Who here remembers pizza pops?  Who here still eats pizza pops?  Who here has searched for pizza pockets to no avail?  Do they make those anymore?  Well, if you are still eating pizza pops, then I got a substitute for you.  Trust me, I am no one to judge what you put in your mouth.  I am known to eat Ichiban noodles, Nacho cheezies and Cheese Whiz.  I know, some of  you are probably dying right now.  I guess, I go by the motto of moderation.  I don’t eat this crap on a regular basis, but  I do enjoy it fully when I do!

Anyways, when I was young, pizza pops were not on the menu.  Mom thought they were full of garbage (or they were expensive?).  One day she came up with the idea of these pizza buns.  Every now and then, she would take a Saturday or Sunday and make a huge batch of cinnamon buns.  Then one time, she put pizza ingredients in the buns instead of cinnamon and sugar.  Eureka! 

Instead of pulling a store-bought pizza pop out of the freezer, we would pull out one of these sumptuous babies.  How can you beat homemade bread wrapped around the stuff kids crave.  Let’s face it, I am an adult and I still crave pizza, so this is a good one for us too.

Actually, this is a really good take to work for lunch.  These pizza buns freeze amazingly.  Take a couple out in the morning and throw it in your “brown bag” or super hip lunch kit or old bread bag.  Speaking of lunch kits, do you remember your old one from grade school?  I had a super sweet metal one, then I got one of those two decker types with the thermos on the top level.  You know the ones?  I wanna bring those back, but who doesn’t, right?  Ok, back from that (awesomely nostalgic) sidebar – put a bun or two in your lunch kit of choice and pop then in the microwave at school/work.  Perfect lunch! 

So, basically with this post I am telling you that anything goes inside a “cinnamon bun shell”.  For pizza I usually go with tomato sauce, ham and cheese, but the possibilities are really endless.  You could really go for it in lots of different ways and you can definitely do the savory and skip out the sweet all together.  If you make a big batch, why not make half sweet and half savory?  Wow, I am getting crazy!  Now you go get crazy with these and your old school lunch box 😉  Oh and if you need a Halloween costume they can double as Princess Leah buns …

Pizza Buns – from Mama Foodlovas’ Pink Book

I halved the original recipe because the two of us can’t eat that many buns!  It makes about 20. 

4 cups flour

1 tbsp quick rise yeast

0.5 tsp salt

1 egg

1 tbsp sugar

1/6 cup oil (half of 1/3 cup)

1.5 cups warm water

400g deli meat of your choice

500ml pizza sauce

2-3 cups shredded cheese of your choice (or a mix!)

The bread: start with 2 cups of flour, the yeast and salt, combine and set aside.  In a large bowl, combine the egg, sugar, oil, and water.  Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir.  Add the remaining 2 cups of flour.  You may need a little less or a little more.  The dough should be firm.  Knead until combined.  Return to bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.

Prepare the dishes for the buns to bake in with some cooking spray or oil.  Shred the cheese and get other ingredients ready.

When the dough has risen for 15 minutes, take half of the ball and roll it out into a rectangle type shape.  It should be about half a centimeter thick.  Slather with the pizza sauce.  Not too much or they will be soggy.  Next, lay on the meat in a thin layer.  Finally, sprinkle on about 1 cup of grated cheese.  Do not over do the ingredients or the buns will be too full.  Remember that we still have to roll these up!

Start with the long side and roll towards yourself.  Just a little at a time and try not to tear the dough.  I kinda do it like a type writer.  When you have a long snake of a bun, use a sharp knife and slice it into buns, about 2 inches long.  Place the buns in the prepared dishes.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

When the buns are puffed up, place them in a preheated oven of 350 degrees farenheit for 20 minutes.  I had to let mine bake for about 25 minutes.  Depends how much filling you add.  Let cool and then dig in!