As Mother Nature brought in the cooler weather this past weekend, I was inspired to make mini panzerotti. My kids love them and they truly outdo any store bought version. A blend of whole grains and seeds mixed into the flour adds a wholesome texture that’s nutritious and aesthetically pleasing. I used a mix of chia seeds, hemp hearts and buckwheat kernels, but any whole grains would work.
Make the tomato sauce, chop all the ingredients and shred the cheese while the dough is rising. Everything needs to be chopped and ready for production.
I have included a pizza dough recipe from Giada De Laurentiis. I’ve used it that I’ve used for years. I like it because it doesn’t use any extra sugar. I also make my own tomato sauce, but you can use whatever you have on hand. I like this sauce as it doesn’t have any added sugar and has tons of flavour.
Another nutritional change I’ve made recently is using slow rising yeast rather and quick or instant yeast. There is some question to whether or not gluten is truly the culprit for the rise in digestion issues. There is a theory that quick rising yeasts don’t break down the proteins in the flour like slow rising yeast does. This makes sense to me so I’ve implemented this in my dough. Here’s a great article from the Healthy Butcher:
- 2 cups pepperoni sliced
- 8 strips of bacon cooked and crumbled
- 3 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
- 1 156 ml (5.5 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 equal can of water
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 3-4 leaves of fresh basil chopped (optional)
- 1 clove finely chopped fresh garlic
- salt and pepper to taste.
Scoop out the tomato paste into a medium size bowl. Add the can of water. Add all spices and garlic and basil leaves if using . Mix together with a fork. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let it sit for at least 30 min. This gives the flavours time to absorb into the tomatoes.
The Pizza Dough
- 1 package traditional active dry yeast.
- 1/4 cup warm water, 100 to 110 degrees F
- 1 teaspoon sugar (to proof the yeast)
- 4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour, plus extra as needed
- 1/2 cup blend of chia seed, hemp hearts and buckwheat kernels or any whole grains or seeds you have on hand.
- 1 1/2 cups warm water, more if needed
- 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt
- Olive oil for drizzling
Put the water in a small bowl. Add the yeast and sugar, stir until dissolved. Proof yeast according to directions on back of the package.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour and salt together. Add the yeast mixture and stir until a soft dough forms. If the dough is too dry, add a little extra water, 1 tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too sticky, add extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. With floured hands, knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drizzle the inside of a clean bowl with olive oil. Put the dough in the bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Set the bowl in a warm, draft-free place, until the dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Using a fist, deflate the dough in the center and fold out onto a floured surface. Lightly oil the dough. You can form the dough into 12 equal balls or grab a about a fist full of dough for each panzerotti. Place the dough balls on a cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel.. Let rest for 1 hour. Remove the dough and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for up to 1 day.
To make the panzerotti I using. The Food Networks Calzone Press . These can also be made by hand. First roll out a six inch circle. Fill the center with a generous teaspoon of tomato sauce and spread it around. Next place pepperoni, bacon and cheese into a mound being careful to keep the edges clean, and least 1 inch from the edge. Wet the edges with water and fold over. Press the them together with your fingers or a fork, to make a seal so the filling stays inside.
To use the press, lightly oil the surface making sure you get some oil into all the nooks and crannies.
Roll out about a six inch circle a little less then a 1/4 inch thick and place the circle on the mold.
Put about a heaping teaspoon of tomato sauce in the center spreading it around, then add about 5-6 pieces of pepperoni and as much bacon as you want, Then add about a 1/4 cup of cheese. You should have a nice mound of filling.
With a sharp pairing knife gently cut off the excess dough.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 -15 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and the tops are brown.
Makes about 12 panzerotti.
A special thanks to Donna Brown for your encouragement and support in starting this blog!
Here”s the link for the Calzone maker from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Food-Network-Dishwasher-Crimper-Calzone/dp/B009XHW4P0