Sunday, May 06, 2012

Get Creative And Make Mini Deep Dish Pizzas!

If you have been a loyal reader of mine you have probably read that I always seem to say that homemade pizza is the only way to go and to revisit that I think its very true.This is because its way cheaper then any restaurant or delivery and way better in texture,flavor and freshness to any frozen pizza.Also, when its homemade you have the opportunity to experiment with your dough and toppings to see what works for you.The only thing anyone has to do is plan their time well enough to prepare and be able to fun while creating it, no rushing. Anyone can make a pizza.Its super easy!

Now when I recently wanted pizza.I had experimenting on the brain, so instead of a traditional pizza I went with following a brand new recipe, to create mini deep dish pizzas.They are simply a different format of the delicious food, basically a muffin sized snack.I have never made these before and they actually became pretty simple to create.All I needed was some pizza dough (homemade or store bought), a muffin pan and lots of toppings.Simple as that!

Now for me, I chose to make a homemade dough by following, a recipe called Amazing Whole Wheat Pizza Crust .With this dough I slightly altered it by replacing all the flour with all purpose;however I do really recommend whole wheat because it brings so much more flavor to the crust. I would of have chosen this route if I had this flour on hand because whole wheat dough is my favorite.After I created this dough,I began following the directions for Martha Stewart's Mini Deep Dish Pizza recipe.

For this recipe,I had to improvise with how to create the mini rounds.So I decided to use a lid to a medium sized coffee container to create a cutter.This actually worked very well for me because it cut the dough very easily and was big enough for the muffin cups.It was the best sized round for the cups that It gave me the freedom to fill each muffin sized snack with a variety of toppings.

Once I figured out the pizza dough solution it was time for me to prepare the topping,which was the most time consuming step in the whole recipe.The basic toppings were chopped tomatoes and grated mozzarella cheese;However I wanted to step up the flavor, so I added minced garlic and Italian seasoning to the  tomatoes.After that was completed it was now all about experimenting with more toppings.I had the choice if  I wanted all the minis completely different,half and half or all the same.For me I went with a half and half choice and used a variety of toppings such as chopped red pepper,feta,pineapple tidbits and onion.I used what I had on hand and layered as much I could in each mini deep dish.The large rounds made it possible for me to really stuff those minis with lots of toppings.Super fun!

After that,it was time for me to bake these delicious snacks and they came out risen, golden brown and bubbly all over, at about 12 minutes, Yum! However sadly some of the minis did have issues with cheese bubbling over them, which caused some appearance issues, small burnt parts!. Note to self got to be more careful with how much cheese I add, response I love cheese to much! However don't be to worried the crust wasn't ruin even for the one's that had appearance issues.The great filling helps a lot with that!

Once these cooled a bit, I tried a couple.Ohhh! They were Yummy. The crust was moist, chewy and thick, while the filling packed a punch in flavor.The red pepper was definitely the dominant flavor in this filling while the tomatoes and onions came second.The seasonings helped a lot in bringing out these toppings and the pineapple gave just enough sweetness.Then lastly,it was the feta and mozzarella that tied everything together.The feta brought some texture and saltiness and then the cheese that is always missed by pizza, Mozzarella! Brings great flavor and smoothness to this snack.

Overall I loved these! They would be the best snack or appetizer to serve.Maybe even as a mini muffin size. Ummm,sounds like a great idea? These are great warm or cold.If cold, they would have even more flavor to them because the flavor would absorb even more overtime, especially into the crust.But they have lot of flavor even warm, so their great either way.They are also even more hand held friendly then regular pizza.No worrying about tons of toppings slipping off your pizza like a so called, thin crust pizza! 

They are really fun to create and super simple to prepare.They can be great for a lunch,snack, side dish or as an appetizer.The recipe gives you the freedom to experiment with any dough you choose to use or any toppings.I love creating and seeing what tastes great.So overall, I have to give this recipe an A+ for simplicity and giving me freedom to expand. I recommend everyone to check out my adapted recipe below and the original recipe link.See what you can create!

Everyone have a great Sunday everyone!

Mini Deep Dish Pizza
Dough:Amazing Whole Wheat Pizza Crust (Altered:Used All Purpose Flour)

4-5+ Roma tomatoes,chopped
Half of a purple onion,chopped
Italian seasoning
2 + cups mozzarella cheese,thinly grated
1 large red pepper,chopped
Sea salt and pepper
1 can Pineapple Tidbits
1 large garlic clove,minced

Made Amazing Whole Wheat Dough.

Brushed a nonstick muffin thin with oil.Lightly flour the work surface and rolled out the pizza dough.Cut out 6 inch rounds.(I used a coffee lid to cut-out my rounds)

Preheat oven to 450F.

Chopped Roma tomatoes and mix it with the Italian seasoning and minced garlic.Chopped the red pepper,minced the purple onion,grated the mozzarella cheese and crumbled the feta cheese.

Pressed the pizza rounds into the cups,gently.

Then sprinkled sea salt and pepper in each round.Then layered it with about a tbsp of grated cheese and seasoned tomato.
Then began adding the toppings.

(My Topping)

Red pepper,onion,feta and pineapple.Then added more tomato and cheese.

Bake for about 12 minutes, golden brown,risen and crisp.Let cool before removing cups.

Note:Had a few burnt sides only due to cheese bubbling over.