When you love pizza you are wont to find more than one way to savour those salty, savory flavours, that cheese oozing smoothly into puddles, stretched lazily in cream and toasty brown tones over tart tomatoes, the oregano asserting its grassy intensity on your tongue. For us, pizza for dinner can be an engaging afternoon-long affair, the kneading and rising of dough along with the slow simmer of the sauce on the stove, and the sizzle of vegetables, on the grill or roasting companionably in the oven. But, as we just said, there’s more than one way to get a pizza fix, and these Tomato and Cheese Pizza Muffins do very nicely when we’re in a rush. Bursting with plump shreds of two kinds of cheese, tomatoes and the signature pizza herbs, they work for breakfasts, parties, snack boxes and picnics as well. Top them with some torn fresh basil leaves off that pot on your windowsill or a a shake of the herb dispenser..as you please.
Tomato and Cheese Pizza Muffins
(Makes 15 muffins)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
- 100g Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
- 100g Mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated, divided
- 1 egg
- 60g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup lukewarm milk
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 tomatoes cut into slices
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
- Place paper liners in a 12-cup muffin tray or grease the cups well with oil.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices.
- Stir in the Cheddar cheese and half the Mozzarella.
- In another smaller bowl beat the egg. Pour in the melted butter, milk and tomato paste, and stir well.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl containing the dry mixture. Whisk gently until just blended.
- Use an ice cream scoop or a ladle to transfer the batter to the prepared muffin tin.
- Top each muffin with a slice of tomato and some of the remaining grated mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle a pinch of chilli flakes and oregano to finish, if desired.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into one of the muffins comes out clean.
- Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool slightly and serve warm. Or cool completely before packing away for that picnic or lunchbox.
- Freeze the muffins in a ziplock bag or airtight box. Defrost on the counter or in the microwave.