A Taste of West Virginia: Homemade Pepperoni Rolls Recipe

A Taste of West Virginia: Homemade Pepperoni Rolls Recipe

Growing up in West Virginia, pepperoni rolls were a staple. It wasn't until I moved away for college, that I realized they couldn't be found outside of West Virginia! Pepperoni Rolls were originally invented by Italian Immigrants working in coal mines. They needed a hearty meal that didn't require refrigeration or heating. They are still considered the official state food of WV to this day! 

These savory treats hold a special place in my heart, reminding me of home with every delicious bite. In this blog post, I'll share my favorite recipe for making homemade pepperoni rolls. These are perfect for many occasions, from family gatherings to a day at the beach, or cheering on your favorite team at a tailgate.

I love making them for all my Southern friends and family, who have never had the experience of picking one up at a gas station while running errands. My husband constantly tries calling them pizza rolls, because he knows it drives me crazy! These are pepperoni rolls, there is no sauce and they aren't pizza rolls! Also, despite what you may have seen during the Duke Mayonnaise College Football Bowl game this year, it is blasphemous to dip them in mayonnaise, yuck!  

I live far away from West Virginia now, so I knew I had to come up with a pepperoni roll recipe to make at home. After years of trial and testing, I am ready to declare this recipe the absolute best pepperoni roll recipe! 

These rolls are much easier to make with a Stand Mixer, but can be made by hand with a bit of patience.

Ingredients for Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 packet fast rise yeast 
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 ounces chopped pepperoni
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • up to 4.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Ingredients for Filling

  • 6 ounces sliced pepperoni
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • banana pepper rings (optional) 


1. Add warm water, yeast, and sugar to the bowl of your mixer. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes until it becomes frothy. 

2. Add garlic, salt, egg, oil, chopped pepperoni, and mozzarella to yeast mixture. Mix until well combined. 

3. With the stand mixer running slowly add a spoonful of flour at a time until the dough begins to come together in a ball. I usually use just under 4 cups of flour, but the humidity and temperature can affect how much flour is needed. Stop adding flour once the dough comes together. 

4. Once the dough comes together, add the dough hook to your stand mixer and knead for 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. 

5. Rub all sides of a glass bowl with a generous pour of vegetable oil. 

6. Add the dough to the glass bowl. Flip the dough over 1 time to coat the top of the dough with oil. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and place somewhere warm for the dough to rise. The dough is ready when it has doubled in volume, this usually takes 1-1.5 hours. 

7. Punch down the dough and separate into 2 halves. 

8. Add half the dough to a lightly floured cutting board and roll it into a large rectangle (approx 18x11 inches) with a lightly floured Rolling Pin

9. Using a pizza cutter, slice the rolled-out dough into 8 pieces (see picture below). 

10. Add toppings to the dough, pepperoni, mozzarella, and banana peppers are my favorite, but I always make some without the banana peppers for my youngest daughter. Leave a couple-inch gap of exposed dough on each piece. (see picture below)

11. Starting with the edge that has pepperoni, roll the dough into 8 logs. 

12. Place each pepperoni roll, seam side down, onto a cookie sheet covered with a Silicone Baking Mat. Repeat steps 8-12 with the other half of the dough. 

13. Allow dough to rise a second time for 30 minutes while preheating oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  

14. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 22-28 minutes. Rotate and swap trays after 12 minutes to ensure even baking. 

Detailed instructions with pictures and tips 

Add one and a half cups of warm water to the bowl of your stand mixer. You want to use the hottest possible water that comes from your faucet, do not boil, but make sure the water is very warm. Mix in the sugar and packet of fast-rising yeast, you can use traditional yeast, but it will take an extra hour of rising before you can use the dough. Allow this mixture to sit for five minutes to proof the yeast. 


While the yeast is proofing, chop up 3 ounces of pepperoni. You can weigh the pepperoni with a scale, or eyeball half of a 6-ounce package of pepperoni. This chopped-up pepperoni will be added to the dough. 

After 5 minutes the yeast should be bubbled up and foamy. If you don't see a change in your yeast, the yeast may have gone bad, and you do not want to proceed. 

Mix in garlic, salt, egg, oil, chopped pepperoni, and mozzarella until fully combined. 

I add 4.5 to 5 cups of flour to a large measuring cup. You only want to use enough flour to get the dough to come together, but I reserve any leftover flour for flouring my cutting board and rolling pin.


With the mixer running, slowly start adding a spoonful of flour at a time. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can mix the flour in by hand, but it will require some elbow grease. 

Stop adding flour once the dough begins coming together and pulling away from the sides of the bowl. 

Switch to a dough hook attachment and allow the stand mixer to knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can knead with floured hands on a lightly floured surface. 

Add a small amount of oil to a glass bowl and rub the oil on the entire inside of  the bowl.

Place the dough in the bowl and flip the dough over one time to coat the top of the dough with oil. 

Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and place the bowl in a warm location. In the summer, I place the bowl on my back deck in the sun, and in the winter I place it near a fireplace. 

Allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in volume, this usually takes an hour to an hour and a half. 

Once the dough has risen, using a clean hand, punch the dough back down and then separate the dough into 2 equal-sized pieces. 

Add a small amount of the reserved flour to a large cutting board or clean kitchen counters and rub flour all over a clean rolling pin. 

Place half of the dough on the floured surface and use the rolling pin to roll it into a large rectangle. The rectangle should be approximately 18 inches by 11 inches. Tip: to get your dough into a rectangle, versus a stretched oval, roll from the center of the dough outwards to all 4 corners. Do not roll to all 4 sides or you won't have squared-off corners. If your dough is shrinking back when you roll it, cover it with a clean towel and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. This will help the gluten to relax. 

After your dough is rolled into a rectangle, cut it into 8 pieces as pictured below. I have found that using a pizza cutter is the quickest and easiest way to cut the dough. 

Layer pepperoni onto each section of dough. I usually use 6-8 pieces of pepperoni for each pepperoni roll. 

If you are adding banana peppers, layer them on top of the pepperoni.


Top the pepperoni with a handful of shredded mozzarella cheese. 

Begin rolling the dough into a log, starting with the side that has toppings.  

Place the pepperoni rolls on a silicone baking mat and allow them to rise again for 30 minutes. 

Bake at 350-degrees for 22-28 minutes, rotate your pans after 12 minutes. 

The pepperoni rolls are finished once the cheese is bubbling and the bread has turned golden brown. 

These pepperoni rolls will last 7 days in the fridge (not that my family ever lets them last that long, these always get eaten quickly). We prefer to eat them warm, to re-heat wrap them in a paper towel, and microwave for 30-40 seconds. If you wrap them in aluminum foil after re-heating, they will hold enough heat until lunch time! 

Whether enjoyed at a tailgate, by the pool, or at a kids' party, these homemade pepperoni rolls are sure to be a hit with family and friends. So, why not bring a taste of West Virginia into your own kitchen with this simple and delicious recipe?


Profile Image Miranda Weldon

Miranda Weldon

Miranda Weldon is the owner and Chief Crafter at MagpieTayleetot. An accountant by trade, who left the world of finance in pursuit of more creative ventures. This mother of two and Class "Room Mom" to many, loves to DIY snacks, party supplies, and more! Miranda is a self-taught seamstress of 15 years who always prefers to make things herself.

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