This month has been a world wind of activity for me. The beginning and end of each school year is always jammed packed with activity, which means catering, which means extra days and nights….sigh
Well the good news is I finish up my last real after hours catering this week, and I’ll finally be able to settle back into a routine. Not too routine, mind you! I promised myself to come up with new and exciting dishes for my girls this year.
My culinary classes will start this week and I’m hoping to push my students a bit too. Time to get them out of their comfort zone and see what they can do. I decided to limit the number of new students coming into my class this year, which will allow me to keep them more involved which should keep their excitement level up. It’s time to work smarter, not harder! I’ve got seniors this year, that will be able to help train the new students, it’s going to be quite an exciting year for me! This is the first year I’ll have seniors and those seniors are four year students, of course that means they’ll be leaving me this year, which will be very sad……sigh
Okay before I start thinking too much about whose leaving, lets get on with my post! As most of you know, I’ve been working for the Mid Atlantic Dairy Association and this month’s theme is back to school. You’d think that would have been an easy one for me, but I just couldn’t come up with anything.
I kept racking my brain thinking of things you could pack for school lunches or have for a quick dinner or snack after school. You might be asking what’s so hard about back to school, you work in a school, and feed the students lunch every day!
Well, that’s where the problem comes in, I feed them chicken marsala, roasted salmon, flank steak and everything in between……not your typical school lunch, especially for brown baggin it!
I’ve been working on another project and had to come up with an easy pizza dough, and that’s when it hit me! Pizza roll ups, and since this is for my friends at the Dairy Spot let’s make this a seven cheese pizza roll up!
Now don’t get too excited, I know busy moms and dads don’t have time to put together 7 different cheese’s and the great thing is you don’t have to! You can find some great Italian cheese combinations at your favorite supermarket offered by most of the major cheese makers. But don’t limit yourself to just the Italian blends, with all the different shredded cheese’s on the market you can change the flavors every time you make these!
You can make individual size roll ups and leave them whole like a Stromboli, or make a large one and slice it down. They taste great at room temperature, but if it gets too chilly a quick pop in the microwave just to warm them up a bit will work wonders on these cheesy wonders! Just don’t forget to pack a little of your favorite pizza sauce for dipping!
- 3 ½ cup (420 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cup (300 ml) water
- 1 ¾ tsp. (9 g) active dry yeast
- 1 ¼ tsp. (6 g) sugar
- 1 ¾ tsp. (9 g) sea salt
- 1 tbsp. (15 ml) olive oil
- 2 cups (226 g) of your favorite shredded cheese blend*
- ¼ cup Gorgonzola cheese crumbles or Bleu Cheese (optional)
- ½ cup Pizza sauce**
- 1 egg lightly beatin
- In your stand mixer bowl, add 1 ¼ cups of warm water (100 -105 degrees F)
- Sprinkle dry active yeast and sugar on top of water, allow to sit for 10 minutes until yeast gets creamy
- In another bowl, mix flour with sea salt
- Add flour to yeast mixture and using a dough hook, mix until a coarse ball has formed on the dough hook (approx., 2-3 minutes)
- Allow dough to rest in bowl, with a damp towel covering the bowl, for 5 minutes.
- Continue to mix using dough hook on medium to low speed for about 2 more minutes
- (if the dough is too sticky to hold its shape add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until its firm enough. If the dough is too dry add water one tablespoon at a time until moist enough)
- Coat a bowl with extra virgin olive oil and place the dough into the bowl and coat dough with olive oil, place a damp kitchen towel over the bowl and allow to rise for 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Divide dough into 2 dough balls and place on a floured surface and cover with a damp kitchen towel (not terry) and allow to rise until doubled in size (about 2 hours)
- Take one piece of dough and roll out using a rolling pin to about 12 inches by 8 inches (30 x 20 cm)
- Spread pizza sauce over top of dough leaving about a one inch border around the edges.
- Sprinkle cheese evenly across the dough
- Starting at the long side roll up the dough keeping it fairly tight.
- When you get to the end seal the ends by brushing water and pinching the dough together. (it's important to get a good seal so the cheese does not leak out)
- Seal ends of the dough by pinching them together.
- Brush entire length of pizza roll up with a lightly beaten egg
- Place in 350 degree oven (177 C) and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the outside of the dough is a nice golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing.
- serve with your favorite pizza sauce for dipping!
I know how hectic life can get, so if you don’t have time to make your own pizza dough, you can find it for sale at a lot of supermarkets, (if they don’t sell fresh dough , check the frozen section). I used a little gorgonzola in my roll ups for an extra bit of zing, bleu cheese would work well too, but it your kids aren’t fans leave it out.
For a change up, try a Mexican blend of cheese and instead of pizza sauce use salsa. But which ever version you decide to make your student will be the envy of all of those around him, as they devour all of that glorious cheese!!
These also make a great snack for after school or a quick dinner, especially if you make up a bunch and freeze them. They’ll be ready in minutes, when you don’t have time to cook!
Now before you forget head on over to the Dairy Spot and check out their back to school section, you’ll find some great ideas for breakfast and lunches! And Speaking of lunches the Old Chef better get to bed, he’s got a whole school full of High School girls to feed tomorrow! Have a dairyfull week my friends!