I put some spice in these bites
I follow a lovely blog called She Makes and Bakes, where I find recipes and photos that make me drool! When I saw the recipe for Pizza Bites, I wanted them, and fast! Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to make them until recently, but I didn’t stop thinking about them, and I knew mine would become spicy giardiniera pizza bites.
Finally (finally!) I found a chunk of time to make a version of She Makes and Bakes’ doughy rounds. I filled my pizza bites with mozzarella cheese and a spicy giardiniera, which is a mixture of pickled veggies like carrots, peppers, cauliflower, celery, and other things. Giardiniera is a staple in many Italian kitchens, and it’s easy to find at most grocery stores.
Rise to the occasion
As you know, my family is filled with bakers, from my parents to aunts and uncles to cousins. Normally I would have used my mom or dad’s recipe for the pizza dough, but (believe it or not) I don’t have a copy and my mom was traveling. So I went to the next-best, non-family resource, and used a King Arthur Flour pizza dough recipe. The dough came out really nice, and since I reduced the recipe by half, it gave me the perfect amount of dough to form 20 spicy giardiniera pizza bites. I can’t wait to use my mom and dad’s pizza dough recipe for next time!
Recipe for Spicy Giardiniera Pizza Bites
Makes 20 Pizza Bites
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a bit extra to coat a bowl and baking dish
- 3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 8 ounces spicy giardiniera
- Butter for brushing over the dough
- Shredded Parmesan cheese for sprinkling over the dough before baking
- Warm marinara sauce for dipping
- Add the sugar, yeast, salt, and olive oil the lukewarm water in a medium bowl.
- Add the dried oregano and dried basil to the flour in a separate bowl.
- Transfer the wet mixture to a mixer set for dough, and then add the flour, a little at a time. Mix until the dough becomes smooth and elastic (5-8 minutes). You can also knead the dough with your hands if you don’t have a mixer.
- Coat a medium bowl with a bit of olive oil, and put the dough in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a thin kitchen towel and let it rise for about 1-1/2 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
- Lightly coat a 10-inch round baking dish with a bit of olive oil.
- Place the giardiniera in a small bowl, and the mozzarella cheese in another bowl near your baking dish.
- To form the pizza balls, pinch off a bit of the dough (enough to form a 3-inch round, about the size of your palm), and stretch it thin in the palm of your hand.
- Sprinkle in about 1-1/2 teaspoons of the mozzarella cheese, and then a teaspoon of the girardiniera.
- Fold the edges of the dough toward the middle of the round, and pinch it together so seals. It should form a ball that you’ll place, seam-side down, in the baking dish.
- Start by arranging the balls around the perimeter of the baking dish, so they are snug against each other. Continue until all balls are in the baking dish.
- Brush the pizza balls with a little butter, then sprinkle with a bit of grated Parmesan cheese.
- Bake the pizza balls for about 15-20 minutes, or until the dough turns golden.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, and serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping.