Three-Cheese Stuffed Pizza Crust Bites
I have a confession to make: I actually don’t like pizza. I know, how is that possible? Am I crazy? How am I American??? In theory I should like pizza—I like carbs, tomato sauce, and cheese—but somehow in pizza form, I just can’t do it. I think that it has something to do with how unhealthy I know pizza is, and the idea of eating a slab of greasy cheese just doesn’t appeal to me. I do, however, LOVE breadsticks and pizza crust, especially stuffed crust (yes, I know, my taste buds make no sense). Growing up, my mom would always leave out salad dressing for us to dunk our crusts in, and the crust quickly became my favorite part of the whole pizza. So, I knew I wanted to make something that would combine the texture and taste of pizza crust with the dunkability of a breadstick. I also had a crust recipe from Eat, Live, Run that a friend recommended that I had been dying to try for months. Thus, the stuffed pizza crust bite was born.
Three-Cheese Stuffed Pizza Crust Bites:
(Crust recipe from Eat, Live, Run)
2 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp olive oil
1-1/3 cup warm water
1 packet yeast (1/4th oz)
1-1/2 tsp sea salt
2 oz Monterey Jack cheese
2 oz Low moisture part-skim Mozzarella cheese
2 oz Cheddar Cheese
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp garlic powder (optional)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
Dash of paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
Italian seasoning blend
Marinara sauce (for dunking)
1. Combine water and yeast in mixing bowl. Stir in salt and flour, and mix either by hand or using mixer for 5 minutes (I just used my hands to combine and knead everything). Add 1 tbsp olive oil and mix until dough is soft and elastic.
2. Coat dough with olive oil, place in bowl. Cover with damp cloth and let rise in warm place for 1 hour.
3. While dough is rising, shred all three cheeses into a small mixing bowl. Mince and chop garlic finely, then add to cheese. Add garlic powder if desired (I love garlic so I added the powder, but if you’re garlic shy, you might not want to). Add salt, black pepper, 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend, and a couple dashes of paprika. Mix well until all ingredients are combined.
4. After dough has finished rising, separate into halves. Roll one half out onto cookie sheet so that dough covers the sheet. Slice into about 18 squares as shown.
5. Sprinkle a small spoonful of cheese mixture onto one side of each square, avoiding the edges. Fold dough over cheese and pinch sides and top and bottom together to seal. Repeat with other half of dough, reserving some cheese blend to sprinkle on top later.
6. Brush the tops of the sticks with olive oil. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and a bit of the cheese mixture. Bake at 425o for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
7. Serve warm with marinara sauce for dipping and enjoy!
These make a great party snack! Alternatively, you could make larger squares and serve a couple of these as a meal, or experiment with adding the marinara sauce inside of the crust! You could even add pepperoni or other toppings inside to create more of a calzone bite. Either way, these will turn out satisfying and delicious!