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~Baked-in-Muffin-Tins Slider-Size Pizza-Dough Rolls~

IMG_4148Every sandwich deserves to be served on great bread, so, when I decided to serve these cold submarine sliders alongside my hot and cheesy sausage, mushroom and onion pizza sliders at yesterday's indoor Super Bowl tailgate, I started by making my slider-size pizza-dough rolls.  I've been making these unique rolls, in both slider- and dinner-roll size for several years now. They're chewy and light on the inside with plenty of crusty exterior, and, once folks get a taste of one, "why didn't I think of that", and, "this is amazing", are statements I hear a lot.

Pizza-dough dinner- or slider-size rolls...

IMG_4127"Why didn't I think of that?", &, "These are amazing!"

IMG_4136The inspiration for these came when my mother mentioned that my Sicilian-style pizza dough would make great bread or dinner rolls. My first reaction was to laugh, but, after thinking about it a bit, I decided it was worth giving the idea a try -- "nothing ventured, nothing gained", as mom always said.  Thing is, when I baked them freeform on a flat pan, while they were good, they simply were not as light on the inside.  The muffin tin corrected that, in that, the shape of a muffin cup, with its steep, gently-sloped sides seriously promoted their rising and developing beautifully-domed tops. (Dinner roll-size on left/slider-size on right.)

The shape of a muffin cup, with its steep, gently-sloped sides promotes rising & a beautifully-domed top.

I use my favorite herby Sicilian-style pizza dough recipe, and, I typically put some herbs in my dough even when I'm making a basic tomato-sauce and mozzarella-cheese pizza.  That said, there are many types of pizza dough.  Feel free to use your own favorite recipe, it should work (no guarantees though) as long as it is Sicilian-style, but please add the herbs to it -- it's the flavored dough that makes these rolls amazing.  If you'd like to try my recipe, you can make my dough via conventional hand mixing and kneading, you can make it via a stand mixer or a food processor, or, you can do what I currently do:  allow the bread machine to do most of the work for me, which simplifies the process considerably -- and yields 1 dozen, amazing, 3"-round slider rolls.

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c88f4822970bFor the dough:

3/4  cups warm water

1  tablespoon olive oil

2 1/4  cups all-purpose flour

1  teaspoon sea salt

1  teaspoon sugar

1/2  teaspoon each:  garlic powder, Italian seasoning blend and coarse-grind black pepper

1 1/8 teaspoon yeast granules

no-stick cooking spray, for preparing muffin tins

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c7cda6a1970bStep 1.  To prepare the dough, place all ingredients in pan of bread machine in the order listed, except for the yeast.  Using your index finger, make a small indentation ("a well") on top of the dry ingredients, but not so deep that it reaches the wet layer.  Place the yeast into the indentation.  Insert the pan into the bread machine, plug the machine 6a0120a8551282970b01bb0872017a970din, press the "Select" button, choose the "Pizza Dough" cycle, then press "Start". In 55 minutes, you will have 1 pound, 1 ounce of dough.

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d1579a17970cStep 2. Using lightly-oiled fingertips, IMG_4096remove dough from pan.  Dough will be slightly sticky, yet very manageable.

IMG_4021 IMG_4021 IMG_4021 IMG_4021 IMG_4021 IMG_4021~Step 3. Spray insides of 12, standard-sized muffin cups with no-stick spray. Remove dough from bread pan.  Divide dough into 12, slightly less than 1 1/2-ounce pieces (1 3/8-ounces each is great).  The best way to do this is with a kitchen scale.   In between the palms of hands, form each piece of dough into a ball, placing one in each muffin. Cover the pan(s) with a lint-free cotton towel and allow dough to rise for 30 minutes.

IMG_4116 IMG_4116 IMG_4116~Step 4.  Uncover the pans and bake rolls on center rack of preheated 350° oven, 10-12 minutes, or until lightly-browned and hollow sounding when tapped with the knuckle of index finger.  Do not overcook these rolls. Italian bread is rarely deep-golden in color.  Remove from oven and place pans on a wire cooling rack. Cool rolls in pans 2-3 minutes prior to removing them from pans to wire rack cool completely.

Provolone, salami, pepperoni, turkey, onion, tomato & lettuce:

IMG_4139Put a lid on it & stick a pick in it:

IMG_4153Pick it up & gently squeeze it all together:

IMG_4155The best submarine slider pretty much anywhere:

IMG_4159Baked-in-Muffin-Tins Slider-Sized Pizza-Dough Buns:  Recipe yields 1 dozen slider-sized pizza-dough rolls.

Special Equipment List:  bread machine (optional); 2, standard-sized muffin pans, enough for 12 muffins/rolls; kitchen scale; lint-free cotton towel; wire cooling rack

6a0120a8551282970b01b8d2197a72970cCook's Note:  I surely didn't invent the word pizz'alad, but it is catchy. That said, I'd been kind-of making one for years before publications like Eating Well, Bon Appetít and Food and Wine started coining this trendy term to describe a pizza with a salad on top.  Everyone loves a personal-sized pizza, and, for a different,  delicious, not to mention fun twist to "normal" pizza, test your creativity and try your hand at making: ~ Pizz' alads:  Salad Pizza (Pizza w/a Salad on Top) ~.  Be prepared for many accolades! 

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2018)


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