Appetizer Special: Pizza Bites

Super Bowl Sunday gave me a chance to test my skills in the kitchen, because I not only offered to cook two appetizers, but I also offered to bake a dessert. I was rather excited; I chose to make pizza bites, popcorn shrimp, and chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes [which is my favorite kind of ice cream]. Don’t ask me how many calories are in any of the aforementioned goodies, because I myself don’t even want to know! But hey, the Super Bowl is all about eating good, fried food right?! My dad even made wings, which were great!

Pizza Bites

yield: 20-24 bites

Ingredients:

pizza dough (enough for 1 pizza)

  • ½ cup warm water (about 110°)
  • 1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast
  • 1 ¼ cups water, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the bowl

4 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed (about 20-24 pieces)
Sliced pepperoni

Toppings

Olive oil
Italian seasoning
Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate or cake pan.

2. Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup.  Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes.  Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.

3. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed.

4. Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms.  Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook.  Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

5. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.  Press the dough to deflate it.

6. Divide the pizza dough into 20-24 roughly equal sized pieces.

7. Take one of the dough pieces, top with a cube of cheese and a slice or two of pepperoni.  Pull the edges of the dough around the fillings and pinch closed.  Place seam-side down in the baking dish.  Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.

Half I made just cheese, and the other half had cheese & pepperoni.

8. Lightly brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and grated Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.  Serve warm, with dipping sauce as desired.

Source: Annie’s Eats

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