I love pizza! And it doesn't get a whole lot cuter than these colourful little mini pizzas. With minimal mozzarella and lots of fresh peppers they are much lighter than your traditional pizza. But hey, it's still pizza and it pretty darn tasty!
For a very long time, I was terrified of making pizza. Like it really used to get me worried. So much so that I never bothered making it, ever. I just left pizza making to the pizza makers and the freezer at the grocery store. I thought why bother as it is likely to be doomed to failure and will leave me frustrated and defeated. Yes, all these feelings over pizza. Yes, again I need a life.
Okay, I did make pizzas out of a box. I can't remember the brand because I haven't lived back home in too many years to count now, but it was a whole pizza kit. I think the dough came out of a can that popped. Does anyone know what I am talking about? I know they were really popular back in the 80s and probably still are. Who knows. Anyway, I made my fair share of those. They didn't scare me because the dough was all ready to pop.
But, like so many things in life, I got the itch to dive it and just do it right. This was a long time ago, just for the record, not today. I felt I needed to know how to make pizza. I am sure many of you are reading this and laughing at my anxiety over pizza dough. But it was real. As real as the dog sitting next to me. And there is a dog sitting next to me. He's always next to me.
So I started my research of the almighty pizza dough and what makes a good pizza dough. Like everything in cookbooks, magazines and the Internet, the information was overwhelming and I almost couldn't cope. There were articles that said you must use a pizza stone. The oven must be a million degrees. If you don't have a wood fired oven, don't bother. If you haven't sourced your flour from a field in southern Italy you are doomed and on and on it went. Good grief. So, I decided to through in the towel, pick a random recipe and make the flippin' dough.
The recipe I chose all those years ago was a Jamie Oliver recipe for classic Italian pizza dough. Sounded good to me. So off I went following every instruction to the letter. I didn't even stray for a nano second. For me that's no easy feat, because I struggle at following recipes. Probably why I write my own..ha!
In any case, I not only measured but weighed all my ingredients to make sure it was perfect. I kneaded it for exactly 10 minutes, like the recipe and then swaddled it like a baby to rise for the next hour. It looked perfect. I was so happy and pleased as punch with myself. So, I carefully rolled out my dough. I rolled it with a rolling pin because God forbid I start throwing dough in the air. That really would be destined to end in disaster. Off they went to the oven for the said 8 minutes. Quick! They came out.......
Perfect! I couldn't believe my eyes. How did I manage to make that pizza?
What I learned on that day, was that it was just fear holding me back. And no, there is no moral to this story, just me getting over my fear of pizza dough. To this day, that is the recipe I use....ish. Like so many things food, you just end of going on feel after you have done it a few hundred times. So, if you are going to make these pizzas, make your own dough. It takes literally 10 minutes to make from start to finish. Then it just has to rise. Guess what, it will keep in the fridge for about two weeks and you can even freeze the stuff. True fact. I quite often make it and put it in the fridge and we use it a week or so later.. You can find that pizza dough recipe here. It doesn't disappoint. I will also link to it below in the recipe.
Another thing, I always make my own pizza sauce. You don't have to if you can find a good one where you life. I just haven't managed to find one. I always make it in a large batch and preserve it with the canning method. You can find the pizza sauce recipe here if you click the link. I never ever make another sauce.
Why mini pizzas you ask? For no other reason than they are just too cute. But seriously, these would make a great party table idea. Also great with kids. You could even get them to do their own. Kids love stuff like that. Well, not mine, but I hear other kids like making stuff with their moms. I can dream.
Like I said before, make the pizza dough in advance. If you are choosing to make your own pizza sauce, do that in advance as well. The sauce making does take a bit of time. I do large batches and preserve it. I normally do that 3 to 4 times a year. I should by more canning jars, because then I might just do one huge batch and be done with it for life. Okay, that might be a bit of a stretch but you get the idea. Then you are good to do.
If all else fails, you could buy dough...eek. Still, the mini pizzas are a great idea and fun to make. Because I love vegetable based pizzas, this time I went with straight bell peppers, a hint of cheese and fresh arugula to finish it off. They were delicious.
Tri Bell Pepper Mini Pizzas
Makes 16 mini pizzas / Prep time: 20 minutes / Cook time: 8 minutes
* Cooking time stated above does not include making dough or sauce.
1 Pizza dough ball
2 Cups/480 ml pizza sauce
2 Cups/230 grams grated mozzarella cheese
2 Tablespoons dried oregano
1 Red pepper, diced
1 Green pepper, diced
1 Yellow pepper diced
Arugula leaves for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place the oven rack at the lowest setting. Have ready a large baking sheet.
Divide the pizza dough ball into 16 equal parts. Then roll each one into ball. With a rolling pin, roll out each ball to about 4- 5 inches. Repeat for all dough balls. Place the pizza bases on your baking sheet. You may need to do this in batches, depending on oven space.
Place a spoonful of sauce on each pizza base and spread it out leaving a small edge on the outside. Sprinkle with oregano, peppers and top with cheese.
Cook in the oven for about 8 minutes or until risen and golden on the top.
Remove from oven and top with a few fresh arugula leaves. Serve immediately.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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