These easy West Virginia Pepperoni Rolls will hit the spot. Serve these up for dinner with a side salad or as appetizers at your next event. We love to whip these up and have them for dinners and it is a dish we all can agree on. You have cheese and pepperoni on the center wrapped up in homemade bread dough and let me say it is a comfort food. The pepperoni releases the oils and soaks a bit into the dough and it gives these delicious treats so much flavor.
The history of the pepperoni roll began in 1927 when Giuseppe “Joseph” Argiro, an Italian immigrant made them and sold them at the Country Club Bakery in Fairmont, West Virginia. If you read my post about West Virginia Beans & Cornbread, you will remember that coal mining is a way of life for my West Virginia people.
So of course the pepperoni roll has to have ties to Coal Mining as well, right? Of course! Argiro first made this beloved snack for our coal miners as a lunch for them to take down into the coal mines.
They made the perfect lunch because they had carbs, protein and fat which would give the miners energy and push away the hunger they often felt in the mines till they could go home to eat. If you looked in the lunch pail of 10 miners, you would almost always find a pepperoni roll or two.
They didn’t need a refrigerator either to keep the pepperoni rolls fresh. Argiro sold his rolls to miners for decades until 1950 when the pepperoni roll became a household name and a West Virginia icon. It was a staple dish that many made on a regular basis.
I am from West Virginia originally so I like to keep some of those roots in my life. This is a recipe I created to remember the past through my taste buds and also give my family a change from the classic hamburger or chicken dishes I make.
I make the bread dough for my pepperoni rolls in a bread maker and, if you don’t have a bread maker, it can easily be made without. I like having my bread maker as I toss the ingredients in and set it to make the dough and I can leave it.
Then I can tackle other chores in the home or finish up homeschooling. It just helps make my life a bit more simple and frees up some time. But, you can use a KitchenAid mixer or even a spatula and bowl. Don’t feel you have to have a bread maker.
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These do freeze well and store well in the refrigerator. When we have extras leftover I like to reheat them for a quick lunch. If you freeze them, just reheat in the microwave or oven, or even thaw in the fridge and then the reheat time will be less. I think once you make these, you will fall in love.
Pepperoni Rolls Ingredient List
(Dough made with bread maker. Can easily be made, without.)
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups bread flour
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2 ¼ teaspoons fast rising yeast for bread machines
- *Pepperoni (slices or sticks)
- *Shredded cheese (Mexican or Mozzarella)
1) Add liquid ingredients to your bread machine first.
2) Then add flour and salt.
3) Create a small “hole” in the flour and add your sugar and yeast.
4) Select the “Dough” setting on your bread machine.
5) Once your dough has fully raised, punch it back down. Lay out on floured surface.
6) Knead for about one minute. (DO NOT over work your dough)
7) Pinch off a small amount of dough and flatten out into the shape of a circle.
8) Add 5-6 slices of pepperoni (or 3 sticks) and shredded cheese.
9) Fold one side over to the other and pinch the seams together, creating a seal. Fold corners over and do the same.
10) Place into a large 9×13 pan or baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 mins or until golden brown.
Enjoy! Don’t Forget To Print Your Recipe For Later!