|Pepperoni rolls must have a generous grease stain.|
|Pepperoni rolls stuffed with Oliverio Peppers are indeed "almost heaven".|
Here is the recipe for pepperoni rolls that we've been making in our family for years. The dough is a little bit of work but well worth the effort.
Authentic West Virginia Pepperoni Roll Recipe
Makes about 20 rolls
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
½ cup of warm water
½ cup plus ½ teaspoon sugar
1-2 white potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
½ cup of shortening
1 teaspoon of salt
7 to 8 cups of A.P. flour
1 ½ sticks of pepperoni, cut into matchsticks (about 1 pound total)
For the glaze:
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons sugar
Mix yeast, warm water and the ½ teaspoon sugar in a bowl and let stand at room temperature for 45 minutes. It will get foamy. Cook potatoes until tender in about three cups of water (enough to make approximately 2 ½ cups leftover potato water). Mix your cooked potatoes and 2 ½ cups potato water in a blender. Add the ½ cup sugar, shortening and salt, and blend well. Add your egg and blend 5 seconds more.
Cool mixture to lukewarm. Then pour the mixture into a big bowl and add the yeast mixture. Slowly add 4 cups of flour and beat until smooth. Add 3 to 4 more cups of flour and knead until the dough is fairly stiff but still a little sticky. Place dough in a large greased bowl and cover it with plastic. Then cover your bowl with a wet kitchen towel and place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. (Note: the dough will keep in the fridge for 5 to 6 days. Be sure to push down the dough at least once per day.) You can also rise you dough for 2-3 hours in a very warm room or an oven proofer.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Turn dough onto a floured board and cut into quarters. Continue to cut into roughly 20 pieces (you can make 40 smaller rolls for appetizers if you like). Take a piece of the dough and push it flat. Then place a couple of pieces of pepperoni in the middle (overlapping and not stacking) and roll it up. Pinch the ends of the dough to hold the pepperoni inside. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat until you’ve used up all of your dough and pepperoni.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter and sugar. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Add your egg and mix well. Brush rolls with this mixture and then bake them until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.
For a much quicker version of this recipe, use hot dog buns or hoagie rolls (or use frozen dough to make the pepperoni rolls). With purchased buns, simply fill them with strips of sliced pepperoni, sliced peppers in tomato sauce and mozzarella, and bake as above.
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