Saturday, August 21, 2021

Pepperoni Rolls-the Official Food of West Virginia


It's been almost 100 years since Fairmont baker Joseph "Guiseppe" Argiro created the pepperoni roll. This year our West Virginia legislature declared the humble pepperoni roll the official food of West Virginia. 

Guiseppe created the portable immigrant lunch in 1927 when he ran a pop bottling business and the Peoples Bakery. He'd immigrated from Italy to work in a Clarksburg area coal mine. The miners needed shelf stable and portable foods to carry in their lunch buckets.  At the bakery, Guiseppe made the rolls, tested in beer halls, then supermarkets.  These days pepperoni rolls are found in restaurants, gas stations, festivals, weddings and stores throughout the state.

Here's mine made with one of my no fail yeast doughs. The dough can be mixed and refrigerated until time to shape. I ground the pepperoni before placing inside the dough and baking.

Egg Dough

(Makes 12 rolls)

Combine whole wheat flour, dry yeast (active dry or bread machine) and sugar in bowl of electric mixer with dough hook in place.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon yeast
2 teaspoon sugar
Slowly add warm milk to the bowl and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed.
1 cup skim milk, heated to 125F.

Add flours, oil, egg and salt to bowl.  Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl down.
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup olive oil
1 egg (warmed to room temperature)
2 teaspoon salt

Gradually add additional flour to the mix, beating on low speed after each addition until the dough forms a ball and leaves the side of the mixer.  Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula throughout the process to combine the flour.
1 cup all-purpose flour

Mist a large bowl (twice the size of the dough bowl) with an olive oil spray.  Turn the dough ball so that all sides are greased.  Cover.  At this point, I refrigerated the dough until ½ hour before shaping.

(For Pepperoni Rolls) 

Punch egg dough down.  Divide into 12 pieces (I used a 1/4 cup scoop).  Form each piece into a ball.
On floured surface, pat dough into flat round. 
Center 1 tablespoon pepperoni filling on the dough round.
Pull up the sides around the filling.
Pinch the two sides closed.
Flip and gently roll into an oval.
Place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Brush with egg, mixed with milk.
1 egg
1 teaspoon evaporated skim milk
Bake at 350F for 12 minutes.


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