Pizza roll-ups

Sometimes I want something quick and easy but the kids want something yummy and delicious like pizza. I do not mind making pizza but it can be a lot of work in the quantities that I make it when I make it. I make it so that we have left overs. The kids love homemade pizza. If I am going to go to all the work to make it I am going to make it so that we can enjoy it like we would if we bought it. We all know that cold pizza for breakfast the next day is good…if you like that kind of thing.

My kids like “Pizza Roll-ups” as we like to call them around here. They are pizza, but simplified. They typically use less ingredients and less dough. They are marginally less work. They certainly require a lot less perfection.

I use my same pizza dough crust for these. You can use prepared pizza crust dough you can find in the refrigerator section of your local grocery store to make it even quicker and easier. Personally, I find that it is easier to work with the homemade pizza dough but you do have to allow time to make the dough. You do not need to allow time for dough rising. For super easy dough manipulation, use pizza dough specific yeast.

Roll the dough out into your standard jelly-roll pan. I line mine with parchment paper. I go through a lot of parchment paper at my house. I should buy stock in it. It is a staple in my “food storage” supplies. I do not bake without it. I use my little roller on a handle (aka fondant roller) to roll it out fairly quickly. The pizza crust specific yeast actually makes the dough a bit more relaxed so it does not suffer from “spring back” issues that your traditional dough does. Just roll the dough corner to corner in the pan.

Top the freshly rolled out dough with your favorite sauce. I use jarred sauce. Here you see your typical red jarred spaghetti sauce. I also used your traditional “lite” jarred Alfredo sauce.

I tried one of my new seasonings from Penzeys which slowed down the dinner process just a little bit. I made some Chicken Italian Sausage using some ground chicken from the freezer and the Penzeys Italian Sausage Seasoning. Here you have the Lite Cheesy Alfredo Sauce with the Chicken Italian Sausage atop a homemade pizza dough.

Here you have your traditional pork Italian sausage and tomato based jarred spaghetti sauce atop a homemade pizza dough.

Here you have your traditional pork pepperoni slices and tomato based jarred spaghetti sauce atop a homemade pizza dough.

Once you have all your sauce and meat toppings in place, it is time to top it with cheese. My children like lots of cheese. You can use a variety of cheeses. Typically, I will use a blend of cheeses – cheddar and mozzarella – but tonight I only used mozzarella because that was what was open and ready to go. You do not need to go heavy on the cheese if you do not want to. You do not need to go as heavy on the cheese as you would on a traditional pizza.

Now you need to roll your “roll-ups” up. This is the fun part as your toppings can quickly become a mess if you are not careful. The easiest way I have found to do this is to start with one side and to start small. Take your parchment paper and start to roll the edge of your dough a little bit at a time. As you roll, slowly pull your parchment paper out of the roll. Continue to roll all the way across the pan. As you reach the other side of the dough, use the other side of the parchment paper to roll the pizza roll-up back into the middle of the pan and position it and the paper back in the middle of the pan.

Your parchment paper is larger than the inside of your pan by just a little bit so you do not need to worry if your sauce is a little runny. You also do not need to worry if your toppings such as your cheese get a bit out of control in the rolling process. All of your toppings and sauce will be contained on the parchment paper and within the bounds of the sides of your jelly-roll pan. The parchment paper will prevent anything from burning onto the bottom of your pan and makes for easy clean up. I am all for easy clean up.

You can throw it in the oven as is for 15-20 minutes at 400˚F. You can brush the top of it with olive oil or butter (or egg wash). Whatever your like to use. I grabbed my can of olive oil based no-stick spray as I was in a hurry and gave mine a quick spray down. You just want something that is going to give it that nice golden brown finish. You do not need to do anything if you do not want to, it will brown regardless. It just depends on the presentation you want to have when you are finished baking it.

An Italian Sausage Pizza Roll-up with red sauce. Mind did not brown as much as they would have because I had two of them in the oven together and my oven is not what it used to be. It does not cook evenly anymore so parts are browned and others are not. I deal with it. They were cooked, just not browned.

A Chicken Italian Sausage Pizza Roll-up with Alfredo sauce (homemade Chicken Italian Sausage).

A Pepperoni Pizza Roll-up with red sauce.

All that is left is to cut them up and serve. You should let them sit for a couple of minutes before cutting to allow things to set up just a little bit so the cheeses will not run all over the place. You should also make sure that your pizza cutter is big enough to go through the roll itself. Mine were just a tad too small. I have not pulled out my new ones I got for Valentine’s Day and washed them yet (I still actually have to exchange one of them). I need to do that.

This one set for a few minutes while I cut the other one and you can tell the difference on how much the stuff ran out. You can also tell the difference in how the “fattiness” of the meat makes in how runny the contents are right away upon cutting them. They do set up upon sitting, especially after being in the fridge overnight. We throw the cut pieces in large zippered bags in the fridge for storage.

These were a hit. Lance was so excited to eat these left overs.

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