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Almost Bite-Size Pizzas

Ingredients

Tomato Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

1⁄2 cup finely chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 (14 1⁄2-ounce) can chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano

Pizza Dough

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

1 teaspoon salt

3⁄4 cup warm (about 105 degrees) water

1 teaspoon (1⁄2 envelope) active dry yeast

2 tablespoons olive oil

Toppings

4 large mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced

2 ounces pepperoni, thinly sliced

1⁄4 cup sliced black olives

2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

1⁄2 cup thinly sliced red onion

Directions

1. To make the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and aromatic, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes, basil and oregano, and continue cooking until slightly thickened and aromatic, about 20 minutes.

4. Set aside to cool, then purée the sauce with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Refrigerate until it is needed.

5. To make the dough, combine the flour and salt in a bowl, and stir to mix. Make a well in the center, pour the warm water into the well and sprinkle the yeast over. Set aside until the yeast is frothy, about 5 minutes.

6. Stir the dough for a few moments with a wooden spoon, drawing in the flour from the edges, then drizzle the olive oil over. Continue to stir the dough until it begins to come together in a ball.

7. Transfer it to a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough until it becomes smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes, adding a bit more flour if needed.

8. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl (it could be the same bowl in which you mixed the dough) and turn it to evenly but lightly coat with oil. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

9. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Set 2 oven racks on the centermost levels.

10. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and punch it down. Using your palms, press the dough out into a rectangle to get things started, then use a rolling pin to roll the dough to a rectangle about 10 inches by 20 inches. The gluten developed in the dough will resist rolling and spring back at times. If this becomes troublesome, let the dough sit to relax for a few minutes, then continue rolling.

11. Cut the dough, preferably using a rolling-blade pizza cutter, into 21⁄2-inch squares. Transfer the squares to the baking sheets, with about 1 inch between them.

12. Spread a thin smear of tomato sauce over the squares and top with the pepperoni, a mushroom slice or two, and/or olive slices, finishing with a sprinkling of mozzarella and a few pieces of onion.

13. Bake until the dough is lightly browned and the cheese is melted, 15 to 17 minutes, switching the sheets halfway through for even cooking. Transfer the pizzas to a platter for serving, setting it on a warming tray to keep warm, if you wish.

Reprinted with permission from Gourmet Game Night: Bite-Sized, Mess-Free Eating for Board-Game Parties, Bridge Clubs, Poker Nights, Book Groups, and More by Cynthia Nims, copyright © 2010. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group. Photo Credit: Sheri Giblin.

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