French Bread Pizza

When was the last time you thought of making French bread pizza?! Because, I’m a little embarrassed to say, I had forgotten all about it.

It was Tuesday night, 4:15 pm, nothing planned for dinner and very little motivation on my part to make it happen. I was quite tempted to call for pizza or even convince the family to go out, but I had a fridge full of food and I knew I needed to come up with something. So, I stared and stared and stared again at the contents of my fridge and freezer. You know how it goes, tons of food but nothing to eat. Finally, I opened the freezer one more time and noticed the two loaves of sourdough baguette. They were on the verge of severe freezer burn so I pulled them out to thaw and waited for inspiration. When it came I actually did a little kitchen dance (it’s not something you’d want to see but it makes me feel good). French bread pizza!! I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of it sooner. Like, in years!

With that, I was immediately energized, pulling out cheese and sauce, veggies and meat. It’s so easy to make and so economical, but so satisfying!!! Put whatever you want on it. I happened to have classic pizza toppings, left over from the previous week, but any combo of sauce, cheese, etc. that sounds good will work. My mom and dad used to make a version called pizza-by-the-yard. It had ground beef, olives, and cheddar cheese among other things. I will make that soon and blog it because it was a classic family favorite and a slumber party staple.

This is what I did last Tuesday night…

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil. Cut two baguettes (plain or sourdough) in half lengthwise and scoop a little of the bread out of the center so you have more room for toppings.

Brush edges of bread with olive oil and spread on pizza sauce.

Lay a bit of cheese down then start putting down meat toppings.

Add some veggies if you want. I sauteed some chopped onion, diced bell pepper and sliced mushrooms then added some fresh grated garlic and sliced black olives.

Top with more cheese. I used fresh mozzarella and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Place in preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the edges are browned.

Meanwhile, have your troops set the table and try not to let it bother you if they’re using the Easter colored place mats. They’re helping and that’s all that matters!

Remove the pizza from the oven and let it sit about 5 minutes.

Slice with a large knife, enjoy the sound of that crunchy crust!

Serve with a simple green salad. Watch the faces light up at the dinner table, especially your husband who hasn’t had French bread pizza since his mom used to buy the frozen boxes of Stouffer’s.

For those of you who make French bread pizza all the time and are saying “duh” right now, congratulations. For those of you who don’t, try it, you’ll be happy you did!

“A recipe has no soul.  You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” ~Thomas Keller