Who says you can’t play with your food! When recently looking at modifying a cinnamon bun recipe also I started thinking about pizza, and, boom – two worlds collided and this idea was formed. It’s taken a couple attempts to get the amounts of ingredients right, and now I’m thrilled with these Pizza Swirl Buns, where the taste of pizza meets the swirly fun of cinnamon buns!
Everybody loves pizza, and with good reason. One of the world’s most beloved foods, it’s fun to eat and it’s customizable – with flavours & tastes for everyone. The first time I made this I used my favourite pizza veg, adding sautéed mushrooms & zucchini. Sadly though, much like many vegetarian pizzas, I found it lacking in flavour.
Knowing I would make the recipe again, I couldn’t wait to try it with Italian sausage with fennel. Do crumble and cook the sausage first, or you’ll have issues with it not heating through. Also sauté the vegetables first, or the resulting leaching of liquid will give you really soggy buns. In addition to the sausage, I used red bell peppers, lots of onion, and a little garlic.
You could alter the sausage/meat (FYI, I think diced ham would be fantastic in this, as would salami!) and vegetables (and even the cheese!) to suit your taste, just follow the quantities given in the recipe. Much like making a pizza, these are easily customizable, altering the ingredients to suit your taste. (You could even make 2 kinds at once, essentially splitting the dough in half, to make 6 of each). Just remember to cook the meat and/or vegetables first, and not use anything too watery.
Let them cool down a little before serving, as the heat holds and you don’t want any burns from the lovely, molten centers! Also great at room temperature, these would be fabulous for game day, and would also travel well if you’re going taking in the big game at a friend’s house!
*If you don’t have a fave dough recipe try this easy ultimate pizza dough.
- 1 lb. pizza dough (enough for a 12" pizza)
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce (or use your fave seasoned ‘pizza’ sauce)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cup + 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 grated parmesan cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano best)
- 1 cup sautéed vegetables and/or meat: mushrooms, zucchini, bell peppers, crumbled cooked Italian sausage, diced ham, cooked ground beef, etc (cut any large pieces so they’re no bigger than 1 inch)
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to an 16x10” rectangle.
- Spread with tomato sauce, leaving a 1” border on the longest edge, furthest away from you. Sprinkle over the oregano, salt & pepper.
- Scatter over 3/4 cup of the mozzarella, the 1/4 cup parmesan and then whatever vegetables/meat you’re using.
- Sprinkle over another 1/2 cup mozzarella (leaving 1/4 cup to garnish the tops)
- Carefully roll up the dough, just like making cinnamon buns; if any filling falls out, just tuck it back into one of the ends. Using your hands smooth out the roll, making it as even as possible and still trying to keep the 16” length.
- With a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 pieces 1 1/2" wide. Either use a ruler/measuring guide, or cut it into half, then into quarters, etc.
- Spray a 12 cup muffin pay and place one piece in each. Using the remaining quarter cup mozzarella, sprinkle a bit on each piece. Put in a warm place and let rise for 30 minutes.
- While the swirl buns are rising, put a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 425°
- Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, until golden and gooey!
- Let cool slightly and serve. Great hot, warm, or at room temperature.
- *Well wrapped, any leftovers should freeze nicely!