Not a very sexy title, is that?  I was going to call it “The Tale of Two Coils” but, I decided a straight-forward, actual description was the way to go.  So here we are.  And it’s a pretty delicious place to be.  This is my basic, go to roll dough recipe, but with options!  As you know, The Goddess loves options.  She doesn’t understand people who don’t.  It’s a real conundrum for her.  And that Virginia, is why you see that word, “options” popping up all the time.  This is my mother’s roll recipe, but I’ve made a couple of small changes (she too, loved options!).  She used more sugar in the dough, and no honey.  But, I like the honey and I find this is sweet enough.  It allows for the flexibility to make this dough into a more savory option (there’s that word again).  Also, she used lard.  I have no issue with lard (it fries the best chicken), but butter is more readily available where I am.  You may use a nut oil, olive oil, margarine, bacon fat, etc. instead of the butter, if that works for what you’re making.  I’ve used all of those at one time or another.  I divided the dough in half, so I could have the best of both worlds.  Sweet for The Spicy Honey and savory for The Goddess.  Okay, we’ll share.  We had a neighborhood food truck, which our HOA, from time to time, has been arranging for during our isolation.  This was a pizza truck.  A neighbor and I were chatting (social distancing and masks applied), and he mentioned that he likes stromboli.  Stromboli was floating around in my head, and that’s what prompted me to divide the dough, and conquer!  I usually make a sweet or savory coil, in a smaller skillet and then just plain dinner rolls with the other half of the dough.  Which, by the way, works really well, too…see…options!

I’m giving you the “instructions” in pictures…you know what they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words”!  Here we are….

Flexible Roll Dough

  • Servings: Makes 1 large or 2 smaller coils
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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  • For the dough:
  • 3 1/2-4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling the dough
  • 1/3 cup dry milk powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Large pinch of ground ginger
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water, 115-120°F
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 large egg
  • For Sweet Coil—(Double filling if only making one coil)
  • Sweet Filling:
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • 2 teaspoons Vietnamese cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons brown, white or maple sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Topping:
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cold
  • For Savory Coil—(Double filling if only making one coil)
  • Savory Filling:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onions, very finely diced (a generous 1/3 cup)
  • 1 small sweet pepper, very finely diced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2-3 tablespoons very finely diced salami, pepperoni or soprasetta
  • 2 tablespoons very finely minced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 heaping teaspoon very finely minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian herb mixture (with a few red pepper flakes in it)
  • 2-3 teaspoon minced fresh basil
  • Topping:
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil (I use garlic oil from Garlic Confit)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herb mixture
  • 2-3 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 cherry tomatoes, very, very thinly sliced

Combine 1 cup flour, sugar, dry yeast, milk powder, ginger and salt in a large mixer bowl. Add water and using the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed of mixer for 1 minute. Add the egg, honey and the butter (or oil).  Beat for 30 seconds on until incorporated.  Switch to the dough hook.  Add 2 cups of the remaining flour and knead until it comes together.  Add additional flour to form a soft dough; knead for 6-8 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover; and let rise in a draft-free area of your kitchen, until double, about 30 minutes. 

While the dough rises, prepare the savory filling. Sauté, over medium-low heat, the onions, peppers, salami, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic, in the olive oil until the onion is tender, about 4 minutes.  Remove from the heat and add the Italian herb and fresh basil; set aside to cool.

Grease a 12-inch skillet for one coil, or two 9-inch skillets for two coils; set aside.

Next, divide the dough into two pieces; set one aside (I cover with the mixing bowl)  Divide the half into two pieces; roll each piece into a strip about 14 x 2-3-inches.

For the Sweet Coil:  Liberally brush each strip with half the melted butter, leaving about 1/2-inch along the long side.  Combine the sugar, cinnamon and salt.  Sprinkle half down the center of each strip.  Bring up the long sides and pinch together.  Wrap each strip around each other, tucking the ends under, and place in the prepared skillet.  Combine the topping and sprinkle over the coil.  Dot with butter and set aside to raise. 

For the Savory Coil:  Divide the remaining half of the dough in half.  Roll out as you did for the sweet coil.  Spread half the cooled onion mixture down the center of each strip.  Roll as you did for the sweet coil.  Place the coils, overlapping in the remaining prepared skillet, tucking the ends under.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with the Italian herb and parmesan cheese.  Lay the tomato slices randomly over the coils; set aside to raise.

Cover the skillets loosely with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in size (about 45 minutes).

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 190 F.  Brush top with melted butter, if desired. Cool in the skillets for 5 to 10 minutes; remove and cool completely on cooling rack.  Do not cut, until completely cool.  Excellent for hors d’oeuvres, with wine and cheese or toasted.

NOTE:  If you wish to make a simple coil, you may make one long strip, about 36 inches, brush with butter or oil and fill as directed above.  Coil from the center outward, in the skillet tucking the end under.  Then, continue with the recipe.  The sweet version can be glazed when cool.  I simply sprinkle it with icing sugar.

Flexible Roll Dough, Sweet or Savory Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2020.  All rights reserved.