Pizza Party Buns Bakealong: Challenge #6


Now that the holidays are over, let’s take a break from sugar for awhile, shall we? Not a long while; because really, life without chocolate is just too daunting. But the heart of winter is the perfect time to turn to the savory side of baking.

This #bakealong challenge features a pizza party in roll form! Click To Tweet

Pizza Party Buns Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

And what, exactly, are Pizza Party Buns? Think cinnamon bun technique, but pizza filling. These light, airy buns are swirled with pepperoni and mozzarella atop a base of marinara sauce, making them the ideal party snack: pizza bun in one hand, favorite beverage in the other, there’s no need at all to juggle a plate and flatware.

With plenty of big football games coming up, plus all kinds of other reasons to gather your friends and party, it’s time to perfect these Party Pizza Buns — and to share your taste-tempting pictures (#bakealong) with bakers around the country.

Study the following step-by-step directions — then go forth and bake!

Pizza Party Buns bakealong: make the dough

Combine the following:

1 1/4 cups lukewarm milk
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups (14 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

What if all you have is unbleached all-purpose flour? While the buns may not rise quite as high, go ahead and use it; they’ll taste perfectly fine.

How to make Pizza Party Buns. Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Mix everything together — by hand, using a stand mixer, or in a bread machine — to make a rough dough.

How to make Pizza Party Buns. Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Knead the dough until it’s smooth.

How to make Pizza Party Buns. Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl.

How to make Pizza Party Buns. Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Cover the bowl to protect the dough from drafts, and to keep it moist. An inexpensive plastic shower cap is an ideal bowl cover.

How to make Pizza Party Buns. Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Let the dough rise until it’s just about twice the size it started, which will take about 90 minutes, maybe a bit longer if your house is cool.

Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface; a silicone rolling mat works well here.

How to make Pizza Party Buns. Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Flatten the dough into a rectangle

Roll/pat the dough into a 12″ x 18″ rectangle. Try to make the corners as square as possible; this will keep the buns on each end from becoming misshapen.

Gather your filling ingredients:

1/2 cup of your favorite pizza sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese, Cabot preferred; or the pizza cheese of your choice
4 ounces (about 1 cup) chopped or shredded pepperoni

How to make Pizza Party Buns. Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Top the dough

Spread the sauce atop the crust, then sprinkle the cheese evenly over the sauce.

How to make Pizza Party Buns. Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Top with the shredded pepperoni.

OK, timeout. What if you don’t like pepperoni, or are baking for a vegetarian crowd? Feel free to use your own favorite pizza toppings, with this caveat: make sure they’re pre-cooked, and shredded/diced into small pieces.

How to make Pizza Party Buns. Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Roll into a log

Starting with a long end, roll the dough into a log.

How to make Pizza Party Buns. Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Cut the buns

Cut the log into 12 to 18 pieces, depending on how large you want the buns to be. I like to mark the dough with a sharp knife …

How to make Pizza Party Buns. Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

… then use dental floss to cut it. Loop the floss underneath the log, then pull the ends up and in opposite directions; they’ll slice right through the dough without squashing it, filling and all.

How to make Pizza Party Buns. Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Space on baking sheets

Space the rounds on two parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheets. If you’ve cut 12 rounds, flatten them gently to about 1″ tall.

How to make Pizza Party Buns. Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Give the buns enough room to rise and spread out a bit.

How to make Pizza Party Buns. Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Let rise

Cover the pans, and allow the buns to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until they’re nicely puffed.

Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

How to make Pizza Party Buns. Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

Bake and serve warm

Bake the buns for about 25 to 30 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. Don’t over-bake; better they’re soft and tender than tough and dry.

Remove the buns from the oven, and serve warm, with extra pizza sauce if desired.

Make the rolls ahead, if you like; they store well for several days in the refrigerator. To serve, lay them on a baking sheet, tent with foil, and reheat in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes or so, until warm.

Pizza Party Buns Bakealong via @kingarthurflour

And there you have it — our Pizza Party Buns Bakealong, a delectable way to shake off your holiday sugar habit!

Interested in more? See our complete collection of Bakealong recipes.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. Anne

    Hi! I am vegan. Could I use water or a plant based milk to substitute the milk in the recipe? Thank you!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Anne, you can absolutely do that! Feel free to use any unsweetened, unflavored plant-based milk you like, as well as your favorite shredded cheese alternative. Happy vegan baking! Kat@KAF

  2. Mary

    These look great ! My daughter would love them. How would I adapt the dough to use Whole wheat flour? We really try not to use only white flour

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You can easily add whole wheat flour to many of your favorite recipes, including this one for Pizza Party Buns. Start by replacing half of the bread flour with whole wheat flour (either white or traditional whole wheat). There’s no need to make any changes to the recipe with this approach. If you’d replace 100% of the white flour with whole wheat, add about 2 teaspoons of additional liquid per cup of whole wheat flour. After mixing the dough together (but before kneading), allow the mixture to rest for about 15 minutes so that the whole grains can absorb the additional liquid and soften slightly. Add extra liquid if the mixture seems dry or stiff, and then bake as you normally would. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  3. Deborah

    Wow! I made these for my hubby and then again for a family reunion. Just a few weeks ago, hubby asked me to make them for a party. The first time I made them I put Italian seasoning in the dough. The second time I added the pizza dough flavor and that got great reviews.

  4. Cynthia Kepler-Karrer

    After reading the comments on how long they can do a bulk rise overnight in the fridge, I wondered if this amount of yeast and flour would allow for a second bulk rise (thus extending the timing for the following day). I was thinking it might give the flavors in the dough more time to develop as well. We have Bread Church at 7:00pm in the evening, and we always try to send something home that can be developed over the next 24 hours to give people that work something that they can do. Would something like 7pm—make dough, first bulk rise in fridge, 6am—take dough out to take chill off, 7 or 8am—degas and fold dough to return to fridge for second bulk rise, 5pm—remove dough from fridge, 6pm—shape dough, 7:30pm—bake work for this? Or should we just let it have one bulk rise and know it won’t get as puffy on the proofing?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Cynthia. You can definitely do the longer rise, but just to ensure it doesn’t over proof, try cutting down the yeast to 1 1/2 teaspoons, and enjoy! Annabelle@KAF

  5. Torie Ozonoff

    These are similar to something my mother often made. She called hers ” sausage rolls”– but used a quick “cheaters” recipe. I give it here for those short on time or afraid of yeast doughs. It’s so simple I’d hardly call it a recipe– but it’s quick and easy.

    For the filling my mother used cooked sausage– hot or sweet– removed from casing and lots of onions thinly sliced and cooked until soft but not brown. Being frugal, almost any meat was used– some leftover roast beef diced up, chopped meatballs or meatloaf, a mix of whatever was around. She bought some pizza dough at a local pizza shop and stretched it just as you did. The dough was topped with the meat/ onion mix, a hearty amount of cheese ( usually mozzarella and pecorino, but again almost anything that needed using up) she rolled it up, jelly roll style, left the roll whole but in a rough U shape. It was then baked until nice and golden and when done immediately wrapped in a clean linen towel. The wrapping kept the finished roll soft and easy to cut into slices. My mother’s version was an adaptation of a recipe handed down by my Italian grandmother– who baked bread daily in an old wood burning stove. I’ve used the ” cheaters version” and something more like your version– but never added sauce or cut into buns. I will say both versions are good, everyone likes them, and even the cheaters version tends to impress guests. ( I fancy- up my mother’s version some– an egg wash, more spices, etc). The nicest part is that small amounts of food that might be wasted can easily be converted into a family friendly meal or snack– basically it’s anything goes for filling, cheese holds the mix together, and no skill required. It’s not as good as something carefully planned and all made by hand, but still good.

    I’d love to see more recipes that are adapted for those with limited time or skill– without giving up and ordering takeout or fast food. I find making interesting dishes based on great recipes, but using whatever’s at hand both a challenge and a money saver! We’ve just spent a year with very limited kitchen appliances– toaster oven, microwave, two burner portable induction cooktop ( waiting for a complete kitchen remodel) I’m a pretty decent cook— but it’s amazing what possible with limited resources. I should add– I hate wasting food! Wrapping almost anything in pizza dough ends up pretty tasty. Hope this long comment gives less experienced cooks/ bakers some ideas and confidence. Happy cooking!


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