Pizza “cinnamon” buns

With April Fool’s Day close by, I’ve been thinking back to days past when strategically placed whoopie cushions, piles of confetti on ceiling fans and unscrewed salt shakers were part of any prankster’s lexicon.

If you’re looking for a fun and easy recipe, serve your family something that looks like one dish, but tastes like another.

There are plenty of ideas floating around out there, but I’ve decided to share this super-easy take on a breakfast favourite: Pizza “Cinnamon” Buns!

You can adjust this pizza to fit your preferences, so if you like onions and anchovies, go for it!  You can also use whole wheat pizza dough if you want to make a healthier version of this treat. Of course, you don’t have to save this recipe just for April Fool’s Day – it’s great any time of year!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 package (680 g) prepared pizza dough

1-1/3 cups marinara sauce*

3/4 cup diced bell pepper

3/4 cup thinly sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup sliced pepperoni

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 tsp olive oil

*If you don’t have marinara sauce on hand, mix together 1-1/3 cups strained crushed tomatoes; 1 tsp dried oregano; 1 clove garlic (pressed or grated); and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.

Remove dough from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Turn out onto lightly floured surface; roll out into 10- x 16-inch (25 x 40 cm) rectangle. Spread 1/3 cup sauce over surface of rectangle, leaving 1/2-inch (1 cm) border uncovered at 1 long side.

Top with peppers, mushrooms, pepperoni and 1/2 cup of the cheese, leaving the same 1/2-inch (1 cm) border uncovered. Starting at opposite side of border, tightly roll up dough, pinch seam to seal.

Rolled and sliced buns

Brush all over with oil. With sharp knife, cut into 12 pieces; place cut side up, in greased 11- x 7-inch (2L) baking dish.

Bake in 400˚F (200˚C) oven until tops are golden and buns sound hollow when gently tapped, 35 to 45 minutes. Top with remaining cheese 5 minutes before removing from oven. Meanwhile, heat remaining marinara sauce in small saucepan until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Serve warm pizza buns with marinara sauce for dipping.

Will you be doing anything for April Fool’s Day this year?

Pizza "Cinnamon" Buns