Sunday, January 16, 2022

West Virginia Pepperoni Rolls, two ways #BBB


Our local specialty for this month's recipe, hosted by Feeding My Enthusiasms, is found in various convenience store gas/food stops in West Virginia. A simple snack food with a simple filling; just a dough and some pepperoni, almost a little mini Stromboli. I grew up with delicious pizza pockets at the local convenience store just a half mile from the high school. They had a somewhat more pastry like crust, but were otherwise similar except that they were fried. Makes a difference, oh yes.

So fluffy!
I remember those childhood pizza pockets fondly, so while I did make some of the pepperoni rolls as called for in the oven, I also fried up one roll to try and made the rest of the dough into pizza pockets. One thing I found was that you can't really fry the rolls, they don't get done in the middle, but also that this is a fabulous dough for frying.  And leftovers reheat very nicely in an air fryer or toaster oven.  Really nice with a salad.

Baked or fried, if pizza flavored breads appeal, give these a try! We would love to see your variations this month and share how it turned out! New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.  If you would like to be a recognized buddy, send our host kitchen an email with the URL of your post and a photo, plus a short description of your bake. Deadline is Jan. 29th. plachman *at* sonic *dot* net. You'll get a Buddy badge and be included in the round-up.
Recipe may be halved!
Pepperoni Rolls 
 - similar to what is found easily at convenience stores  and gas stations in West Virginia, U.S.A.

Yield: 20 rolls


1 cup [240g] warm water (100ºF/40ºC)
½ tsp [2g] granulated sugar
1 (.25 oz.) package [7g] active dry yeast (2¼ tsp)
5 cups [625g] all-purpose flour
3/4 cup [150g] granulated sugar (nope - even 2/3 reduction was a bit much.  Safe to omit or just add 1 tbsp [6g])
2 tsp [12g] salt
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup [113g] butter, melted
1 (8 oz.) [227g] package sliced pepperoni

Dissolve the ½ tsp sugar in 1 cup warm water in a small bowl. Whisk in yeast and let stand for 5-10 minutes until yeast 'blooms'.

Mix flour, 1 tbsp sugar (optional), and salt in a large bowl. Add flour and eggs into yeast mixture to form a shaggy dough, then add butter and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, either by hand or machine.

Cover dough and let rise in a warm place (80 to 90ºF, or 27 to 32ºC) until doubled in volume, about 1½ hours.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Grease or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Punch down the dough, and divide it into 20 equal pieces, about the size of a golf ball. Using hands or a rolling pin, flatten each piece into a small rectangle, about 4 inches square. Place 3 slices of pepperoni down the center of each dough square, overlapping the slices. Place another row of 3 slices next to the first. Roll the dough around the pepperoni slices, pinch the edges closed, and place the rolls on the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. until the bottoms are lightly browned and the tops are barely golden.

I brushed with oil, would suggest an egg wash.
First attempt to fry, middle not done
but dough fries very well otherwise.


Eat while still a little bit warm, but do allow to cool enough for the fat from the pepperoni to cool enough that you don't burn your tongue.

Hubby thinks the baked rolls would be very good dipped in warm marinara or pizza sauce. We all really liked the fried pizza pocket version, which was lighter and more moist.

If frying, heat oil to 365ºF and be sure to seal edges very well. Just the smallest amount of sauce and cheese is necessary.

The rest of the Bread Baking Babes


Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Purple Sweet Potato Swirl Bread with Toasted Pepitas #BreadBakers

Naturally colored breads are fun and so I made two recipes for this month's Bread Bakers theme.  They can even be a science experiment, like purple cabbage ending up being a blue dye or similar dyes that change color based on pH, like butterfly pea flower powder or tea.  This is a great way to entice your kids to bake with you.  I have made purple sweet potato bread before but this time used a convenient powder instead of puree.  Both work well and both recipes turned out lovely dough.  This was an interesting recipe I had not tried and as I happened to have some condensed milk in the freezer to use up, it was perfect.  (I have frozen purple potato mash in there as well but it is getting a bit of freezer burn.  One more benefit of the dry powder.)

This was a lovely little loaf and dough to work with, very easy to handle and a lovely, soft crumb.  It is just lightly adapted from a recipe featured on the site of the company that makes the brand of food powder that I purchased.  This same loaf could be made with the blue butterfly pea flower powder for a blue swirl bread!

Purple Sweet Potato Swirl Bread with Toasted Pepitas
makes one loaf

240g all purpose flour
20g sugar of choice (I used golden syrup and honey)
120g milk
60g condensed milk
1½ tsp active dry yeast
½ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
40g dairy free butter
12g purple sweet potato powder dissolved in 1 tbsp water  (or ¼-1/3 cup steamed and mashed purple sweet potato)  You may try more powder for a more intense coloring.
¼ cup toasted pepitas*

In a stand mixer, combine all ingredients except butter, sweet potato powder, and pistachios. Mix with a dough hook on low-medium speed until the dough comes together, about 10 mins. Add the butter, a few pieces at a time. Scrape down the bowl. Continue to kneading on medium speed for 10 mins until the dough is smooth.

Divide the dough in half and set aside and cover one half. Add dissolved sweet potato powder into the half dough and continue kneading until it is evenly combined. Form the plain dough and sweet potato dough into balls. Cover and let proof for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Transfer the purple dough to a clean work surface. Roll out dough to form a large, thin rectangle.  Sprinkle half the pepitas over the dough and press in with palms. Pick up one edge and fold into the center, then pick up the other edge and fold into the center over first section. Sprinkle on the remaining pepitas. Fold the top half down over the bottom. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough.

Roll out plain dough. Place sweet potato pistachio dough on top of the plain dough and begin rolling up the dough along the wide/long side of the rectangle, Place it in a bread pan and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Bake at 190c for 30 -35 minutes.

This bread made delightful french toast, though you lose the beautiful color and pattern.  It also it lovely plain or toasted with butter or butter and jam.

* To toast pepitas, spread the raw pumpkin seeds evenly in one layer into a dry cast-iron frying pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the seeds begin to pop, this takes about 5-10 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool before incorporating into dough.

Happy New Year! We are starting this year’s events with a colorful beginning. Our theme for this month is “Naturally Colored Breads” and Radha of Magical Ingredients is our host. #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.


Turmeric Sourdough #BreadBakers


Our Bread Bakers theme this month is to make naturally colored bread using fruits and/or vegetables.  I love doing this and have made a number of loaves with natural colors.  One reason we personally try to avoid artificial colors is that they aggravate things like ADD/ADHD, Autism, Sensory processing, and related skin issues due to sensitivities.  Red and yellow give my daughter hives and make her crazy, and blue has given me hives since childhood.  We have done natural egg dyes as well, (super fun!).  Here are some other naturally colored breads and creations: Carrot and Beet Challah, Carrot Bread, Matcha Turtle Buns, Green Tea and Orange Loaf, Mint Chip Cookies, Purple Pain de Mie, and Floral Art Bread.

This is a very slack dough with high hydration.  Not quite as high as a ciabatta, but similar.  The first coil fold will stretch the dough almost 2 feet to pick it up, but the last one will be significantly less.  It really is remarkable to see the dough develop.  Here is an excellent video on the handling and shaping of high hydration dough.

For my first loaf, I decided to go with something many folks might have on hand in their spice cabinet: turmeric.  It gives a lovely golden yellow and is good for you as well.  I do have fresh turmeric root, but that is sometimes difficult to find depending on location, so dried works well for everybody.

With a slack dough like this, you can expect a glossy crumb and a chewy, moist interior, along with a crackling, crispy crust.  Just be sure to develop that gluten with enough folds.  It will be noticeable how much the dough starts to perk and round up after a few folds.  First loaf was baked in a fully pre-heated cast iron Dutch oven and gave the larger interior holes.  Second loaf was baked in a glazed ceramic covered baker that was pre-heated for only 15 minutes.  It resulted in a smaller crumb but more of an ear and took a little longer to finish.  I popped it out directly onto the oven rack to finish baking.

The original recipe called for a specific brand of turmeric, a "red turmeric", and only 1 tsp.  I used regular old, any brand, organic turmeric powder and 2 tsp for good color.  You can smell the turmeric in the raw dough but it is very subtle in the finished loaves and good for any application, sweet or savory.  We love turmeric anyway.  But this bread was fantastic plain, buttered, toasted and buttered, toasted and buttered with jam, and served with soup.  Just fantastic.  Both loaves gone by the second day.  Bread at its most basic - flour, water, salt, and some wild yeast.  And the turmeric of course!  I do suggest a few more coil folds if using all purpose flour.

Turmeric Sourdough
Makes 2 loaves

440g bread flour (all purpose works but should add another coil foil or two)
365g water
6g or 2 tsp ground turmeric
100g active sourdough starter
10g sea salt

7am – For the starter; combine 20g fed sourdough starter, 40g flour, and 40g water. Starter should be used right at its peak, after about 4½ to 5 hours.

8:30am – Combine flour, water, and turmeric in a bowl.  Mix well and let rest for about 3 hours, until starter is ready.

11:30am – Wet your hand, add starter to the dough.  Mix by hand, scooping up and over the edges until incorporated, about 5 mins. Cover and rest for 30 mins.

12:00pm – Add salt and mix with a wet hand until fully incorporated, about 5 minutes. Cover and rest for 1 hour.

1:00pm – Mist your work surface with water and wet your hands. Transfer dough onto the surface and gently pull from the center out to form a rectangle shape. Scoop up one edge and fold into the center. Pick up other edge and fold into the center over first section. Fold the top down half way. Fold the bottom up. Put dough in a large dish. Cover and rest for 45 mins.

1:45pm – First Coil Fold*.  Lift the dough from the middle with both hands. The four fingers will be on the underside, below the dough and only the thumbs are above the dough. Lift the dough and place it on the dish like a coil. Do this once from each side.  Cover and rest for 45 mins.

2:30pm – Second Coil Fold. Repeat the same. Cover and rest for 45 mins.

3:15pm – Third Coil Fold. Repeat the same. Cover and rest for 45 mins.

(If using all purpose flour, you may want to do a couple more folds to increase structure.  Try 5 folds every 30 minutes.)

4:00pm – Shaping the loaves: lightly flour the counter or a pastry cloth. Transfer dough onto the cloth and divide into two pieces. Shape each loaf by folding up and then rounding under the edges to increase surface tension until the loaf rounds up a bit.  Transfer to a well floured banneton or a bowl, top side down. (This is a high hydration dough and needs adequate flouring to prevent sticking.  A rice flour mixture is recommended - wheat flour will form gluten and stick.)  Let proof at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. Then move to the refrigerator for 12 - 16 hours.

6:00am (the next morning) – Preheat oven and dutch oven or clay baker at 475ºF for 30 mins. (Alternatively, you can use a baking stone and cover the loaf with an inverted roaster.) Take bread dough out from the fridge and invert onto a parchment paper.  Dust with flour and score as desired.  (With my timing, I took my loaves out and them them proof for another hour at room temperature before baking.)  Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven. Transfer the dough with the parchment paper to the preheated pan.  Bake with cover on for 20 mins.  Remove the cover and lower the temperature to 400ºF, and continue baking for another 10 mins.  Remove bread from the oven and let cool completely before slicing.  Bread may then be reheated in oven if warm bread is desired.

*Here are a couple good videos on coil folding.  


Happy New Year! We are starting this year’s events with a colorful beginning. Our theme for this month is “Naturally Colored Breads” and Radha of Magical Ingredients is our host. #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.