01 May, 2013

Saw It On Facebook.... Again.

I'm not sure if I am getting lazy or if I am just plain "pregnancy tired", but I spend quite a bit of time looking for ways to make dinner easier...AKA...faster.

About 2 months ago I first saw this recipe floating around for something simply called "Pizza Balls".  I shared it...lol...most of my family and friends shared it and the other day, it appeared in my news feed yet again.  I looked at the recipe....3 cans of Pillsbury Buttermilk biscuits, 56 pepperonis, 1 block of cheese, 1 beaten egg, parmesean, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and 1 jar of pizza sauce.  Sounds like a great idea...as long as I use healthier ingredients, of course.  

The deal is that you simply flatten out each individual biscuit, stuff it with a slice of cheese sandwiched between two pieces of pepperoni, brush with egg, sprinkle on seasonings, bake and serve with pizza sauce to dip them in.

I of course don't "do" premade red sauces because I like to control the salt and sugar factors for our family and....canned biscuits??  I don't think so!  Also, if you use your imagination, there are PLENTY of other combos besides pepperoni that you can accomplish.  For instance...why not a BBQ Chicken Bacon Pizza Ball??  So, what do you think I did??  I made some pizza sauce, some pizza dough, cooked a couple lbs of bacon, made a dry BBQ rub for some chicken and prepared for a pan full of homemade loveliness that would be half dairy free with Sprout friendly flavors and half adult friendly flavors for the Mister.

Let's get started!

Pizza Balls
1 recipe of homemade pizza dough (recipe below)
1 reipe of homemade pizza sauce (recipe below)
28 slices of pepperoni
1 bag of soy mozzarella cheese
2 chicken breasts
1/4 c. + some for sprinkling Kansas City BBQ Rub (recipe below)
1/2 a block of colby jack cheese, shredded
4 strips of bacon, cooked
1 egg, beaten
shredded (not grated) soy parmesan cheese blend
Italian Seasoning
garlic powder
Annie's Organic Smoky Maple BBQ Sauce

The first thing you need to do is make your rub and get your chicken in the oven roasting "low and slow".

Kansas City BBQ Rub
1/2 c. organic brown sugar
1/4 c. paprika
1 T. black pepper
1 T. dry mustard
1 T. sea salt
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. onion powder

Mix it all together and toss it in a ziploc or glass jar for later use. 

Preheat oven to 275 F.  Use about 1/4 c. of the rub and sprinkle on BOTH sides of 2 chicken breasts.  Place in a foil lined baking dish and cover with foil.  Bake for 1 hour.  Covering the chicken will keep it moist.  Just make sure your breasts are 165 F before removing them from the oven.

Chunk it up into 28 small chunks and set aside for building pizza balls later.

Pizza Sauce
1 can of unsalted tomato sauce
1 T. of Wildtree "Perfect Pizza Sauce Seasoning"

Mix together and set aside for later.

Pizza Dough
2 c. lukewarm water
1 T. organic cane sugar
3 T. of garlic infused olive oil
1 T. sea salt
5 1/2 - 6 c. flour
1 T. instant yeast

Dissolve the sugar, yeast, and salt in the lukewarm water and olive oil.  Add the flour, starting with 5 1/2 cups and adding more as necessary to make a soft, smooth dough.  Knead the dough (with your hands, a mixer, or your bread machine set on the dough cycle) until it's smooth and elastic, about 7 to 10 minutes.  Divide dough into 28 equal portions.  Set aside until you're ready for assembly.

Time to make the pizza balls!

Preheat your oven to 425 F and grease a 9 x 13 inch cake pan.

**It is best (because this dough has yeast and WILL rise) to divide your pizza dough into 28 equal balls as best as you can, then flatten them all at the same time.  Load the toppings, fold 'em up and get them in the pan.  If you WANT to let them rise for 20 minutes or so before putting them in the oven, go ahead.  This will make the dough a little lighter.

Take one ball of pizza dough and flatten it so it is about 3-4 inches around.  Take a slice of pepperoni, 1 T. of shredded soy mozzarella cheese and another slice of pepperoni and stack it so it looks kind of like a sandwich.  Set it in the middle of the dough and fold the edges around it.  

Place the ball with the gathered side DOWN into the pan.


Repeat this 14 times...your pepperoni will be gone after this.

Do the roughly the same thing with the BBQ Chicken, bacon pieces and shredded colby jack.  Grab two chunks of chicken, 1/3 of a strip of bacon and about 1 T. of shredded cheese and fold that up into a flattened piece of pizza dough.

Place the ball with the gathered side DOWN into the pan.  Repeat this 14 times...the chicken chunks will be gone and your pan will be full.

Beat your egg and brush the tops of all of the balls with the egg.  Mix your Italian seasoning, garlic powder and soy parmesan in a bowl.  Then lightly sprinkle the tops of the pepperoni balls with that mixture.  Lightly sprinkle extra BBQ rub on the tops of the chicken filled balls.

Bake for 18-20 minutes.  While they are baking, warm up your pizza sauce and BBQ sauce so it is ready for dipping the balls in.  After baking, remove from the oven and DEVOUR!


Pepperoni & Soy Mozzarella Pizza Ball with Pizza Sauce

 These turned out fabulous!  I can't imagine that they would have been as awesome made out of canned biscuit dough though.  We sat and tried to imagine that as we laid into the pan of pizza balls....neither I nor my Mister could fathom it.  So...even if you use store bought pizza dough from your deli...don't use canned biscuit dough for this.  It doesn't rise the same!  We really enjoyed the adult version of these with the BBQ Chicken, bacon and colby jack dipped in the smoky maple BBQ sauce.  

This is a great idea for fun, portable food for the children as well.  Try this out for your child's next slumber party or weekend dinner.  Get the children involved.  Fun to make, even MORE fun to eat!  Enjoy.

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