Friday, March 16, 2012

Pizza Sandwiches

I'm not exactly sure how these got their name or who actually named them in our family, but these have been a staple of the family dinner menu for about as long as I can remember.  The page in the Red Star Yeast cookbook is well worn and stained from all the years of making them.  Their real name in the recipe book is "Little Filled Pies" and they have various fillings listed for them from sausage and cheese to date and walnut, but they've always had the pizza fillings in our house.  These keep well and reheat well and even eat cold well.

Ingredients:

3-1/4 to 3-3/4 C flour (bread flour if you have it)
2 pkg dry yeast or 4-1/2 tsp bulk dry yeast
2 TBL sugar
1 tsp salt
1 C. water
1/2 C. butter
1 beaten egg
1 TBL water






Mix 1-1/2 C flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir well till combined.  Heat butter and water in a saucepan until warm (120° - you should still be able to stick a finger in it without burning yourself). The butter may not all melt if it's cold. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat with a wooden spoon for 3 minutes (aren't you glad you did all that winch grinding to build up those muscles???). Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough that cleans off the sides of the bowl.  Knead by hand on a floured surface 5 minutes or till smooth and elastic.


Grease bowl and put dough in, then turn dough over to expose greased surface.  Cover with damp towel and let raise in warm place 30 minutes. 






While the dough is raising, prepare fillings.  We like chopped onion, chopped green or red pepper, cut up ham and pepperoni and shredded mozzarella but seriously you can put about anything in this dough that you like. 





It's a great place to use up leftover meat from last night's dinner. Shredded chicken with spinach and freshly made ricotta would work well also. After the dough rises, preheat your oven to 400° while you make the sandwiches.



Cut dough into 8 balls of equal size.
Roll each ball out into a circle and put 1/8 of each filling on the circle. 





Pull dough up from the sides and pinch together at the top, closing the seam.  Turn seam-side down on greased cookie sheet. Beat egg and 1-2 TBL water and brush sandwiches with egg wash.




Bake at 400° for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool 5-10 minutes before serving.  These are good cut in half with a little butter spread inside or dipped in marinara sauce. Wrap them in foil and they reheat well the next day.  Makes 8 large sandwiches.

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