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"Cheesy" Italian Pizza Buns

These Pizza Buns save my sanity Every. Single. Day.  I make them every 2.5 - 3 weeks, and it keeps me from having to make sandwiches every day for my 3 school aged kids.  Life Saver, I'm tellin' ya.  I've been making them for close to 5 years now, and I'm still going strong, because it really is soooo worth it.  I just store them in the freezer, and pop a few out every morning (or put some in the fridge the night before) as needed.

For a long time I made these pizza buns with regular all purpose flour, which admittedly works great, and results in larger, puffier Pizza Buns...but as I'm trying to steer clear of refined flour these days, I've been making them lately with my own ground whole wheat (I use hard white wheat).

After you've ground your wheat, measure and dump all the dough ingredients into the inner compartment of a bread machine.

Select the dough setting, and press start.  My machine takes about 2 hours to complete the dough cycle, and ends up looking something like this:

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a rectangular shape using a rolling pin, the rectangle measuring approximately 29" long (width is less important).

Spread pizza sauce onto the rolled out dough surface, leaving a bit of space (about 1/2") around the edges.

Combine Italian Cashew Parmesan ingredients into a food processor or dry blender attachment (I use the dry attachment of my Vitamix). Sprinkle generously over pizza sauce (I use the whole batch).  I used to use Daiya brand shredded cheese, which also worked great, but I find this homemade Italian parmesan works awesome, saves me a bit of money, and honestly, I prefer the flavour of it over the store bought dairy-free cheeses.

Starting from one of the long edges, roll the dough into a long, spiral shaped cylinder, like you would do to make cinnamon buns.

For this next part I use a little tape measure, because I like it to be exact, and I want to make sure I get 2 dozen buns out of the recipe.  Finding the centre of your pizza roll, slide a long piece of dental floss under the roll to the centre point.  Crisscross the dental floss over top of the pizza roll and pull both ends of the dental floss in this criss cross direction to cut through.  Repeat this process again on each half, to form 4 sections, and then again on each of the 4 sections, to form 8 sections.  Once you have 8 sections, use the same process, but this time divide each section into 3 pieces, giving you a total of 24 Pizza Buns.

Place Pizza Buns on 2 large baking sheets (a dozen buns on each sheet.  Cover each sheet with a tea towel and let rise for one hour in a warm place.   During the last 15 minutes or so, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes, or until the tops of the Pizza Buns are slightly browned.  Remove baking sheets from oven and transfer Pizza Buns to a cooling rack.  Serve warm or continue to cool.  Store Pizza Buns in zippered freezer bags in the freezer.


xoxo Lise-Anne ~ {Plum Planted}


Click Here for Printable Recipe

"Cheesy" Italian Pizza Buns
By Lise-Anne Michel {Plum Planted}
Makes 2 dozen buns
Plant Based, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Oil-free.


1 3/4 c. water
2 T coconut oil (or applesauce for oil-free)
2 T raw unpasteurized honey
2 t. salt
2 t. italian seasoning
1 t. baking powder*
2 cloves crushed garlic
4 1/3 c. whole wheat flour (or all purpose) 
1 1/2 t. yeast

1/2 - 3/4 c. pasta sauce of choice**
Cashew parmesan

Italian Cashew Parmesan***:
1/2 c. cashews****
1 clove garlic
2 T nutritional yeast
1 t. basil
1 t. oregano
pinch of sea salt

NOTE: If an ingredient has a * beside it, please see "Recipe Tips" section below for more instructions.


1. Place dough ingredients in bread maker, in the order listed above.
2. Select dough setting, and push start.
3. When dough cycle is complete, roll out dough on a floured surface to form a large rectangle (approximately 29" in length.
4. In a food processor or high speed blender (I use the dry attachment of my Vitamix), combine all cashew parmesan ingredients and process until the consistency of parmesan cheese.
5. Spread pasta sauce onto dough surface, leaving about 1/2" from the edges without sauce.  Sprinkle cashew parmesan on top over entire surface.
6. Beginning at one of the long edges, carefully roll dough, forming a spiral shaped cylinder, like you would to make cinnamon buns.
7. Find the centre of the roll (I use a measuring tape), and slide a long piece of dental floss under it to this centre point.  Crisscross the dental floss over the roll to the opposite sides, and pull on both ends to slice.
8. Repeat step 7 with each of the two sections (thus creating 4 sections), and then again on each of the 4 sections (you should now have 8 sections total).
9. Divide the remaining 8 sections into 3 pieces each, using the dental floss method for slicing, to create 24 pizza buns.
10. Place pizza buns on 2 large baking sheets, with a dozen buns on each sheet.
11. Cover baking sheets with 2 dish towels and place in a warm place to let rise for one hour.
12. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15-18 mins, or until lightly browned on top.
13. Remove baking sheets from over and transfer pizza buns to a cooling rack.
14. Serve warm or let cool.  Store remaining pizza buns in a zippered freezer bag in the freezer.

Recipe Tips:
*If you're using all purpose white flour, omit the baking powder altogether.
**The less sauce you use, the easier your pizza buns will be to work with, but they will be slightly dryer in the end.  I tend to use less sauce (although I rarely measure it), because I find if I put too much on, they become slippery and harder to work with and don't rise as well, but they will be a bit more moist in the end.  It's just a matter of personal preference.
***Alternately, you can use a store bought dairy-free cheese (my personal favourite is "Daiya" brand grated cheese.
****Next time I make these I'm going to experiment with some nut free options, as I know lots of schools now have a nut free policy.  It's not an issue for my kids, but I will try to find a nice replacement for those of you that may affect.  I'm thinking pumpkin seeds or hemp hearts would turn out nicely.  If someone else tries anything, please comment below and let us know how it turned out!


  1. Hi Lise-Anne-do you soak your cashews first when you make the cashew parmesan?

    1. Hi Meg :)
      Nope, this is the one recipe that I definitely don’t soak my cashews! They need to be dry to get that Parmesan-like texture.


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