Wood Fired Pizza Rolls

What's a pizza roll?

If you fold a pizza it's called a calzone.  If you roll it up, it's a stromboli.  I've seen something in between simply called a sausage roll.  I found out recently when breaking in my new wood fired oven and learning to use a metal pizza peel that what starts out as a pizza may end up flipping over while going in and end up coming out of the oven something more like a calzone!  When this first happened to me a light bulb went off and I said to myself "So that's where the CALZONE comes from!"  Or, maybe they made Calzones first and one unfolded as it was slid into some ancient wood burning oven and the poor guy slinging it in said to himself "Atsa da pizza!"

My local "Brooklyn-style" pizzeria, Valentino's sells a nice sausage roll.  Whenever we order pizza from them, we throw a couple of these babies on the order.  We cut them up and snack on them as a necessary warm-up act while getting ready to hit the pizza.  I was getting some ingredients to toss onto some dough and, when I browsed the pork products, my minds-eye drifted off to those sausage rolls and I decided I would be trying something new when I got home.

Should I fold?  Should I roll?  I ended up sort of doing both.  They came out great in the wood fired oven.  I'll have to try this in the home oven next.  The high heat of the wood oven melted everything nicely inside and set up a great crispy charred crust all around. I think it will be tough for my home oven to equal it but I'll let you know....


The Pizza Rolls

Basil Roll:

- Pizza Dough, your favorite recipe

- Mozzarella

- Sliced Cherry Tomatoes

- Chopped Red Onion

- Hot Italian Sausage

- Basil

- Olive Oil


Brussels Roll:

- Pizza Dough

- Mozzarella

- Sliced Cherry Tomatoes

- Chopped Red Onion

- Hot Italian Sausage

- Roasted Brussels Sprouts

- Olive Oil


I'll post a recipe that I like to use for the roasted Brussels Sprouts soon.  I have been popping things in the oven when I make pizza to keep expanding my experience working with the wood and fire rather than my home oven.  These came out great!  I was in Boulder Co. a couple months ago and Kelly Whitaker did a great Market Pizza with Brussels.  They seem to be the "it" topping and side dish these days.  Good for us.  I love that slight bitterness, and you can really impart other flavors into them when you prepare them.


Back to the rolls...

I made the first roll like a pizza.  After I spread the dough I just started topping it and I realized that I made a pizza!  So, I just sort of lifted the sides and joined them and then folded the whole thing into a roll.  What was nice, was where the dough was pinched together it was clumpy and doughy and gave the roll some more texture and a real rustic look.  When I made the second one, I wised up and put the toppings in one place anticipating the end result!  Either way works!  In fact, my first accidental calzone looked like a disaster, but tasted amazing.  It was more of a Pizza-Roll-Over.

Can I coin that term?

The great thing about these is that they not only tasted great but they also saved really well.  When we were done eating, we sliced up the rolls into snack sized slices and tossed them into a baggie.  The next day they came out, went into the oven and baked up to near perfection again.  Since I eat my leftover pizza as a cold slice in the morning, while going out the door, these rolls make a great breakfast-to-go alternative.

What's my second favorite food?  You guessed it -- cold pizza.

Enjoy the pics and let us know if you have any favorite calzone/stromboli/pizza roll ideas!



#1 greg j 2013-10-31 19:07
Hey!! I make them sometimes when my wife and I are making pizza... lol one that does not come off the peel... Then it turns into a pizza roll.. Love your site.. good stuff!! wood fired oven in a few years...cooking with deck oven for now
#2 Brad English 2013-11-03 21:45
Greg the first time a pizza stuck on my peel I knew where the calzone must have come from!

Keep on cooking and working toward that WFO! It's pretty amazing to finally have one. The only thing I'm not enjoying is the waiting to fire it up the next time.
#3 Ben Kalow 2013-11-12 12:57
I noticed you have some bricks separating the coals from your cooking surface. I used to do the same with a piece of angle iron but quit and noticed two major improvements. Heat recharge to the oven floor seems faster without, and the fire seems to burn cleaner with a more lively flame. Ovens vary, but it made a big difference in mine. I just keep my ash-brush near by.
#4 Brad English 2013-11-20 12:30

I don't use the bricks all the time. I was trying it out for a while because I read about it on the forum. It wasn't so much to keep the ash in control as to push the heat up and over from the low flames. I noticed the same thing on my last pizza run - that the floor didn't recover as quickly. Interesting. I guess, you learn each time to take a WFO out for a drive!
#5 Ben Kalow 2013-11-21 07:33
"I guess, you learn each time to take a WFO out for a drive"

So true!
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