A cooking and baking journal

Tried and True Recipe: Pizza Buns


Back again this weekend to share with you yet another pizza recipe! 

So the tried and true recipe for this week is Pizza Buns. Tried and True Recipes (TNT) are those great, no-fail recipes you reach for again and again. I am doing a TNT series here on this blog where I will post one of my family's TNT recipes every other Sunday. See my previous posts:  

TNT Recipe: Chicago Style Pizza
TNT Recipe: Favorite Brownies
TNT Recipe: Blueberry Pancakes
Tried and True Recipes Intro

This recipe, simply put, is a pizza done cinnamon roll/jelly roll style. Don't worry, it's not one of those fiddly yeast dough recipes that require great skill in dough manipulation. May not be as easy to make as the Chicago Style pizza from last week, but it is, in my opinion, easier to make (and bake), than the traditional flat, circular pizza pie. I have found through my experiences that it is not always easy to roll and stretch out pizza dough to a large and thin circular object. Main cause of this is not giving the dough enough time to rest and have the gluten relax--and time is not something I always have. So with these pizza rolls, the dough needs just a short spurt of rising (for me, 50 minutes on average in a warm kitchen), before rolling it out into a shape that resembles a rectangle. It needn't be exact, because jelly rolls through their nature, always turn out beautifully, even if they start with rather poor aesthetics.

So after rolling out the dough to a rectangular shape, you spread out your filling. In my case I used ground Italian pork sausage that was browned and cooled beforehand. Follow this with a few handfuls of mozzarella, and we're good. Taking a long side, roll the dough into a log just as you would your traditional jelly roll. Seal the edges with a bit of water; it is not a sticky dough in the first place and it needs some help in the adhesive department. Using a knife, cut twelve rolls from each log.   

[ rolls with sausage and cheese filling rising for the 2nd time ]
[ I chose to do six of them with only cheese ]
After another short rise (twenty minutes or so), and fifteen minutes of baking in a 350F oven, take out the rolls and give them a good dollop of homemade pizza sauce. I would say two large dollops per roll. I think "dollop" terms do help. Should be placed right alongside "pinch." 

And of course more cheese! Place rolls back in the oven and bake for fifteen minutes more. Before you take them out you may want to do what I do to get a nice golden brown cheese topping. (I love crispy cheese!) I like to turn on the broiler and broil until I see the right amount of golden brown. Takes only but a few minutes more and I think it is well worth the extra time. If you try to achieve golden brown cheese delight by way of extended baking at 350F, your pizza bun bottoms will be past satisfactory by the time the cheese catches up. Believe me, I've been there.

So without further ado. . .

Pizza Buns
Recipe comes from the King Arthur Flour website. See it here.
(Click here for printable recipe)


  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup hot tap water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons Pizza Dough Flavor,* optional but good
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
  • 2 tablespoons potato flour or 1/4 cup instant potato flakes
  • 3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • *Increase the salt to 1 1/2 teaspoons if you omit the Pizza Dough Flavor


  • 1 1/2 lb. Italian sausage, removed from casing, crumbled, and fried
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese, or the pizza cheese of your choice


  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pizza Seasoning, optional
  • 2 teaspoons sugar, optional
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese, or the pizza cheese of your choice


1) Whisk together the milk, hot water, and olive oil. The hot water should heat the milk so that the entire mixture is lukewarm. Set it aside.
2) In a separate, larger bowl, whisk together the salt, Pizza Dough Flavor, sugar, dry milk, potato flour, all-purpose flour, and yeast.
3) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring to combine.
4) Mix and knead the mixture — by hand, using a stand mixer, or in a bread machine — to make a smooth, soft dough.
5) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or a large (8-cup) measuring cup, cover it, and allow it to rise till doubled, 60 to 90 minutes.
6) Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.
7) Roll the dough into a 12" x 18" rectangle.
8) Spread evenly with the 1 cup cheese, and the browned sausage, gently pressing them into the dough.
9) Starting with a short end, roll the dough into a log. Cut the log into 12 pieces.
10) Space the rounds on two parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheets, six to a sheet. Flatten each to about 1/2" thick.
11) Cover the pan, and allow the buns to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, till they're nicely puffed. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
12) Bake the buns for 15 minutes. While the buns are baking, combine the tomato sauce with the Pizza Seasoning and 2 teaspoons sugar, if you're using them.
13) Remove the buns from the oven, and brush each with a generous tablespoon of sauce. Sprinkle with about 1/4 cup shredded cheese.
14) Return the buns to the oven, and bake until their edges are golden brown, and the cheese is melted, about 15 to 20 minutes.
15) Remove from the oven, and serve warm. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. Reheat for about 10 minutes, covered, in a 350°F oven; or very briefly in a microwave.
Yield: 12 pizza buns.


Come back on April 7th for another tried and true recipe!

Tried and True Recipe: Chicago-Style Pizza


My family loves pizza. I've tried many different variations throughout the years, from BBQ Chicken Pizza to Ciabatta Bread Pizza. We like any version really but one does stand out in regards to being flavor-packed and easy to make. You may remember me mentioning it last year; it is the Chicago-Style Garlic and Butter Pizza. Made it so often that it has become the Tried and True Recipe of the Pizza World; for this house anyway! 

Tried and True Recipes (TNT) are those great, no-fail recipes you reach for again and again. I am doing a TNT series here on this blog where I will post one of my family's TNT recipes every other Sunday. See my previous posts:

So this is what the pizza looks like:

13x9 pan! Yay! Makes it so much easier to do. If you have a Pyrex dish of some sort you might want to make the pizza in that. It allows you to take a peek of the bottom while cooking to make sure it is not too under or over browned.

So here is the recipe and a side note to go with it. It is not necessary to use garlic and butter in the crust. The garlic can be completely omitted (which I did once and it still was tasty), and vegetable or olive oil can be substituted for the butter.

Update: I modified the following recipe on 4/14/13 to make it closer to what I personally do.

Chicago-Style Garlic and Butter Pizza Crust
Yield: One 13x9 pan / Click here for printable recipe

  • 1 (2-1/4 tsp.) package active dry yeast
  • 1-1/4 cups lukewarm water (110F - 115F)
  • 3-1/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting (Try using half bread flour; makes for a chewy crust)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced 
  • pizza toppings, your choice (What I Did: My toppings were homemade pizza sauce--tomato sauce, dried basil, salt and pepper, sugar--mozzarella cheese, sliced bell peppers lightly sauteed, and browned, Italian pork sausage)


1. In a measuring cup, dissolve yeast with 1-1/4 cups lukewarm water and sugar. Wait until yeast starts to "bloom" or create foam. 

2. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add garlic to butter and cook on medium heat until fragrant. Move from heat. 

3. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, and salt. Stir in yeast mixture. Add butter and garlic mixture.

4. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until soft and elastic, about 5 minutes. Lightly grease a large bowl, add the dough and turn to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

4. Deflate dough. Grease a 13x9" baking dish and press in dough to cover bottom and 2 inches up the sides; let rise for 20 minutes. While waiting for dough to rise, preheat over to 400F.

5. Top pizza dough with your favorite toppings and bake for 30 minutes.