Meat Lover's Pizza Pretzel Roll

Serves 12

2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
12 ounces warm beer (110°-120°), I used Blue Moon *see cooks note
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour + more for dusting counter
1 teaspoon kosher salt + more for pretzel top
½ cup marinara sauce
1 pound Italian sausage links, cooked and thinly sliced into coins
1 pound ground beef, cooked
1 (7 ounce) package pepperoni
1 pound thick cut bacon, cooked and diced
1 pound shredded Italian cheese blend (or mozzarella cheese)
2 tablespoons baking soda
1 cup water, boiling
1 egg
marinara or cheese sauce for serving

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Prepare bacon, ground beef and sausage links.  Set aside.

In a small bowl beat egg and a tablespoon of water, set aside.  Sprinkle clean counter top with ¼ cup flour.  Line a 13"x19" baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.  Set aside.

Making the dough
Pour beer into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (see cooks note if you do not have a stand mixer), sprinkle yeast over top, add sugar and stir.  Allow yeast to bloom for 5-10 minutes.  Once it is nice and foamy, it is ready. *It should look like the 'head' of a beer poured too quickly and smell yeasty.

Add flour and salt to stand mixer.  Knead for 3-5 minutes until the dough comes together in one ball.  Add more flour a tablespoon at a time as needed, if bread is too sticky to come together.  Dough should be tacky when you pull it out of the mixer, not sticky.

Assembling the pizza roll
Place dough on floured counter top and knead in flour until it is no longer tacky, just a minute or two.  Form dough into a ball.  Light dust rolling pin and roll dough out into a 18" tall x 24" wide rectangle.

Brush marinara sauce over the top of the dough, leaving a 1" edge around the dough without sauce. This will be used to seal the roll and needs to be kept mostly clean.

Spread sausage coins over the dough in 4 spaced rows.  Sprinkle ground beef, evenly, over all of the dough continuing to leave a 1" edge around the outside of the dough.

Spread pepperoni in rows across the ground beef, rows should run between the sausage rows. Sprinkle with bacon and cheese.

Rolling the pretzel pizza
Starting at the bottom, tightly roll dough away from you, using the last 1” to seal roll.  The last few inches of the roll are the toughest, so once you are about 2-3" from the end, stop and use a brush to apply egg wash on the 1" edge.  Pull remaining dough over the top (towards you) and gently press the edge down to seal.  Tuck the edges of the 'log' underneath to seal in.

Carefully transfer the log to your prepared baking sheet and form a circle.  *tip* I  lifted one side of the roll and slid the baking pan under neath with the other hand. 

If there are any holes in your log, pinch some extra dough off the ends of your log and press it flat and lay it over the hole and gently press it on top to seal.  Once all holes are patched, pinch the ends of the log together.

Bring water to a boil. Carefully add baking soda (it will bubble up). Stir and liberally brush water over the entire pizza roll.

Place an oven safe bowl, greased on the outside (I used a 2 cup pyrex bowl) in the center of the pizza roll. *This will be where you place your cheese sauce when you serve it.

Brush the entire pizza roll with the egg wash.  Sprinkle with course salt.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the pretzel is browned and thumps when you flick the top.

Pour cheese sauce or marinara in center bowl and serve.  Enjoy!

COOKS NOTE:  You can mix the dough by hand if you do not have a stand mixer.  Add water, yeast and sugar to a large bowl.  Once the yeast blooms stir in the salt and the flour.  Mix with a spoon.  Turn dough out onto floured counter top and knead for 3-5 minutes until dough is no longer sticky.  Proceed with remaining instructions.

I microwaved the beer in a glass microwave safe measuring cup, 15 seconds at a time until it was 110-120 degrees.

You can substitute milk or water for the beer.

Recipe developed by Donna Elick - The Slow Roasted Italian
Copyright ©2014 The Slow Roasted Italian – All rights reserved.