way-grab a container of Pillsbury crescents and Hormel two stick peperoni. Cut each stick in half then in quarter spears totaling eight-bake-15 minutes later-heaven!!

  63. 10-5
    8:44
    am

    These are the best peperoni rolls I have ever made. I have tried many times to make them. My problem was that I was always using a generic bread recipe for loaves or for pizza. The problem was that the peperoni rolls came out so hard always. This recipe makes the best they are soft flavorful and just like you would want a peperoni roll to taste and feel. I made a double batch of dough and decided to try for a pizza as well with the dough since I had already made sauce for dipping. I was surprised how well the pizza came out I baked it at around 425 for probably 15 min on a round pizza pan the kind with little holes. I also made some breadsticks out of some thin strips I cut with a pizza roller then twisted up. I brushed them with some olive oil and sprinkled a little Lawreys course garlic powder with parsley. I baked them to lightly golden brown. When they came out I melted a tbls or two of butter and brushed them then sprinkled a little parmesan cheese on them. They were really good dipped in the sauce. Overall I have to say I love this recipe and its versatility, thanks for posting it.

  64. 10-17
    7:20
    pm

    I have been so homesick for the WV mountains. I have beeb living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for five years now, and just miss WV more and more.

    I am going to try these TOMORROW.

    Thanks so much.

    Dana

  65. 10-23
    5:31
    am

    Dear, sweet mother of Shepherdstown! I am SO making these tonight. Like you, I am a transplant to WV and though I’m married to an Italian, I have never heard about these until this very moment (I was directed here by a friend). These sound WONDERFUL!! Thanks!

    And PS … your writing is terrific. That’s what I do for a living; it’s always great to see someone who does it well. :)

  66. 10-25
    3:05
    pm

    Wow! Made these for my wifes young teen Sunday School class and some of the adult leaders. They were a big hit!!! Will definitely make again.

  67. 12-20
    11:07
    pm

    Just made these sans the peppers, for a more authentic style wv roll… I love it, thank you so much. It helps my homesickness out here in California!

  68. 12-31
    1:27
    pm

    Ohhhh those look so fantabulous!!! I make peperoni rolls evreytime she comes in. Since she moved to Northern Ohio she can no longer get them. Being a true WV girl she was heart broken. So every time she comes in I toss some rolls in the oven, but have been looking for some new recipies and let me tell you these look amazing.

  69. 1-7
    8:45
    pm

    PEOPLE !, I don’t why everyone is destined to think you can only get this in WV, I’m 24 years and grow up on this when I was a little kid growing up in Northeast Ohio in a city called Youngstown which is about 60 miles south of Cleveland. There was 2 covinient stores and all the pizza shops in the area carried them.

  70. 1-25
    10:18
    pm

    Oh My Goodness! I made these for my son’s 22nd birthday party last week, with 20 guests, and got nothing but rave reviews! I made more today and put them in the freezer for Superbowl. I’m sure they will be gone as fast as they were the first time. Thank you so much for sharing :)

  71. 1-28
    2:20
    am

    Oh man, thank you so much for this recipe, and especially for the grandmother bread recipe. I’ve been dying for pepperoni rolls and homemade bread since I left WV a few years ago. I am quite sure that I’ll be making a double batch of rolls tomorrow. :)

  72. 2-26
    2:06
    pm

    thanks for the recipe. i never heard of pepperoni rolls either until i got married and moved to wv. my neighbor was telling me she made some to take on vacation and couldn’t believe i had never heard of them. now, i do love them. and i do make them but i get lazy sometimes and make it into a braided lof. at bake sales these sell well too.

  73. 3-26
    11:33
    am

    Try to substitute regular pepperoni for turkey pepperoni. It tastes almost exactly the same without all the grease and they are MUCH better for you. Your kids won’t notice the difference.

  74. 4-30
    11:36
    pm

    In southwest PA, local Italian restaurants would serve them with the chopped pepperoni IN THE DOUGH…do I don’t think you’ve committed sacrilege :)

  75. 5-1
    8:32
    am

    These sound great! Can’t wait to try them!

  76. 5-9
    2:28
    pm

    For a quick easy pepperoni roll experience-get some Pillsbury crescent rolls-a two pack link of Hormel’s pepperoni sticks-slice each stick into quarters for the eight crescent rolls-put whatever you like along with the pepperoni (cheese, peppers or plain). Heat as directed. Dip in mustard, chili, nacho cheese sauce, pizza sauce or eat plain. Sit back and experience Heaven.

  77. 5-19
    8:12
    pm

    I’m a West Virginia native, and I found this page when I searched for a pepperoni roll recipe – I want to know how to make them myself so I can make them when I go to college in New York this fall :) Thank you so much for a great-looking recipe! I got stick pepperoni at the store earlier, and I’ll be making these very soon. :D

  78. 5-31
    3:26
    pm

    I just mixed up the dough – wow – I had to use a lot more flour as this dough was extremely sticky (perhaps it is due to heat/humidity today).

    I cannot wait to try these! I’ll let you know how they turn out.

  79. 5-31
    8:36
    pm

    Well…they came out beautifully. They taste great however I realize I did add too much flour.

    Suzanne – is this dough supposed to be really sticky?

    I will definitely make them again – with a lot less flour – I’m thinking use the mixer with dough hook.

    Thanks for this great recipe – definitely a great thing to take on a camping trip!

  80. 5-31
    8:42
    pm

    It’s not sticky for me, so I’m not sure what’s happening for you. I do use as much flour as I need while rolling them out. I don’t like a heavy dough, but if you flour well, you can roll them out fine!

  81. 8-12
    9:21
    pm

    i just finished making these! OMG they are yummy. hope you dont mind i posted it on my blog since i use that as my recipe book :)

  82. 8-16
    4:14
    pm

    My father’s family is from Fairmont, WV. I grew up eating Grandma’s pepperoni rolls. I tried your recipe, left out the cheese and peppers because I want to nail down how Grandma made them. VERY close to Grandma’s! So Good and so easy! My son loved them but asked that next time I put the cheese in with the pepperoni!

    Thank you for sharing!

  83. 9-18
    11:24
    am

    This is an eye-opener to me haha. I’m from Bluefield, WV and Pepperoni rolls have always been a normal thing to eat all my life. Never gave them much thought. I guess I assumed they were just as popular everywhere and not a WV thing. Now it makes sense, had no idea

  84. 9-18
    3:41
    pm

    I love pepperoni pizza and I’m sure to love these. However, I always slightly ‘degrease’ my pepperoni before cooking. I place the sliced, diced, or whatever pepperoni between a few layers of paper towels and zap them in the microwave long enough to just blot out some of the grease, bot not long enough to dry it out.

  85. 11-17
    11:30
    am

    I looove pepperoni rolls. No one in the south knows what these are and I have on more than one occasion begged my sister to mail me some from Krogers. Thanks for the recipe! I will be trying this out tomorrow!

  86. 1-14
    4:06
    pm

    I’m gonna try and make these for my son for dinner tonight , he LOVES pepperoni , though I’ll have to leave out the peppers and garlic (he doesn’t like that) otherwise they sound really good :).

  87. 3-16
    2:31
    pm

    These are the best pepperoni rolls I have ever had..The dough is really soft and easy to work with..Thank you so much for the recipe.

  88. 3-22
    3:48
    pm

    Thank you so much. My daughter had to do a school project on West Virginia which included bringing in a food item that was special for that state. You saved my evening. thanks again

  89. 4-25
    7:13
    pm

    i’m trying these tonite (the flour is rising right now; it was a little sticky, as someone else asked about, above.) how can i tell if the yeast is ‘proofing,’ when i’ve added all of the oil, sugar, salt, garlic, cheese, egg to it? it was kind of hard to tell if it was proofing…

    also, i want to make these ahead of time for a potluck this saturday. how much can i do ahead on friday? thanks very much.

  90. 4-25
    9:13
    pm

    robin, it should bubble when it’s proofing, but if you find it hard to tell when you add the other stuff, let it proof first with just the yeast, sugar, water (or milk) then add the rest after 5 minutes of proofing. To make ahead, you could make the dough and put it in the fridge and let it first-rise overnight in the fridge. Have all the other ingredients cut up and ready to go. You could even do like overnight cinnamon rolls and make the rolls totally then put in pans in the fridge overnight for second-rise in the fridge. There are various points you can make-ahead then slow down the dough till you’re ready, depending on where (at what point) you want to do it.

  91. 8-16
    7:50
    pm

    I am from Clarksburg WV and am in the process of making some pepperoni rolls right now. I will spare you my shortcut recipe because its NOTHING like the real thing. I decided to search for a Clarksburg WV pepperoni roll recipe and stumbled across your blog. I had to laugh because whenever I go to visit family I have to get pepperoni rolls and no I CAN NOT make it down the road without one. And, one of my biggest pet peeves…people calling them pizza rolls!! I used to hate when I would give one to a friend and they would not only call them pizza rolls but they also would microwave them. I would always tell them, “that’s not what you do”. And they would ask me why. My only answer was “because they’re from Clarksburg and that’s just not how you eat them.” I gave up trying to explain to anyone and just don’t share anymore! Will definitely have to try your recipe the next time I make them!

  92. 8-16
    7:52
    pm

    Wow, had to post again because I read some of the other comments. Crescent rolls for a shortcut?? WHAT?!?!?! No way no how.

  93. 10-10
    3:07
    pm

    Awesome recipe! Made them last week…and what my husband, 4 kids and 6 grandkids couldn’t eat, they carried away with them in ziplocks and little pepperoni greased hands! I cheated and mixed the dough up in the commercial Kitchenaid mixer I bought last fall. Double batches are a breeze in that sucker! Thanks!!

  94. 12-1
    1:59
    pm

    I noticed that Grandmother Bread calls for 1 Tablespoon of yeast, and the pepperoni rolls only call for 1 teaspoon. The dough didn’t rise to double in size, so I’m wondering if I used enough yeast?

  95. 12-1
    2:26
    pm

    A tablespoon of yeast is for the two-loaf recipe of Grandmother Bread.

    http://chickensintheroad.com/cooking/grandmother-bread/

    In the pepperoni rolls, the base is the one-loaf size recipe, so that’s why it calls for a teaspoon. (Half the size, and half of a tablespoon is actually a teaspoon and a half, but I’ve always found a teaspoon is plenty.) If the rolls didn’t rise enough, it could be for a variety of reasons. Especially at this time of year, rising is often complicated by cooler weather. You may need to let your dough rise longer, or you could do a rising helper, like set the bowl of dough or rolls on the upper rack in a turned-off oven with a bowl of steaming water on the lower rack.

  96. 2-1
    11:45
    am

    I agree with Michael B. in comment 69. I also grew up in Youngstown. I worked for a bakery that sold pepperoni rolls. I used to make them every Sunday morning and they would sell out by noon. The best part was the cheese that oozed out and got all crispy :) I can’t wait to make this recipe with the pepperoni and cheese IN the bread. It can only make them better! Can I make them today up to the point of second-rise and freeze them and them take them out Sunday morning, thaw, rise and bake for the Super Bowl?

  97. 2-1
    11:54
    am

    klhrvt8782, yes, you can stop and freeze at any point then thaw and continue!

  98. 4-5
    12:43
    pm

    I love your intro paragraph about pepperoni rolls being the state food of WV. So true! I’m partial to the roll recipes passed down through the remaining descendents of those original Italians. They’re more like the rolls I remember eating as a kid, but I’m definitely going to try your recipe. You are so right about it being all about the bread. Frozen pre-made dough doesn’t cut it in my opinion, maybe something only a native Mountaineer would understand.

    I have to ask, those better be Oliverio’s peppers you’re using?? ;o) The banana peppers and the medium hot peppers in sauce are my favorites.

  99. 10-1
    5:45
    pm

    When I was at WVU their pepperoni rolls were ground pepperoni in bread. They were GREAT with pepperoni in every bite !!!

  100. 10-28
    2:02
    pm

    This recipe is absolutely perfect; better than ANY other pepperoni roll I’ve ever had, so thank you! I used bridgeford pepperoni, which is very bold flavors..couldn’t slice it, so i pulverized it in the food processor. Used a cup of finely chopped int he dough, and about 3 teaspoon per roll. On the second batch, I added 1/2 c of finely chopped red onion… absolutely delicious, thank you

  101. 11-1
    9:35
    am

    who thinks of healthy when it comes to pepperoni rolls? Well, sometimes we have to because of health reasons, but we still want to enjoy the flavors of the foods we love, so, i tried a healthier version of these. I used a cup of whole wheat and 3 cups of all purpose, some of suzanne’s dough enhancer, 1/2 cup of natural applesauce instead of the oil… for the pepperoni, i used a mixture of 1 cup lentils, 1/2 c adzuki beans, minced onions and peppers, all strongly spiced with allspice, anise, fennel, smoked paprika, and cayenne, and they turned out surprisingly good… my neighbors didn’t know it wasn’t pepperoni… i did use a very little bit of skim mozz cheese, and sprinkled a little nutritional yeast on each one before rolling up… there’s no real substitute for good pepperoni rolls like suzanne’s recipe, but if you have health issues that limit your fat intake… with the healthier version, you can have a couple a these every day with no significant fat… hope someone finds it useful. I will still be making the real rolls from time to time, of course, so no hate mail please :)

  102. 12-7
    8:13
    pm

    I made these the other night and they are so good!! I made the dough in my bread machine and didn’t put any peppers in them (I couldn’t get the jar open lol). Will be making them again!

  103. 1-22
    10:38
    pm

    I see that a former WVU classmate remembers the Pepperoni rolls with pepperoni in the dough. They were the best !!!

  104. 6-14
    10:48
    am

    Omgosh! This actually brought tears to my eyes.
    I was born and raised in west by gawd! And I miss these so much
    that I was shocked when I started tearing up just seeing the picture!!

    I need to make some TODAY!
    Thank you for this post :)

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The Slanted Little House

"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....



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