I made these bite size cuties in honor of the Super Bowl. The crunchy, chewy, garlicky game day or party food seemed to disappear before they could make it off the baking sheet. I surprisingly found this recipe in the hors d’oeurves section of “The Art of Fine Baking.” The dough is a Cuban bread recipe that my grandmother describes as “a crusty, delicious water bread. It was made popular by James Beard in his cooking classes, where students particularly enjoy making it because it is so quickly and easily learned.” It’s a versatile dough that can be used for rolls, garlic knots, or my new favorite concoction, “pizza bread.”
The toppings of these little pizza pennies are really up to you. The original recipe just used pepperoni, onion, garlic, and olive oil. I think that tomato, mozzarella, and basil make a nice addition as would Parmesan, olives, green pepper, or any traditional pizza toppings. Mixing the toppings together before piling them onto the pennies will save time but if you want to customize each one than the traditional one topping at a time approach will have to do (though a bit tedious…). Either way, these are fun not fussy, and almost too easy to eat so make sure your game plan includes making enough for everyone.
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 Cuban Bread dough
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Suggested Toppings: 3-4 cloves garlic minced, 60-70 thin slices sausage (pepperoni, salami, or freshly cooked Italian sausage), 1/2 an onion chopped, 1 medium tomato chopped, 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella, fresh basil chiffonade, dried oregano
Sprinkle baking sheets with cornmeal. After bread dough has risen once, roll it out 1/8 of an inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut rounds 1 1/2 inch in diameter. Place on baking sheets. Dab or brush each round lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with toppings.
Place in cold oven. Set temperature to 425 degrees. Bake about 15 minutes or until pennies are puffed and golden. Serve warm.
Makes about 6 dozen.