Pizza balls make an excellent appetizer, or even a main dish with a salad. The simple small size makes it easy to portion control. The individual balls can be filled with everyone’s favorite toppings, so that there’s no fighting over what kind of pizza to make. This recipe may seem complicated, but it’s simple to do.
2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups warm water
16 ounces shredded cheese or cheeses
1 to 2 cups pizza or pasta sauce
48 quarter sized pieces of pizza toppings of your choice (pepperoni, pineapple bits, peppers, mushrooms, bacon, onions, etc.)
3 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup shredded parmesan or romano cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Mix warm water, yeast and sugar in a bowl, and allow to proof (about 10 minutes). Add semolina flour and salt, and whisk together. Add bread flour 1 cup at a time until a good batter forms. Depending on the humidity you may need to add more water or bread flour. Using hands or a stand mixer, knead the dough until firm and elastic.
Place dough to rest in an oiled bowl covered with a towel. Allow to rise until doubled in size.
Alternatively, the dough ingredients can be put into a bread maker on the dough setting to make the dough.
Degas the dough. Separate into 24 equally sized balls.
Grease a 9” x 13” baking pan.
Take a ball and flatten it to about 1/4 inch thick. Spread a teaspoon of sauce around the center, leaving the perimeter free of sauce. Put a generous pinch of the shredded cheese and 1 to 2 pieces of optional toppings in the center. Fold the mini-pizza in half, and pinch the seams together. Use your hands to gently cup it into a ball, and place seem side down in the pan.
Repeat the process with all of the dough balls. Place them four balls by six balls in the pan, evenly spaced apart.
Allow the pan to set for ten minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425F.
While the oven is preheating, use a basting brush to apply the melted butter to the top of the balls. Sprinkle the tops of the rolls with powdered garlic, oregano, and parmesan or romano cheese.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the balls are cooked through and golden brown.
Allow to rest a few minutes before serving.
Serve the pizza balls with garlic butter, additional sauce, or ranch dressing for dipping.
These pizza balls will soon become a family favorite!