Ageing is just another word for living
~ Cindy Joseph ~
I was looking for a quote for this post but quotes about Pizza Rolls are not that inspiring. So I decided to use this quote about ageing. I try all the time to embrace my age. And it’s fantastic to be reminded of the important things in life by quotes like this. I turned 50 this year. Way back in 1986 I was 14 when I first tried this recipe. That means even my recipes are ageing! I will refer you to my Cheese Muffins and Retro Custard recipes here. But I prefer to think my recipes have also lived. This recipe has been used for all sorts of occasions, has changed its name at least three times and is still tasty and valid. Hopefully, I have “lived” as well as this Pizza Roll recipe!
From Chelsea Buns to Pizza Rolls
In Grade 9 I had to bake these delicious bites in my Home Economics class. My memory is hazy, but I do remember my teacher calling them Chelsea Buns. Even then I knew Chelsea buns were sweet currant buns, so this name always baffled me. I made them all the time at home though. It was my family’s go-to Saturday lunch. Then as an adult, I used to make them for my children’s birthday parties and as lunchbox treats. We called them Savoury Pinwheels and I felt that was a better name for them. But the Savoury Pinwheels went out of favour as the children grew up, so I stopped making them. Until recently when I tried the recipe again. I called my daughter for a taste test and she took one look at them and said “Nice, you made pizza rolls”!
An American favourite
I did a quick Pinterest search and yes, there are many recipes for what looks just like my Savoury Pinwheels and are definitely called Pizza Rolls. Who am I to object? I am pretty sure nobody is going to search for Savoury Pinwheels on Google. There is one difference between my Pizza Rolls and the basic American recipes though. In the US they make them from pizza dough which uses yeast. My recipe just uses baking powder as a leavening agent, so it is quick to make and doesn’t involve waiting for the dough to rise. These rolls are luckily similar to the American ones in all other ways. You get that delicious pizza taste which you can basically eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. So the final question is whether I am old because I didn’t know these were called Pizza Rolls? Maybe I am, but at least I can say I have lived!
- 2 c All-purpose flour
- 10 ml baking powder
- 5 ml garlic powder optional
- 5 ml onion powder optional
- 2,5 ml salt
- 50 g butter at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 125 ml milk
- 2 tbsp tomato sauce or pizza sauce
- 1 tbsp sundried tomato pesto optional - use 3 tbsp of tomato sauce if you don't use the pesto
- 1 c grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese
- ½ c cooked bacon or chopped ham
- ½ c sliced, fried onions
For the dough
- Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a baking sheet (or prepare with greased baking paper).
- Whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Rub the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Beat the egg and milk together and add to the flour mixture. Mix until a soft dough is formed.
- Roll the dough out on a clean, floured surface until it is ½cm thick. Try to keep the dough in a rectangular shape.
- Mix the tomato/pizza sauce with the pesto and spread it over the dough.
- Sprinkle ¾ of the grated cheese and all of the other fillings of your choice evenly over the dough.
- Roll the dough up lengthwise.
- Slice the rolled-up dough into 1,5cm slices and place on the baking sheet and top with the left-over cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes until golden and bubbly. Serve warm with a green salad or roasted veggies.
- Pizza Rolls are really as versatile as pizza. Other than the cheese, the recipe fillings are only a suggestion. You can use any filling of your choice. Here are some suggestions:
- Sliced mushrooms
- Chopped, cooked bell peppers
- Left-over cooked chicken
- Chunks of feta cheese
- Greens such as spinach or basil
- Chopped salami or chorizo
- Cooked chicken bacon (yes, that's what I used in the images)
- You can use a food processor to pulse the butter and dry ingredients together. I find it's quicker to wash my hands than to wash the food processor!
- My original recipe only called for tomato sauce on the base. I love the intense flavour of sundried tomato pesto. You can also add a dollop of green pesto such as basil pesto.
- The Pizza Rolls are about 7cm across. If you want smaller, dainty rolls, divide the dough in half and roll out the two halves separately and top with the filling. Roll up as before and cut 1cm thick slices.
- The end slices of my roll are usually uneven and mostly empty. I either throw them away, or I bake them with some extra cheese on top as "tasters".