When you're creating food for a football party, I think it's best to make items that your guests can eat with their hands so there's no need for silverware, or even plates. Last week, I created fun little snacks, called "Buffalo Bites", that have all the flavors of chicken wings stuffed in a little pastry cup. That recipe is available online. This week I'm stuffing pizza in herb flavored mini buns. These rosemary and thyme flavored rolls are filled with pepperoni, basil, tomato and mozzarella and topped with a little parmesan cheese.
To compliment these little pizza buns, think about adding simple fruit skewers to your buffet and get a selection of items from the olive bar at your grocery store. For beverages, I actually use a little refrigerated beer station that holds a 5 liter mini keg. It's perfect because it lets your guests serve themselves.
makes 16 individual stuffed mini snack rolls
1 pkg Active Dry Yeast
2 tbl Flour
1 tsp Granulated Sugar
1/2 cu Warm Water (about 110°)
3 1/2 cu All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1 lg Egg, beaten
1/2 cu Warm Milk (about 110°)
1/2 cu Butter, melted
1 1/2 tbl Fresh Rosemary, finely minced
2 tsp Fresh Thyme, finely minced
16 Grape Tomatoes
3 oz Pepperoni slices, chopped
1 cu Shredded Mozzarella
1/4 cu Fresh Basil, finely chopped
2 tbl Olive Oil
2 tbl Grated Parmesean Cheese
Mix yeast, flour and granulated sugar together in a medium sized bowl. Slowly pour in water while stirring and mix well. Set aside for about 10 minutes until yeast has activated and mixture is a bit foamy.
In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Stir egg into the center of the flour and slowly add milk and butter. Add yeast and stir until mixture forms a dough. Knead dough by hand for about 8-10 minutes on a lightly floured work surface or use a stand mixture with a dough hook. Once dough becomes elastic, pour about a teaspoon of olive oil into the bottom and sides of a large bowl. Roll the dough around the bowl to coat all sides with the oil. Cover the bowl with a towel and set it in a warm draft-free place in your kitchen. Let the dough rise for an hour until it has doubled in bulk.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut each grape tomato in half and then squeeze out and discard the seeds and juice. Chop the tomatoes and set them aside with the mozzarella, basil and pepperoni.
After the dough has risen, cut it into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Using your hands, pull each ball into about a 3" circle and then shape it into a bit of a cup by pressing your thumbs down into the center.
Add a portion of chopped tomatoes into the center of the cup and top it with a portion of the basil. Add mozzarella and top that with the chopped pepperoni. Bring the sides up over the filling and pinch them together. Place the stuffed dough on a baking sheet, sealed side down, and mold your hands around it to create a uniform shape and to be sure the sealed edges are directly on the bottom of the baking sheet.
Brush the surface with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle a portion of the parmesan cheese on top.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until rolls are light golden brown on top. These are best served warm but they can also be served at room temperature.