Once a month we’re featuring a new family-friendly dish for our Kids Can Cook section from the Hatfields. The dairy-free teen cooking star is Katherine and this week she is sharing dairy free pepperoni rolls – a tasty tradition in their town. Her mom, Sarah, has the pictures and details for us …
Originally from West Virginia, pepperoni rolls are now a staple in Western Pennsylvania where we live, as well as in other nearby areas. They are often seen at parties (Super Bowl Sunday, anyone?), at pizza places, and are great to pack in school lunches. Years ago, before we baked dairy-free, I purchased several pounds of pepperoni and mozzarella cheese, and the young man behind the deli counter said, “Making pepperoni rolls? If you have any leftovers, will you bring them to me?” They were once a popular lunch for miners, too (according to Wikipedia!), because they didn’t need to be refrigerated and are so portable.
We often make dairy free pepperoni rolls on Sundays and use the leftovers for school lunches during the week. They are also a great side to serve with soup; we especially like them with this Turkey Vegetable Soup.
While they can have other meat fillings and sometimes cheese, original pepperoni rolls were just made of pepperoni and bread. This allows the oils from the pepperoni to soak into the bread, making a hearty savory that’s so satisfying, even dairy eaters don’t miss the cheese! We served these dairy free pepperoni rolls to a large group of out-of-town family members who couldn’t believe the rich bites didn’t have cheese inside. That said, you may of course add some dairy-free mozzarella or dairy-free cream cheese if you wish.
If you tried our Rustic Homemade Rolls Recipe, you might recognize this dough. A bit more flour is added and the proof time is reduced for a quick, pizza-like dough. This recipe makes enough dough for six large dairy free pepperoni rolls. Even if you aren’t hosting a big party, it’s still worthwhile to bake them all because they freeze well for later. We usually slice them before freezing, then you can reheat just as much as you need.
It goes without saying that this is a great recipe for kids to help with, and teens can take over the full baking duties. The dough is easy and foolproof, and it’s fun to shape it and fill it with pepperoni–or whatever else they choose!
Special Diet Notes: Dairy Free Pepperoni Rolls
by ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, and soy-free.
For vegan / plant-based and vegetarian dairy free pepperoni rolls, swap in your favorite vegan pepperoni, like Yves, Smart Deli, or homemade!
- 27 fluid ounces (3⅜ cups) water
- 1 tablespoon instant active yeast
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1106 grams (approximately 8¾ cups) all-purpose flour,
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 60 dairy-free large sandwich-size pepperoni slices (approximately 8 ounces)
- Microwave the water until just tepid, approximately 30 to 45 seconds.
- Add the yeast, sugar, and salt to the warm water.
- Add the salt to the flour.
- Stir in the flour and salt slowly, about a tablespoon at a time.
- Knead well for approximately 10 minutes, either with a dough hook mixer attachment or by hand.
- Brush the inside of a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
- Put the dough in the oiled bowl, turn it over, cover with a clean dish cloth, and let it rise until doubled, anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 425ºF.
- Punch down the dough and place it on a floured cutting board.
- Cut the dough in half, then in thirds, making 6 equal portions.
- Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Flatten one ball of dough into a rectangle on the cookie sheet.
- Lay 9 to 10 pepperoni slices on the dough (use more if using small pepperoni slices).
- Roll the dough into a cylinder, starting with one of the long sides.
- Place the roll seam side down on one side of the baking sheet, tucking the ends under.
- Repeat with a second portion of dough and pepperoni slices.
- Place in the center of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove to a cooling rack.
- Let cool for at least 15-20 minutes before slicing into 1-inch slices.
- Repeat with the four remaining dough portions, baking two at a time on a cookie sheet.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.