The pepperoni roll was created by Italian immigrant mine workers in West Virginia during the early Industrial Revolution. Oral legend states that an Italian man was observing fellow Italian miners and noticed they would bring pepperoni and Italian bread in their lunch tin and combine the two in a sandwich form. He combined the two in a fresh baked roll which quickly became a favorite among many miners not only the Italians. The pepperoni roll was a perfect food for the mine. It was portable, could be eaten in the dark easily and required no refrigeration. Ironically, it was my German grandmother and mother who baked these fresh rolls throughout my childhood and taught me how to make them. I have since passed the tradition on to my family and my Italian family members now insist on them every time they visit!
Easy Pepperoni Rolls
- 1 bag of Rhodes Frozen Bread dough or dinner rolls (36 rolls)
- 2 sticks of pepperoni, wrappers removed and cut into chunks
- 1 stick of butter
Let the frozen dough defrost at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. Grind pepperoni up a few chunks at a time in a food processor. Pull off a roll size section of dough and roll out. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of pepperoni onto dough. Close the dough around the pepperoni, shape into a roll shape and pinch seams together. Place on a non stick cookie sheet or baking pan. Let rise in a warm place covered with a towel for around 2 hours or doubled in size. Next, bake in a 350 oven around 12 – 15 minuets or golden. Pull from oven and smear butter over the top. Eat warm and enjoy!!