Thursday, June 14, 2012

{ pizza rolls ... aka, my favorite college food }

Pretty much every college kid in Texas (especially in College Station, TX) has memories of gorging on DoubleDave's Peproni Rolls (yes, that's how it's spelled) at one point or another. They were (and still are) the quintessential college grub, meeting all requirements -- cheap, portable, delicious, and easy to dunk in ranch dressing.
I can't even fathom a guess as to how many late nights spent "studying" were accompanied by cold [usually cheap] beer and a delivery of a dozen Peproni Rolls. And the most prized pages in the little coupon books that the bookstores would stuff in your textbook bags were always the pizza roll coupons from DoubleDave's.

Then I graduated (sniff, sniff) and moved away from my beloved Texas A&M. But fortunately for me, there was a DoubleDave's near our home in the Houston area, providing me with the necessary greasy fix at least once a week when I was pregnant with Aidan (and seriously craving DoubleDave's on a regular basis).

Since moving away from the Lone Star State, it's much more difficult to find some of my favorite meals -- and pizza rolls are no different. I've pretty much had to fend for myself and learn to cook our faves at home.

So here's the copycat version of DoubleDave's Peproni Rolls. Honestly, although smaller in size, they're a pretty dead ringer for the real thing (Ty says this version is actually better). And by using turkey pepperoni, you don't get that traditional DD's orange oil-slick on your plate from the dripping grease. And substituting light ranch for the real thing cuts even more calories and fat from the recipe. I mean, we're not in college anymore, right? ;) 
There are two non-negotiables when it comes to a good pizza roll experience: the first is the cheese -- it has to be provolone. The second is having a bowl of ranch dressing in which to dip the crusty, cheesy goodness.

Beyond that, you can pretty much get as creative as you'd like. Although, my personal preference never strays from the tried and true original of pepperoni and cheese ... nothing fancy on my rolls, please. This is not the time for artichokes or feta. Oh, I also like to put a sprinkling of dried red pepper flakes on my plate for an extra kick -- dip the roll in the ranch and then the pepper flakes. Yummo.

Pizza/Pepperoni Rolls with Ranch Dressing
  • 1 bag enriched dinner roll dough (located in the frozen food case)
  • provolone cheese slices
  • turkey pepperoni
  • ranch dressing (for dipping)
  • dried red pepper flakes, optional (for dipping)

Remove rolls from the freezer 1-2 hours before baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with foil.

Using your thumb, press the roll dough into a flat mound, continuing to pull and knead at the circle until it reaches the maximum stretching point, without ripping.

Cover the round dough disc with a slice of provolone (I use a round cookie cutter to get the correct size). Top cheese with 4 slices of turkey pepperoni.

Continue process with the remaining rolls.

Bake rolls 15-20 minutes, or until dough is golden in appearance. Some oozing of cheese will appear -- not a bad thing! It's all part of the experience when you get to peel the crusty warm cheese off the pan and nibble on it before anyone else does!

Serve hot with a side of ranch dressing for dipping sauce.


Beverly said...

They look like the real thing!
(I still pull out the pepp, leaving behind the pepp-flavored grease. Heaven)
What did the babies think?

Elizabeth @ Lone Stars And Stripes said...

I've made them several times ... Paige loves, Aidan doesn't love. Shocking, I know.