Pizza Club is now in session. Gather ’round, kids.
Friends, readers, pizza club members – you do not even want to mess with my love of all things pizza right now. And I do not want to mess with yours. We are a pizza tribe and we unite for cheese and crust!
I’ve been a tiny bit under the weather lately (grr, pre-winter) which means I have one singular food on the mind. It starts with p and ends with izza and it will.not.let.me.go. Because of my current condition, I have made this pull-apart pizza ring approximately 900 times over the last 2 weeks, which has given me time to try every combination under the sun.
And let me tell you: a) it has been healing on a soulful level, and b) there are endless food possibilities when you are working with something as loose and flexible as a pull-apart pizza ring. A few honorable mention combos include:
- ricotta, spinach, tomato, and mozzarella
- butternut squash, sausage, mozzarella, rosemary and garlic
- just plain CHEESE brushed with garlic parsley butter
But I think the best of them all was the cheesy, overly-large meatball version, which is what I’m bringing to your face right straight away today.
Here’s the thing about a pull-apart pizza ring.
You are going about your day-to-day business, not thinking you really need one in your life until BAM! you happen to stumble on a viral Facebook video (fate? yes, absolutely fate) showing you some crazy canned dough wrap-and-bake idea and you think: I could do that better. I could make a party-city pizza version of that that not only bakes into a ring shape (!!) but also uses a REAL CRUST that smells yeasty and amazing and feels thick and soft in my hands, and then forms a gooey cheesy moat around my hot marinara sauce for easy and convenient and maybe borderline excessive dipping.
And then you’re off. You’ve officially fallen off the deep end into pizza bliss.
And pull-apart pizza rings become your life’s work.
I will admit – the meatball version of the pull-apart pizza ring is a little more overwhelming than the others in terms of actually pulling apart and eating. I mean, these are MEATBALLS, for crying out loud. They are basically guaranteed to make you look like a full-blown caveman as you try to eat the meatball pockets surrounded with melted cheese, wrapped in pizza bread, WITH YOUR HANDS. This food is not for the faint of heart.
If you want a for sure, absolutely do-able hand-held pull-apart pizza ring variety, I’d recommend the cheese-only version brushed with a little garlic butter. Very hands-only friendly and also goes beautifully with some tomato soup for lunch on a random Thursday afternoon. Just as an example.
But if you are bold, brave, and not afraid of your most food-obsessed self, you need to go big.
You need to go cheesy meatball pull-apart pizza ring big.
Final comment of the day: we use and love DeLallo pizza crust. I cannot emphasize this enough: good pizza crust will MAKE your pull-apart pizza ring. You want crust that smells like yeast and feels pillowy in your hands after that initial rise, and, once baked, gets an excellent chewy crisp to the outside.
DeLallo makes these friendly packets with authentic Italian superfine pizza flour (“tipo 00”) and just the right amount of yeast and salt, and all you have to do is add water, stir, and let it rest for 45 minutes. It’s almost as easy as the miracle no-knead bread.
As you know, I take yeast bread situations very, very seriously (meaning I almost never do them because they usually are slow and obnoxious and hard) but this is such an easy winner in the homemade authentic pizza crust department.
Since I have yet to see these easy button packets in our regular grocery store I would recommend ordering them online AND getting a 10% discount on the pizza kits and allll other DeLallo products by using the code pinchofyum10 before 10/31/16. All the best Italian pizza, pasta, and sauces, oh my. Lookooooooout!
Seriously wishing you all kinds of good vibes when you make this for your very own IRL pizza club.
Which, in my life, is just me and Bjork and Sage on a random Tuesday night, so WHATEVER WORKS, girlfriend. Whatever works.
- 1 pizza crust (I used a DeLallo kit – THE BEST – and used half of the dough to make one pizza ring)
- ½ cup ricotta cheese (or cream cheese if you want a smoother texture)
- 15-20 meatballs (I used a store bought, yummy, clean-ingredient, pre-made chicken meatball)
- 1-2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1 beaten egg
- dry oregano and sea salt for sprinkling on top
- marinara sauce for dipping
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll the pizza dough out onto a piece of parchment. Cut three small crossing lines through the middle to make a star shape.
- In the space between the center cuts and the edge of the crust (kinda looks like a wheel), spread the ricotta, place the meatballs, and sprinkle the Mozzarella cheese.
- Gently pull the point of each star back and tuck it under the outer crust, rolling both sides inward so they overlap. (SEE VIDEO – it will be easier to understand.) Repeat this process with all the cut sections. Now go back around and tuck the remaining outer edges up and inward. It should look like a wreath.
- Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with oregano and sea salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Place a bowl or marinara in the center of the ring and go to town with that meatball pull-apart pizza ring!
*Cheese on the outside of your pizza crust. It gets overly brown. Try to tuck all of it into those little pockets before baking.
*Cheese that spills out all over the place. Prevent this by making sure all of your edges are really tucked up to form those “pockets” before baking.
*When your dough splits apart. Make sure to really firmly tuck the pointed cut piece around and under the edge of the crust when assembling.
Thank you to DeLallo for making such delicious pizza dough and for sponsoring this post!
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