These gluten free pizza bites are about as useful as they are customizable—which is to say “very.” Add a bit of diced pepperoni or even pancetta in place of a bit of the diced mozzarella, or switch up the spices to suit your tastes. They freeze very nicely and then defrost well in the refrigerator or on the counter, and are pretty much guaranteed to please everyone in the family. Not to mention how ridiculously easy it is to make up a big batch, with little to no advanced planning. Sometimes, you just need an all-around “win.”
I very much like to make them in a miniature muffin tin, but of course they work just as well in a standard 12-cup muffin tin (just increase baking time, is all). The diced mozzarella cheese tends to bubble up and out of the wells during baking, but once everything cools down a bit out of the oven, the bites come up and out of the wells quite easily.
I’d be proud to serve these to an unexpected guest who was feeling a bit peckish, or to the multitudes of my children’s friends—not to mention to my own family of course. If you’d like to make them dairy free, use a nondairy milk, and replace the diced mozzarella with diced pepperoni—and just leave out the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Or even try using your favorite nondairy cheese. That might work just fine. Either way, this is a great recipe to have in your repertoire. You never know when you might have to grab-and-go!
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease or line the wells of a 24-cup miniature muffin tin* and set it aside. If greasing the wells, use a cooking oil spray and spray liberally.
In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, basil and garlic powder, and whisk to combine well. Place the dried oregano in the palm of one hand and crush with the fingers of your other hand to release the oils, then add the oregano to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the milk and eggs, mixing until just combined after each addition. Add the diced mozzarella cheese and 2/3 of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and mix until the cheese is individually distributed throughout the batter.
Fill the prepared wells of the muffin tin about 3/4 of the way full with the batter, and smooth the tops with wet fingers. Sprinkle the tops of each with a pinch of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake until puffed and very pale golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, except for melted cheese (about 20 minutes). Allow to cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes before removing and serving warm, with tomato sauce for dipping. Repeat with the remaining batter and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
*To bake a larger size “bite” in a standard 12-cup muffin tin, bake for 25 to 30 minutes and otherwise follow the same instructions.
P.S. I hope you’ll consider picking up your copy of Gluten Free Classic Snacks! There’s a whole chapter on crispy, crunchy snacks like crackers, crunchy pretzels and biscuits. Your support means the world to me!