Makes 21-25 pizza balls.
This pull-apart appetizer is perfect for Christmas. With gooey cheesy center and herb-garlic butter topping, they'll be devoured in a flash.
The recipe was developed by Ooni for Ooni outdoor pizza ovens. If you don’t have one, bake it in your oven using a trusted bread roll recipe as a guide.
NOTES: You’ll need to make the pizza dough and sauce ahead of time. Fresh herbs will give you the best flavor.
For this recipe, you will only need to prepare the dough through the bulk proving stage. Feel free to use your favorite dough recipe or Ooni’s Classic Pizza Dough recipe. For the sauce, try Ooni's Classic Pizza Sauce recipe (but any sauce you like will do).
The recipe calls for mozzarella, but have fun trying it with a flavorful cheese, like fontina.
- A large baking pan (9 inches x 13 inches max). Make sure it'll fit into your Ooni.
- 3-inch cookie cutter or tumbler
- Rolling pin
- 28.2 ounces (800 grams) pizza dough, prepared through the bulk proving stage
- 7 ounces (200 grams) Classic Pizza Sauce (or use your favorite recipe)
- 8.8 ounces (250 grams) mozzarella cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 5.3 ounces (150 grams) butter, melted
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Make dough (allow enough time for it to rise).
Make the sauce.
Cube the mozzarella.
Chop garlic and herbs.
Melt the butter, reserving a few tablespoons in a separate bowl (to be brushed over dough before baking).
Mix garlic and herbs with the remaining melted butter (this will be drizzled over the pizza balls after baking).
Butter the pan using 1 tablespoon of butter.
Fire up your Ooni pizza oven. Let the baking stone inside reach a temperature of about 480° F (250° C). An Ooni Infrared Thermometer helps with this! If using a regular kitchen oven, preheat it.
Lightly flour work surface. Roll the dough out to 2 inches thick.
Using a cookie cutter or tumbler, cut out dough circles (you should end up with 21-25).
Place a mozzarella cube in the center of a dough circle. Pinch edges together to seal it. Roll the dough in your palms to form a ball. Repeat with remaining circles.
Place the dough balls in the buttered pan, forming them into a Christmas tree shape.
Drizzle the reserved melted butter over the tree.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the dough balls are puffed up and golden brown. Rotate the tray every few minutes so they cook evenly and don’t burn.
Remove from oven when done.
Drizzle with the garlic-herb butter.
Serve warm with pizza sauce for dipping.