Excerpted from Tasting Ohio: Favorite Recipes from the Buckeye State (Farcountry Press, 2018)

They may be the official state snack food of West Virginia, but you’ll find pepperoni rolls all along Ohio’s southeast and northeast regions. They hit the spot wherever you happen to be.

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 scant tablespoon active dry yeast (one .25 ounce package)
  • 3 -1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 to 9 ounces thinly sliced pepperoni

Makes 12 rolls

Place the warm water in a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let it sit until dissolved and creamy, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine 3 cups of the flour with the salt.

In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the honey and buttermilk and heat just until warm to the touch (do not boil). Remove from heat and beat in the egg.

Add the water and yeast mixture to the flour, along with the buttermilk mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough just comes together. If it’s quite sticky, add the remaining 1/4 cup flour. Mix on low speed for 5 minutes, then remove the dough from the mixer and knead by hand for a minute or so, until the dough is smooth and supple. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position racks in the upper and lower thirds. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and let rest on a lightly floured board for 10 minutes.

Line two baking sheets with parchment. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter.

Take one piece of dough and form into a square roughly 4 to 5 inches across (imperfection is totally acceptable here, and in fact slightly preferable). Shingle 9 slices of pepperoni over the square, leaving a border of about 1/4 inch. Roll up and pinch the seam lightly to seal. Place seam-side-down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, setting 6 rolls per sheet.

Brush the rolls with half of the melted butter and let rise 30 minutes (the rolls will not puff up visibly). Bake until lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and back to front halfway through baking. Immediately brush with the remaining butter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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