Casual finger food ideas- Mini pizzas

Mini white pizzas with beschamel sauce, asiago and mozzarella

Mini pizzas are the perfect finger food for any casual gathering. Because of their small size, they are a much cuter and more delicate way to serve pizza, adding a level of sophistication while maintaining a laid-back feel. Most importantly, they are generally liked by children and adults, which make them perfect for a kid’s birthday party where adults will be present as well.
The nice thing about making your own pizza is that you are able to use whichever toppings you like. I usually like to have an assortment of pizzas, with either a red or a white sauce and different toppings. They can also be an excellent vegetarian option, so keep in mind that you may want to make some without meat.
Although tomato sauce, either home-made or from a jar, is the classic pizza topper, BBQ sauce or beschamel are also delicious. Try making an all-white pizza, with beschamel and a variety of cheeses such as mozzarella, asiago and chevre. Topped with chicken and herbs, they not only look beautiful but taste great too!
Keep in mind that, as these pizzas are fairly tiny, you will want to keep all your toppings small as well. Any meat or veg added to the pizza should be well chopped, to ensure that no big chunks take over the entire morsel. If using bacon, first render it until crispy and then crumble it. Likewise, when saucing the pizza, you really only need a teaspoon to distribute the sauce on the little crusts.
When putting the pizzas together, make sure your dough is properly docked. Docking is the act of poking holes into a raw crust, and is done to enable steam to escape while the crusts are baking, so that they don’t puff up. Once you have rolled out your dough and cut it to size, poke it evenly with a fork, making sure that the holes go all the way through.
These pizzas can be made well in advance, and stored in the freezer until ready to use. Shortly before serving, just pop them into a hot oven at 475F and cook for about 10 minutes.

Mini pizzas, before they hit the oven

Basic pizza dough

You will need:
2 ¼ tsp instant dry yeast
1 ½ cups bread flour
1 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
4 tsp sugar

Method:
1. Stir the yeast into the flour.
2. Stir the remaining ingredients into the flour mixture. Knead with a dough hook on a standing mixer, or by hand, for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and slightly stretchy.
3. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to sit in a warm place to rise for about half an hour.
4. Once the dough has risen, punch it down and divide it into four portions. The dough can be wrapped and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out thinly.
6. If making mini pizzas, use a round cookie cutter to cut evenly sized dough rounds.
7. Poke the dough with a fork, to ensure crust does not puff up in the oven.

Mini white pizzas with chicken and mushrooms

Mini white pizzas

You will need:
1-2 cups beschamel sauce (recipe below)
4 cups mozzarella cheese
2 cups asiago cheese
40 mini pizza crusts, docked
*options: add pieces of chicken, mushroom, or a small amount of goat cheese, and garnish with a small leaf of flat parsley.

Method:
1. Using a teaspoon, scoop out a small amount of beschamel and place in the center of each pizza crust. Smooth it over the entire surface.
2. Place a small amount of mozzarella and asiago on top of the sauced pizza dough, and add any other toppings you may be using. Try to limit your topping amounts, as the space on the tiny crusts is limited.
3. Bake at 475F for about 10 minutes, until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Beschamel:
You will need:
1 cup Half and Half
¼ onion
4 stems of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp all purpose flour

Method:
1. In a medium sized saucepan with a heavy bottom, heat Half and Half with the onion and herbs over medium heat. Once the milk has been warmed, immediately remove from heat and remove the onion and herbs with a slotted spoon.
2. In another saucepan, over medium-high heat, heat the butter until melted, and whisk in the flour to make a blonde roux. This should only take a few minutes.
3. Whisk the flavoured milk into the roux, making sure there are no lumps. Cook on low until thickened.

Mini pizzas with red sauce, bacon and mushroom

You will need:
40 mini pizza crusts
1 cup pizza sauce
4 cups mozzarella cheese
½ cup crumbled bacon
4 whole mushrooms, sliced thinly

Method:
1. Using a teaspoon, place a small amount of sauce in the middle of each pizza, and smooth over the entire surface.
2. Cover with cheese, 1 slice of mushroom, and a small amount of bacon.
3. Bake at 475F for about 10 minutes, until golden brown.

 

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