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Homemade Mini Pizzas, Three Ways

Scratch dough for amazing pizza is not hard at all.  This recipe is perfect to portion out for three mini pizzas; use it for one big pizza, and it may reach about 20″ across!  But if the people you’re cooking for can’t decide on one pizza to share, explore our three recipes here for inspiration.  We had one that was vegetarian, a pepperoni with extra cheese and a few other extras, and “green eggs and ham,” a tasty tribute to Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel.

• For the dough:

3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water

3 tbs. of extra virgin olive oil

2 1/4 tsp. of dry active yeast

2 tsp. of kosher salt

1 tsp. of brown sugar

blooming yeast

blooming yeast

Bloom the yeast in lukewarm water by combining the yeast, water, and brown sugar in a bowl.  Whisk to dissolve the yeast and sugar.  Let sit for 10 minutes to activate itself.

on the hook

on the hook

In a Kitchenaid mixing bowl, mix the flour and salt.  Attach to your Kitchenaid with a dough hook.  Add the yeast mixture and olive oil to the flour, and mix on speed 2 for 5 minutes.

divided

divided

Transfer the dough to a cutting board (the board doesn’t need to be floured, the dough shouldn’t be that sticky).  Divide the dough into 3 parts with a knife or bench scraper.

placed for proofing

placed for proofing

Gently roll the dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet that has been lightly greased with olive oil.

covered

covered

Cover the dough with plastic wrap very lightly, to allow the dough room to expand.  You can even brush the dough with a little olive oil so the plastic wrap doesn’t stick so much.  Let the dough proof on a countertop or oventop for an hour to 1 1/2 hours until the balls have quadrupled in size; it’s okay if they touch each other when they rise.

• For the pesto sauce (used in two of the pizzas):

2 cups of packed fresh basil leaves

2/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup of BelGioioso Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup of toasted pine nuts

3-4 garlic cloves (to taste)

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper

In a food processor, blend basil, garlic, and pine nuts together until coarsely chopped.  Add 1/2 cup of olive oil, and process until smooth.  Add salt and pepper and remaining oil, and pulse until well blended.  Put pesto in a bowl, and mix in cheese with a spoon.  Set aside.

Marsala wine can make a saute taste magical, and pesto has that wonderful earthiness thanks to the pine nuts.  This is a vegetarian dish with marvelous flavors, and August pictures it’s the pizza that woodland fairies and gnomes would eat.

• For the vegetarian pizza:

1 ball of dough

1 cup of shredded whole milk, low moisture mozzarella cheese

1 yellow zucchini, sliced in coins

1 chanterelle mushroom

2 brown mushrooms

2 morel mushrooms

3 tbs. of pesto sauce

2 tbs. of Marsala wine

1 tbs. of butter

1/2 tsp. of minced garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, and preheat a pizza stone in the oven at the same time.

Slice all the mushrooms.  Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds to awaken the flavor.  Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add the wine, salt, and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes more.  Taste at the end to make sure the alcohol is cooked out, and that it is properly salted.  Remove from heat.

shaping

shaping

Stretch out the pizza dough on a cutting board dusted with flour and finely ground corn meal, and form an outer ridge for the crust.  Spread the pesto across the dough within the crust, leaving a half-inch border between the sauce and the ridge.

arranged

arranged

Sprinkle on the cheese, then arrange the vegetables.  Bake on the pizza stone for 12-16 minutes – timing depends on your oven and preference of doneness, so keep an eye on it.

vegetarian mini pizza

vegetarian mini pizza

If we’re feeling really lazy, the pizza we order without thought or compromise is pepperoni, olive, and extra cheese (it pleases everyone in the house).  Zach’s homemade version will make us rethink placing future orders, because no chain pizza place can hold a candle to this recipe.

• For the cheesy pepperoni pizza:

1 ball of dough

1 cup of shredded whole milk, low moisture mozzarella cheese

5 medium-thick slices of fresh mozzarella cheese

1 4-oz. can of tomato sauce

1/4 cup of sliced black olives

12-16 slices of pepperoni

8 slices of salami

1 tsp. of minced garlic

1 tsp. of onion powder

1/2 tsp. of dried oregano

A few fresh basil leafs, finely minced

Keep the oven at 425 degrees F, and reheat the pizza stone in the oven.  Mix the tomato sauce with the garlic, onion powder, oregano, and basil.  Stretch out the pizza dough on a cutting board dusted with flour and finely ground corn meal, and form an outer ridge for the crust.  Spread the tomato sauce across the dough within the crust, leaving a half-inch border between the sauce and the ridge.

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Sprinkle on the shredded cheese, arrange the sliced cheese, lay down the meat slices, and finesse with black olives.  Bake on the heated pizza stone for 14-18 minutes – like the first pizza, timing depends on your oven and preference of doneness, but this one needs to bake a little longer than the first one because of the extra cheese.

super cheesy and meaty mini pizza

super cheesy and meaty mini pizza

Since the 1940s, the works by Dr. Seuss have had an impact on early childhood development and education.  Few know that he also served in World War II, but even then it was as a commander of the Animation Department of the First Motion Picture Unit in the U.S. Air Force, writing wartime propaganda films (no kidding).  Some people, no matter where they are or what’s happening in the world, are resourceful and resilient and keep doing what they do no matter what because it’s what’s important to do.  Said Sam I Am.

• For the green eggs and ham pizza:

1 ball of dough

1 cup of shredded whole milk, low moisture mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup of diced pancetta

6 mini purple potatoes

3 cage-free egg yolks

3 tbs. of pesto sauce

Keep the oven at 425 degrees F for the final pizza, and heat the pizza stone in the oven once more. In a small pot, boil the potatoes in water over medium heat for 15 minutes; you want them to be al dente, not fully cooked.  Let cool, and slice in half.

Stretch out the pizza dough on a cutting board dusted with flour and finely ground corn meal, and form an outer ridge for the crust.  Spread the pesto sauce across the dough within the crust, leaving a half-inch border between the sauce and the ridge.

general arrangement

general arrangement

Sprinkle on the cheese and diced pancetta, and lay out the halved potatoes.  DO NOT place the egg yolks yet – we have done this purely for picture’s sake so you can get a visual of placement.

Bake on the heated pizza stone for 12-16 minutes – again, timing depends on your oven and preference of doneness.  However, the time to add the egg yolks is at the last 2 minutes of baking.  Gently make little wells in the melted cheese with a spoon and carefully lay the yolks in the wells.  If they bake on the pizza too long, they will harden and not be creamy.

green eggs and ham pizza

green eggs and ham mini pizza

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Posted on July 21, 2013, in Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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