Cheeseboard Bites

Hi guys, I hope you all had fantastic holidays.

Christmas is over and now we have to deal with all the culinary leftovers. While some people I know had been prepping and cooking for weeks without a break, I only baked a lot and kept the dinner thing relatively low key.

The only leftovers I had to deal with were all kinds of different flours that ended up in a batch of hoagies, a handful of Spätzle that’ll get turned into a pasta salad, and a few slightly stinky but tasty nibbles off the cheese board which I turned into even tastier little snacks.

I admit, cheeseboard bites is a fancy name for pizza dough that’s topped with pesto, dips, different strong cheeses, and some onion jam. But I can’t call those bites pizza. I’m going to Italy soon and I really don’t want to get chased out of the country. I have stuff to do there!

The base for the bites is my 48 hour pizza dough, but I adjusted the lievito madre content a bit and let it rise at room temperature for about three hours before I made the small crusts.

  • 240g lievito madre (mine was about 2 days old)
  • 200g warm water
  • 300g all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 10g salt
  • a bit of semolina for dusting and some extra crunch on the crust

Mix and knead until you have a soft and smooth dough. Cover it up and let it rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours. My kitchen is on the cool side, so it usually takes a bit longer there. I started after about 3 hours.

Once the dough’s risen, divide it into about 45-50g portions. I got 13 from one batch.

Pre-heat the oven (including pizza stone or baking steel) to 250°C / 280F.

Pre-shape the dough into balls, let them rest for a few minutes, then push them flat and pull them into mini-pizza shapes. Mine were about palm sized.

Now, top them with whatever your heart desires. I made three different kinds:

  • dip made from pesto and creme fraiche, fuet (catalan pork salami), Rubius (a soft and creamy but super stinky mountain cheese from the Alps)
  • plain pesto, pickled bola chili, and a mix of Black Bomber (mature cheddar) and Bella Vitano (Cheddar/Parmesan style hard cheese with espresso coating)
  • onion jam and a super mature and melty camembert

Don’t overload your bites and turn the oven down to 220°C / 430F as soon as you put them in. Bake them for 12-15 minutes, depending on thickness and browning.

Especially the soft and mature (stinky) cheeses made an absolute mess in the oven and looked borderline disgusting when they were done, but the aromas permeating the kitchen and the resulting taste made so up for the cleanup! And the finished bites taste nothing like pizza!

All three were winners, but I liked the onion jam and camembert ones best. Figures. They were the messiest of them all and I had to scoop all the cheese back onto the crust.

This is definitely a snack I will experiment more with. I already have piles of ideas. Now you go and get creative and maybe tell me what you put on yours.

Yes, the photo is slightly blurry. I was too lazy to mount the overhead arm to the tripod and shot handheld. But everything’s either eaten or frozen now and I can’t really take a new one.

2 responses to “Cheeseboard Bites”

    • Thank you! I guess it shows that I live in very close proximity to several cheese making nations: Netherlands, Suisse and France. It just doesn’t help one bit getting my my absolute favorite: Wensleydale with candied ginger. So yummy!

      Like

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