So I’ve been busy gearing up for back to school.
Back to school for us is a crazy time of year, as it means that my holidays (as a teacher) are over, our toddler is starting a new day care again, and my husband is still gone 14 hours of the day at least 5 days a week. Things get a little hectic around here.
For the first time I need to pack a lunch for our two-year-old, and while she’s a pretty good eater and not really picky, some things require a little extra encouragement at the dinner table. So I wanted to come up with some things that were easy to make, freezer friendly, and that she would enjoy and eat willingly when mom wasn’t by her side bribing her with fresh produce (for reals. I bribe her with fresh veggies to eat the rest of her meal).
The other great thing about these is that my husband and I love them as well, so for days when there just aren’t many leftovers, they’re perfect for us to grab, too.
I don’t know about you, but I just don’t get sick of pizza.
I feel like I could eat pizza every day of the week for quite a while and not get tired of it. You just can’t lose when there’s sauce, cheese, meat and bread.
So I made a batch of my bread machine bun dough in my stand mixer (actually, I made a triple batch, and I’ll show you what I did with the rest of it soon), and began stuffing.
I’ve included stand mixer instructions with the bread machine recipe so that it’s easy for those without a bread machine. It’s also much easier to make a bigger batch in the stand mixer (though I think tripling the recipe pushing my 5qt mixer right to its max!), which I love, especially at this time of year.
You can easily mix up the filling according to your family’s tastes. You could add mushrooms, spinach, peppers, bacon. You could also do a bunch of different varieties if you have people who like different types of pizza in your family. The options are endless!
- 1 recipe Bread Machine Bun dough
- 3 cups shredded cheese
- 1 cup finely chopped pepperoni
- 1 cup pizza sauce
- After the first rise, roll out your bun dough into a rectangle. I wanted my buns smaller (toddler-sized), so I made sure my rectangle wasn't more than about 8" wide. You can always do bigger if you like. I wanted it pretty thin, so the dough wouldn't get too thick and take over -- I wanted a good dough-to-filling ratio. **I split my dough in half so it was easier to work with.
- Spread a thin layer of sauce on your dough. You don't want it oozing out all over the place, so don't lay it on too thick.
- Top with chopped pepperoni and cheese. (If you've divided your dough in half, make sure you only use about half)
- Roll up slowly, starting with the long end. Be careful not to squish out all of your filling. When you get to the last inch or two, bring the end up and pinch together with your roll, so the rest of your filling stays in and your edge stays nice and clean.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut with a serrated knife to desired thickness (mine were about 1" thick). Place on a baking sheet lined with tin foil and sprayed with non-stick spray. I got 45 buns exactly and placed them in 3x5 rows on 3 baking sheets. I didn't want them to run together when they baked. If you do, you can put them closer together.
- Bake 22-25 minutes until lightly golden. Let sit 5 minutes before running a fork under the buns to loosen.
- Dive in or prepare for the freezer:
- Let cool to room temperature. Replace the tin foil with wax paper or plastic wrap and place buns back on the baking sheets, making sure they are not touching. Freeze for 1-2 hours until firm, then place in large freezer bags. Return to the freezer.