Sunday, 2 March 2014

Pizza Rolls...

Here's a simple recipe for Pizza rolls...
I'm not sure if Pizza Rolls are a real thing, so maybe I've just invented this, but in my mind it's a good enough recipe to share and the end results are deliciously more-ish.  They are a great snack or starter - a tear and share bread good for informal parties, for watching The Voice, TOWIE or the football with friends - well you know what I mean!  I tend to make them with left over dough after a bread baking session, which makes them really quick and convenient, but I've given you a simple dough recipe below so you can make them from scratch.

The filling here is really simple but you could make it much more interesting with the addition of a few roast vegetables or something if you prefer.

So what are pizza rolls?
Can you imagine a chelsea bun type savoury cheese and tomato roll?  Of course you can - it was easy wasn't it!  Well done!... that's a pizza roll

For the dough:

  • 300g plain white flour (or pizza flour if you have it - you can use strong bread making flour but not it's necessary for this recipe.)
  • 225g water
  • 10g salt
  • 10g yeast fresh yeast (I prefer to use fresh yeast but you can use 1 tsp dried,  following the manufacturers recommended for activating it if necessary)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
For the Filling:
  • tomato purée - I use the double concentrated stuff you get in a tube - it's highly flavoured and quick and convenient - but you could of course make your own tomato sauce, just make sure it's well reduced, it needs to be spreadable rather than pourable. 
  • 200g grated cheese - of course mozzarella is the traditional pizza cheese but I use a good mature cheddar - it's got a better flavour for the purposes of this recipe and, besides, I'm much more likely to have it in the fridge than mozzarella!  If you've got some mozzarella you might like to use a combination of the two...
  • a sprinkling of dried herbs...

Prepare the dough:

  1. Place flour and salt into a bowl.
  2. Melt the yeast in the water and add to the flour.  Mix together to a  fairly loose dough.
  3. Add the oil and work this in.
  4. Tip out the dough onto a lightly oiled worktop and knead for a couple of minutes.  It'll be quite a sticky dough to work with so won't require much in the way of kneading.  By the time it's finished proving it will be much more manageable.
  5. Oil the bowl and return the dough to it.  Cover the bowl and leave it to double in size - at least a couple of hours (or overnight in the fridge).  Stretch the dough a couple of times during this period  - just tip it out onto your worktop and stretch the dough out and fold it back on itself then return to the bowl.  this just helps the gluten strands to line up and gives a better structure to the dough.
Prepare the rolls

  1. Preheat your oven to 230C, 450F, or Gas Mark 9
  2. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured worktop.  Cut a cross in the top of the dough and where the cross crosses gently ease out the corners opening the dough out.  This should provide the rough basis for a rectangular shape.  Using a rolling pin flatten the dough out and roll it out to form a long rectangle with the dough just a few millimetres thick.  If there is resistance in the dough just leave it for a few minutes to relax and then try again.
  3. When you have a nice long rectangle, probably about 18" long by a 12" wide, squirt a good squirt of tomato purée onto the dough, grab your palette knife and spread the tomato paste all over the dough.
  4. Sprinkle most of the grated cheese over the whole thing.  Be generous.  This recipe requires a lot of tangy savoury-ness.
  5. Sprinkle your dried herbs over the top - if you're feeling daring you could even go with a light chilli dusting for a bit of heat.  (This is where you could be a bit more adventurous with the filling - add some veg or some chopped, pitted olives, but for me the simplicity of the filling is part of the attraction!  The combination of the intense tomato purée and the sharp tang of the cheese is to my mind all you really need.)
  6. Now roll the whole dough up from the long edge to create a long sausage.
  7. Cut the dough sausage into small lengths about 2.5cm (1") long.
  8. I find the best receptacle for Pizza Rolls are the foil baking trays we use at bakery - either the smaller round ones or the rectangular.  At home I'd probably use a swiss roll tray or a shallow roasting tin. Basically, you want something with an edge to it.  whatever you use, line it with some baking parchment so that the ends of the parchment stick out over the sides of the tray.  These are useful for lifting the baked rolls out for serving.  Place the cut "slices" of dough end up in the lined tin so that they nestle quite snugly against each other.
  9. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and brush with a little olive oil.
  10. Allow to prove for 15 to 20 minutes as the oven comes up to temperature.
  11. Bake for approximately 15 - 20 mins until the cheese on top is golden and bubbling.
  12. Using the parchment "handles" lift the pizza rolls out onto a large platter for serving to your hungry guests.
Unfortunately I haven't got any helpful photographs for this post yet - next time I do this I'll take some and stick them in.  
If you try this recipe please feed back to me how you got on and any variations you make so that I can improve the writing up!

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