Mini Deep Dish Pizzas: Tiny Bites of Pizza PerfectionElizabeth Stark
Mini Deep Dish Pizzas have several advantages over regular deep dish pizzas. First, you can tailor each one to suit your tastes, and those of your family. Second, they are smaller, so there is less chance that your kid will waste a bunch of it. There’s nothing worse than seeing your kid take three bites and pick the toppings off a slice of pizza and then leave the rest. You would have eaten that slice! Also, you can eat several, so you can pretend you are a giant that’s eating pizza after pizza. To complete the effect, drink out of a child-size glass.
Most importantly, though, they taste wonderful. With gooey bubbly mozzarella and the thick soft crust you love in a deep dish pie, these are just as tasty as regular pizzas, just smaller. We used pepperoni, tomatoes, and shallots but of course you can use whatever toppings you prefer. Also, if you don’t have time to make dough, you can use the pre-made kind.
Mini Deep Dish Pizzas
for the dough
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 lukewarm water
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cups cold water
1/4 cup olive oil
for the filling
1 lb. fresh mozzarella, sliced
1/4 lb. pepperoni slices
2 tablespoons diced shallot
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved and quartered
In a large mixing bowl combine the yeast and water. Stir in 1/4 cup of the all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour. Set the mixture in a warm place for 30 minutes, until it has risen and is very bubbly.
In a medium bowl, combine the remaining flour and salt. Add to the yeast mixture. Stir in the water and olive oil. Either using the dough hook in a stand mixture, or by hand, knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and pliant. Add flour if necessary, though the dough should be slightly sticky.
Oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough inside, cover, and allow dough to rise for 2 hours, or in the refrigerator overnight. The dough should double in size.
Pour a drizzle of olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Handling the dough carefully, stretch the dough into a rectangle the size of the baking sheet. Stretch carefully, while trying to preserve the air in the dough. Cover the rectangle of dough, and set in a warm place, and allow the dough to rise again for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Oil a 12 cup muffin tin, and cut the dough rectangle into 12 equal squares, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Place each square into a cup, rounding the dough and pinching excess into a crust. Allow the dough to rest while you prepare the filling.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of sauce into each pizza cup, then a small slice of cheese, whatever toppings you prefer, another spoonful of sauce and a final layer of cheese. Top with fresh herbs if you like.
Bake the pizzas for 20 minutes. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes, remove from the tin and serve.
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