Who doesn't like pizza? I mean, if there is one food out there that is universally loved, pizza would have to be it. I have been making my own pizza for a while now. There is almost always a homemade crust or two in my freezer. Simply add your favorite sauce and toppings, pop it in the oven and presto -- it's pizza night.
I also like to try different variations on the pizza theme and today I am going to share two of my favorites with you - stromboli and pizza buns. There is a third variation that I love which is truly decadent - stuffed pizza. Stuffed pizza is over the top and really deserves a post all its own so I'll leave it for another day.
First up today - stromboli. I was searching for no rise bread recipes to try when I came across the recipe for 35 minute no-wait no-rise stromboli on carlsbadcravings.com. No wait? No rise? Sounded interesting and looked delicious from the photos so I read the recipe. Seemed easy enough. I picked up a few of the suggested toppings that I didn't have on hand and hit the kitchen.
This stromboli is excellent and easy. As advertised, there is no waiting for the dough to rise. Just mix, knead and roll it out. This is a very nice dough, easy to work with and roll. I admit that it took me longer than 35 minutes to get the finished stromboli on the table but that is only because I took some time to sauté a couple of the fillings that I used. It is important to sauté certain fillings like mushrooms and peppers before putting them into stromboli. Sautéing releases some of the moisture in these vegetables so that after baking the stromboli filling stays firm and does not get runny. As you can see from the photos to the right, the finished stromboli slices easily and holds together beautifully. And it tastes terrific.
Next up pizza buns. Pizza buns?? Yep. And let me tell you, this recipe rocks. So what exactly is a pizza bun? Think cinnamon bun only with pizza crust for the pastry and pizza sauce and toppings for the cinnamon sugar filling and raisins and nuts. Ready to give it a try? Okay, let's get started.
The recipe for pizza buns can be found on King Arthur Flour's web site. You'll need to set aside a little more time for this recipe because the dough needs two rises before going into the oven. However, as with most things bread related, it is worth the wait. After its first rise, the dough is rolled out, much like cinnamon buns, and filled with cheese and your selected toppings. The recipe only mentions cooked sausage and cheese as filling for these buns. That seemed a little sparse to me so in addition to cheese, I used pepperoni bites, sauteed mushrooms, green peppers, hot peppers and sliced black olives. The filled dough is rolled into a log and cut into 12 slices. The buns are placed on a parchment lined baking sheet and covered to rise a second time.
After the second rise, the buns bake for about 15 minutes before being pulled from the oven. Each bun is topped with a tablespoon of pizza sauce and 1/4 cup of cheese. The buns then bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. The pizza buns are done when the cheese is browned and bubbly. Doesn't that look good? Trust me, it tastes good too.
So, what do you think? Did the stromboli catch your eye? Maybe the pizza buns are calling your name. Both of these recipes are worth a try. You'll be glad you did. Mangia!