These mini pizzas are the ideal appetiser to satisfy everyone at your next gathering! A light and fluffy dough topped with an aromatic tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil, cooked until all bubbly and the crust has light burnt marks.
If you had to ask if there is something I’m never tired of eating, it has to be pizza! I don’t discriminate; I like thin crust, thick crust, Neapolitan pizza, closed pizza, etc. However, my favourite has to be the Neapolitan pizza: all nice and light, made with the simplest but most genuine ingredients. In fact, whenever we go to Italy I’m always on the hunt to find the best pizza place to enjoy one almost every day. One of my ultimate wishes is to have a good pizza oven so that I can enjoy proper Neapolitan pizza also at home. However, as at the moment this cannot happen, I set myself to make the next best thing at home.
The pizza dough I’m sharing here below is adapted from several Italian pizzaioli which I obsessively watched to learn their tricks. One of the main secrets I discovered is that you need patience to make great pizza dough. For this reason, I let my dough knead in a stand mixer for 20 minutes or more. All this kneading makes the dough extra elastic and easy to work it. Therefore, it’s important that you don’t skip this step! Another level of patience comes in for how long you should let your dough rest. In total this dough takes about 6 hours to rise in a warm environment. Therefore, if you have a chilly environment this might take longer. You can also let it rise for longer in the fridge over night. It’s important to remember this step and not start the dough at the last minute or you won’t achieve the same results.
Mini Pizzas or no?
These mini pizzas aren’t actually that small as they are actually about 10cm in diameter. However, these are a great appetizer, or for a party where you don’t only want bite sized foods but have something maybe more filling. Of course, this up to you. You can make these pizzas even smaller or you can also make two normal sized pizzas. One tip: always keep in mind that the dimension of the pizza will effect it’s cooking time…keep an eye on the oven!
I have to be honest, I don’t like my pizza with too many toppings. Therefore, these ones here are more basic, as afterwards I got to eat them! However, you can top them as you like. Although, I wouldn’t suggest that you crowd them as much, as this pizza dough is super light and it might be too hard to hold a huge amount of weight on top.
- 400 g 00 flour
- 280 ml cold water
- 10 g sea salt
- 5 g active dry yeast
- semolina flour
- 600 g tomato passata or 400g canned tomatoes
- 2 tbsp oregano
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- fresh mozzarella
- fresh basil
- cherry tomatoes
Pizza dough preparation
- In a standing mixer fixed with a paddle attachment add the flour and yeast. Mix lightly.
- Divide the water in two bowls. One should contain 230ml and the other 50ml.
- On medium speed start adding the 230ml of water gently to the flour mixture. Once the dough starts to take shape add the salt. Let it knead for a minute.
- Finally, gently stream in the remaining 50ml of water. Once all the water is incorporated, increase the speed on your mixer to maximum. Let it knead the dough for 20 minutes on high speed.
- Once done, form the dough into a ball and let it rest for an hour in a warm place.
- After it doubles in size, shape the dough into 6 equal balls. Place the dough balls into containers with a layer of semolina flour, Seal the containers and let them rest for 5 hours in a warm place.
Tomato Sauce preparation
- Blend together the tomato passata (or canned tomatoes), olive oil and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Assembly of the Pizza
- Preheat the oven to 250°C or 480°F. If you have a pizza stone this is the time to put it in. I let my oven preheat for at least 30 minutes.
- Open the pizza dough over a surface covered with semolina. With your hands stretch the pizza to an almost see through thickness. Place the pizza dough on the paddle or dish. Spread some tomato sauce on top, add the cheese (and/or cherry tomatoes or any other topping of your liking), sprinkle everything with some oregano and a light drizzle of olive oil.
- Place the pizzas in the oven and bake until the crust puffs up and start browning and have light burnt marks and the cheese is all nice and bubbly. The cooking time will vary depending on your oven. So keep a close eye while making these pizzas as it might take less than you think.
If you have any questions, feedback or comments on this recipe, please leave a comment below. Please also rate this recipe by double clicking on the stars below. If you did make this recipe, tag @apronandwhisk and hashtag #apronandwhisk, as I’m curious to see what you create!
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