Gluten-Free Pizza Bites
Sometimes, you just really want one of your pre-gluten-free days snacks, and you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get it.
Minus, you know, actually eating the gluten. No one needs *that* fallout!
Remember frozen pizza bites?
The frozen little pockets you’d buy in the grocery store? They were supposed to be better if you baked them, but really, who had time for that?
We’d nuke them in the microwave and happily snarf them. They weren’t particularly great, but they could really hit the spot!
A guilty pleasure, sure... but one with some nostalgia tied up in it!
This recipe... is not anywhere near as easy as dumping them on a plate and heating them.
It’s a fair amount of effort - no special skills needed or anything, just time - to replicate something so quick and easy. Accuracy was the goal here, including the blistery texture of the skin. (This is why they’re both boiled AND deep fried, btw).
So yeah, it’s a bit of a time investment.
Sometimes, though, a bit of effort is totally worth it, to get the food you’re looking for! Whether you're making these for a kid or an adult, these will definitely satisfy cravings for that kind of thing.
If you use a nice cheese and good quality sauce, you can really elevate this - they can be better than the source material!
This makes 50-60 pizza rolls.
Gluten-Free Pizza Bites Ingredients
Like many of my super-specific use doughs, this one uses a variety of alternative flours.
Yes, I know it gets a little ridiculous at times, but I liken it to herbs and spices.
All-purpose flour is like a seasoning mix. It’s convenient and does at ok job at flavouring many things.
Not everything, mind you... and you trade control of flavour for the convenience of having it all in one.
When it comes to gluten-free dough, all-purpose GF flour works the same: It works OK for some/most things, but doesn’t do a GREAT job for any of it.
The thing is, all-purpose wheat flour is incredibly flexible. The gluten is a magical thing that basically lets all-purpose wheat flour be whatever you want it to be.
Doughs, thickener for sauces, it’ll brown when something is dredged in it and fried, etc. All things to everyone... except for those who can’t handle gluten.
When it comes to gluten-free flours, none have that level of flexibility. Some will be great at browning, some will be better at absorbing / distributing moisture, etc.
The trick is combining them in a way that makes them work together - bringing a mix of the desired properties to the table - while still tasting great.
In this case, I wanted it to taste - recognizably so - like the kinds of doughs used for grocery store frozen fried snack foods, like pizza bites.
It needed to have certain properties with regards to water and frying - more on that in a bit - and it needed to hold together.
... and here we are.
For this dough, I finally settled on:
As-is, I went for a super basic “pepperoni pizza” type filling, as that’s what most Pizza Bites I’ve ever had were.
Don’t let that prevent you from playing with it, though!
While you’ll want to keep the non-cheese/sauce ingredients to about ½-2/3 cup total volume, you can play with what goes in there.
Vegetables: Mushrooms, Onions, Green Peppers, etc.
Just chop them VERY fine, cook them in the microwave for a couple of minutes, and drain them well.
Meats: Use whatever you like in pizza! Sausage, bacon, salami, etc.
Just be sure it’s cooked and chopped to very small pieces before mixing in.
Herbs & Spices:
Let’s be real, the source material is not a gourmet thing, and I was definitely going for that same sort of... trashy late-night snack feel.
That said, a bit of dried basil, oregano, and/or garlic goes a long way! Season it to your tastes, after all of the main ingredients have been combined.
How to Make Gluten-Free Pizza Bites
Full recipe follows at the end of this post, but here’s a pictorial overview!
1. Follow the recipe to make the dough and the filling.
2. Prepare: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. Dust work surface lightly with corn starch.
3. Roll dough out very thin - about ⅛ of an inch thick.
4. Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut dough into 1.5" wide strips. Cut those strips into 4" long pieces.
5. Place about 1 teaspoon of filling in the middle of each piece.
6. Whisk together egg and water, use a pastry brush to paint a thin line of egg mixture along all 4 edges of each piece.
6. Fold the two short ends in to the middle, overlapping slightly. Press down on all edges, taking care to push out any excess air. Transfer all pizza rolls to baking sheet.
7. Get a large pot of water JUST to the point of gently bubbling - you don't want violent bubbles, or it'll rip apart your rolls.
8. In small batches, poach the pizza rolls just until they float. Transfer cooked rolls back to the baking sheet to drain off.
9. Heat oil to 350 F (180 C). Line a clean baking sheet with 2 layers of paper towels.
You can use a deep fryer, or a heavy pan. If not using a deep fryer, use a deep, heavy pot, filled to at least 2" deep.
10. Once oil reaches temperature, carefully fry pizza rolls in small batches until nicely browned and crispy. This should take about 1-2 minutes per side.
11. Transfer fried pizza rolls to baking sheet to drain, serve hot.
My Gluten-Free Cookbooks!
If you're interested in gluten-free cooking and baking, you should definitely check out my gluten-free cookbooks: Beyond Flour: A Fresh Approach to Gluten Free Cooking & Baking, and the sequel... Beyond Flour 2. You can order them right here on my website, through Amazon, or through any major bookseller.
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Gluten-Free Pizza Bites
- 4 oz Pepperoni
- 8 oz Shredded cheese
- ⅔ cup Pizza sauce of choice
- Corn starch
- 1 Large egg
- 1 teaspoon Cold water
- Oil for deep frying
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together sour cream, eggs, milk and oil until well combined.
- In a food processor, blitz together starches, flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
- Add butter, blitz until mixture resembles gravel.
- Add wet mix, blitz just long enough to allow a sticky dough to come together.
- Wrap dough in plastic film, allow to rest on counter for 45 minutes.
- While waiting, work on the filling:
- Finely chop pepperoni, place in a bowl with shredded cheese, stir to combine.
- Add just enough pizza sauce to barely bind the ingredients together.
- Wrap with plastic, chill until use.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. Dust work surface lightly with corn starch.
- Roll dough out very thin - about ⅛ of an inch thick.
- Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut dough into 1.5" wide strips. Cut those strips into 4" long pieces.
- Place about 1 teaspoon of filling in the middle of each piece.
- Whisk together egg and water, use a pastry brush to paint a thin line of egg mixture along all 4 edges of each piece.
- Fold the two short ends in to the middle, overlapping slightly. Press down on all edges, taking care to push out any excess air.
- Transfer all pizza rolls to baking sheet.
- Get a large pot of water JUST to the point of gently bubbling - you don't want violent bubbles, or it'll rip apart your rolls.
- In small batches, poach the pizza rolls just until they float.
- Transfer cooked rolls back to the baking sheet to drain off.
- Heat oil to 350 F (180 C). Line a clean baking sheet with 2 layers of paper towels.
- You can use a deep fryer, or a heavy pan. If not using a deep fryer, use a deep, heavy pot, filled to at least 2" deep.
- Once oil reaches temperature, carefully fry pizza rolls in small batches until nicely browned and crispy.
- This should take about 1-2 minutes per side.
- Transfer fried pizza rolls to baking sheet to drain, serve hot.