Rich basil and tomato that oozes mozzarella all entwined in a soft doughy pizza roll
If you read this week’s Sweet Tuesday post, the yummy palmier pastry biscuits, then you’ll be expecting these. For those of you who didn’t, the desire to create these fun pizza rolls goes back to the weekend at my boyfriend’s house. His mum bought us some bits from the bakery counter at the local supermarket for lunch, one of which seemed to be rolled up pizza. SO good! There aren’t words for how good it was, so my to-do list was cleared, pizza rolls became the number one priority and I don’t regret it one bit.
You have to try these. They make great lunch box items or sharing food to be passed around at BBQs, picnics, or parties. The summer is such a sociable time, these pizza rolls are the perfect bake to try and share with friends and family. Before you know it, they’ll become a family favourite and you’ll be baking them all year round.
Here’s the recipe I came up with recreating the ones I tried last weekend, it’s very simple to do and doesn’t require many ingredients at all. The pizza dough base is adapted from BBC Good Food. My recipe makes about 16 rolls.
350g strong white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon extra Virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fast action yeast
200ml warm (but not hot) water
500g chopped tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon oregano
Handful of fresh basil
Mozzarella to cover
- Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the yeast and water and leave for a few minutes. You’re waiting to see foamy bubbles on the top which tell you the yeast is working. Then make a well in the middle of the flour mix and pour in the liquid and the oil, bringing it all together with your hand to form a dough. Knead it for a few minutes on a floured surface to develop the gluten. This will give you the nice soft texture inside your pizza. This dough is relatively sticky, so make sure you flour or oil your hands suitably first.
- Pop the dough into an oiled bowl (this will stop it from sticking) and place in a warm place to rise until doubled in size. This took my dough about two hours but yours could be quicker in a particularly warm spot or on a warm day. If you don’t need it right away, let your dough rise in the fridge slowly overnight as this will help to develop the flavours and give you a nicer dough. Either is fine though.
- In the meantime, let’s make the topping. Start by reducing the chopped tomatoes, garlic, oregano and some chopped basil in a saucepan. This will take about 15-20 minutes but it’s worth every one of them. You want the sauce to be thick and a lot of the moisture to be gone or you’ll end up with soggy pizza rolls. It also concentrates the flavours down which equals an even tastier pizza sauce! Once reduced, let it cool while you shape your risen dough into a rectangle. I used a rolling pin for simplicity. I don’t have perfect pizza tossing skills so it’s a practical alternative.
- Top the shaped dough thinly with the reduced tomato sauce, slices of mozzarella and fresh basil leaves before rolling up from the short side. If you like bread that is filled and rolled, my pesto swirl bread is another great bread for you. Wrap the dough log in cling film and chill for at least half an hour. This will help firm it up so its easier to slice. Preheat your oven now to 220’C.
- Once chilled, slice into rounds of equal size and place onto two oiled baking sheets. I did mine a few centimetres/an inch wide. It’ll be delicate lifting up the pizza roll slices. My method was to slice them, let them fall onto their side, and then slide a wide knife underneath to support them as I moved them to the baking sheet. You use the exact same technique on my palmier pastry biscuits, another impressive looking party pleaser, so try them too! Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the pizza sides are golden brown and you can see the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before eating, or serve cold for lunch the next day.
It’s not often I get this excited about a savoury bake, you know me and my sweet tooth, but I have a feeling I’ll be making a lot more of these over the next few weeks – 16 pizza rolls won’t last long in my house! As always, I’d love to see or hear about how your bakes have gone, so you can find me on
Happy baking and enjoy bread week on Bake Off!