Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pepperoni Rolls- A WV Tradition

Pepperoni Roll
     What, may you ask, is a Pepperoni Roll?  Huh! I gasp in horror.  Doesn't everyone know what a Pepperoni Roll is?  Well surprisingly it turns out the answer is an astounding, NO.  A quick snack that many of us West Virginians grew up eating is really only known to the people of this great state.  Your mother made them, your grandmother made them, hell even the local gas station had them on their shelves. Once you cross the mountainous border you will most likely never find this delicious snack.
     So, a quick history lesson on what makes the Pepperoni Roll so fascinating.  When the mines were booming in the state of WV local Italians from the Fairmont area needed a quick snack to carry down into the earth with them that they could quickly eat.  They decided to take some of the traditional food items that they would find in their kitchens: bread, pepperoni, and sometimes cheese.  That's it.  Roll up the ingredients, bake, and viola you have the fantastic Pepperoni Roll.  This version of the traditional roll I made from a quick bread dough recipe I have in my stash.  Below is the recipe for not only the dough but also how to quickly combine the flavors that make a Pepperoni Roll a wonderful snack.
  • 2 tsp rapid yeast
  • 1-cup warm water
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Pepperoni slices
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Dried oregano
     Add water, yeast, sugar, and 1/2-cup flour in a bowl.  Mix and sit aside for 20 minutes.  It will start to bubble and froth up. Next add the oil, salt, and 2 more cups of flour.  Mix and turn out on floured surface.  Need while adding the rest of the flour for about 5 minutes.  Form dough into a ball, place in oiled bowl, cover and let sit for 2 hours.  At this point the dough will have doubled in size.  Punch down and place in a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.  

     When ready to make the rolls remove dough from fridge about half an hour prior.  Cut off chunks of dough about the size of a bit larger than a golf ball.  Roll out onto floured surface, place some pepperoni slices on top, a pinch of oregano, and top with your favorite shredded cheese.  Pull dough around over top and place seem side down in a greased pan.  Cover and sit until the rolls rise again.  Place in 350-degree oven and bake until golden brown.  Makes roughly a dozen rolls.



  1. Saw this over on G+ and have to give it a try. Pepperoni rolls are not so uncommon as I often ordered them from Pizza Hut when I was in Falls Church. Now out in Front Royal and doing most of my own cooking I'm finding what you make and what you have delivered are two very different things! Thanks for the recipe and history.

    1. They are so easy. Even easier if you just buy the store bought frozen rolls so that every single one is same size. They are delicious. Thanks again