A New Party Favorite - Pizza Bites!

>> Friday, December 9, 2011

Pizza Bites
With the holiday season pretty much in full swing, I’ve found that I’m constantly in the kitchen baking and cooking. The holidays always go hand in hand with cookie exchanges and potluck parties. It isn’t always the easiest to figure out what to make for those parties since there are so many people. You never know if you’ll end up bringing the same side dish as everyone else. Next thing, there are 6 casseroles sitting on the table.

To avoid that ever coming to fruition, I decided to go with something bite sized. What’s better then providing people with something that’s easy to eat while they’re trying to juggle their drinks and conversation? Plus, the explosive taste of all the ingredients in just one single bite. Sign me up!

I had a perfect recipe in my mind. Pizza bites! Who doesn’t love pizza, especially when they come bite sized, I doubt anybody can resist. Great for adults and kids at any party!

The recipe that I found recommended making your own pizza dough and I’ve included that recipe below. If you’re pressed for time, you can always buy your pizza dough as well. I did really enjoy the dough recipe and found that the leftovers were great as a flatbread as well, just spread some pesto, spices and cheese over top!


Pizza Dough Recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 cup warm water
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) instant yeast
1 1/4 cups water, room temperature
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups bread or all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/2 tsp salt
olive oil for brushing crust (optional)
garlic salt for brushing crust (optional)


Preparation:
In a small bowl, mix together the warm water and yeast until it all dissolves. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the yeast to reconstitute.

Add the room temperature water and oil to the yeast mixture. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add in the flour and salt. Stir to incorporate and slowly start pouring in the yeast mixture.

The dough will start to come together and pick up all the flour. It will be quite sticky at first, refrain from adding more flour. It’s supposed to be this way.

Now it’s time to get your hands dirty. Start kneading the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic. It’s done once the dough is no longer sticky but nice and smooth, approximately 10 mins.

Brush some oil in a separate bowl, form the dough in to a ball and place it in the bowl. The oil will prevent the dough from sticking to the sides of the bowl.

Let it rise at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours or until it doubles in size. You’ll definitely be able to tell when it’s done.

Punch down the dough and it’s ready to use.

Use in any pizza or flatbread recipe (including pizza bites)!


Pizza Bites Recipe

Ingredients:
1/2 of the above Pizza Dough
mozzarella cheese, cubed
Pepperoni slices
olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Pizza sauce

Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

Prepare a 9 inch pan by greasing it with olive oil and set aside.
Punch down the pizza dough if it’s starting to rise again and tear off a golf ball sized amount.

Stretch the dough into a small circle and place in a cube of mozzarella cheese and pepperoni slice.

Pull the edges of the dough together to seal the edges and form a small ball.
Place it in the 9 inch pan with the seam side down.

Repeat with the rest of the dough. When placing the dough in the pan, have them slightly touching so when they bake it forms together.

Brush the top of the dough with some olive oil and sprinkle on the oregano, basil and parmesan cheese. You can also add crushed chili peppers or other herbs and spices.

Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or remove once they become golden brown.

Great one their own or with pizza sauce as a dipper.

Next time I’d like to try adding the sauce right in to the dough itself or change it up and use pesto. Feel free to experiment yourself!

Enjoy!

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