EPIC FRENCH BREAD PIZZA {recipe}

french bread pizzasRecipe for Epic French Bread Pizzas first, my personal notes and shopping resources follow.
french bread pizza assembly

EPIC FRENCH BREAD PIZZAS {recipe}

makes 8 6-inch French bread pizzas, enough for 4, 1 if you really give it your best shot

INGREDIENTS

For the French Bread Pizza Base:
4 La Brea Bakery Frozen Take & Bake French Demi Baguettes
½ cup pizza sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
4-5 bocconcini (fresh mozzarella, the size of swollen golf balls)

For the Toppings:
pepperoni or prosciutto
cooked bacon
egg
fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in to halves
lightly blanched broccolini
thinly sliced lemon
fresh baby spinach
marinated artichokes
green olives, cracked and pitted
pickled spicy chili peppers, sliced into rings
caramelized onions
fresh mushrooms
fresh thyme leaves
roasted garlic cloves
blanched purple sweet potato, thinly sliced
purple kale leaves

For Garnish, After Baking:
fresh basil
dried oregano
flaky sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
crushed red pepper

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the Bread: Heat oven and bake La Brea Bakery French Demi Baguettes according to package directions. Bake time is 10-12 minutes.

Remove baked baguettes from oven and allow to cool. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

When the baguettes are cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes, slice open each demi baguette lengthwise and lay flat on the baking sheet. You may need to slice off small pieces from the top side of each baguette to make sure it lays flat.

Assemble Pizzas: Increase oven temperature to 400°F. Rub the cut open sides of each baguette with a clove of garlic. For pizzas with tomato sauce, spread 2 tablespoons pizza sauce on bread.

Top pizzas with whatever toppings you like. The pizzas pictured are as follows:

  • shredded mozzarella cheese + fresh cherry tomatoes, grnish with fresh basil
  • pizza sauce + shredded mozzarella cheese + spicy pepperoni + hot pickled peppadew peppers
  • shredded mozzarella cheese + bacon + egg yolk
  • fresh baby spinach + sliced bocconcini mozzarella + marinated artichokes + cracked castelveltrano (green) olives
  • smashed roasted garlic + sliced bocconcini mozzarella + broccolini + lemon
  • caramelized onions + shredded mozzarella cheese + cremini, oyster, and shiitake mushrooms + fresh thyme
  • pizza sauce + bocconcini mozzarella
  • shredded mozzarella + roasted garlic cloves + purple sweet potato + purple kale

Bake assembled French Bread Pizzas for 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden browned in spots. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, and/or salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

To make French Bread Pizzas into appetizers, cut each French Bread Pizza into  pieces.

pizza toppings

NOTES and RESOURCES

  • I used organic, regular dairy for both the shredded mozzarella and bocconcini cheeses. I have used Daiya non-dairy shreds, which melt decently well for pizzas if you do not eat dairy.
  • The pizza sauce is a very simple homemade sauce made with canned whole tomatoes
  • To Blanch Broccolini: bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop washed broccolini into boiling water, the immediately turn off heat and drain the broccolini. The broccolini will be bright green, and will finish cooking during baking.
  • To Caramelize Onions: Remove papery skins, outer layers, and dirty root end from 3 large yellow onions. Cut onions lengthwise first, then slice into ¼-inch wide moons. Heat 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil in large skillet over medium heat, then add onions. Cook onions until deep golden caramel color, about 40 minutes. Turn down heat to medium low if necessary to keep onions from turning too dark or burning.
  • To Roast Garlic: Break a whole bulb of garlic into cloves. Toss the cloves with about 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil. Wrap cloves in aluminum foil. Place foil pouch directly on rack in oven at 400°F. Roast until cloves are meltingly tender, about 4o minutes.
  • All fresh herbs and produce from either the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market on Wednesday, or Whole Foods Market when I can’t find it at the farmers’ market.

french bread pizza, vegetarians
Pushing my cart through the frozen aisle at the grocery store the other day, I noticed the freezer shelves lined with French bread pizzas for the first time in a long time. Remember those? Those boat-shaped pizzas baked on the ease of French bread and the convenience of a microwave oven? I remembered them. I used to eat them all the time, and in the grocery store that day, I wondered why the world wasn’t eating French bread pizza the way we used to back then.

Because back then, we weren’t paying enough attention to realize that those French bread pizzas actually weren’t that good. The bread was always weirdly rubbery and hard at the same time, even if you had the time and patience to follow the cooking instructions for “conventional oven.” The sauce was undetectable, even through the skimpy shreds of cheese that barely melted and desperately hung together like the very last threads on the tattered sweatpants you’ve been wearing for three days straight sitting on the couch binge-watching Meg Ryan rom-coms on DVD. But for some reason, those French bread pizzas were so good back then.

Way back then. Like waaay back.

But that was then, and this is now, and why shouldn’t we make our very own fresh French bread pizza on cracklingly crisp crusted French baguettes with pillow-soft centers, laden with as much sweet and spicy sauce and melting cheese as a single baguette can legally handle, piled with better, fresher, more interesting toppings?

We should. Slice open French demi baguettes that are fresh and hot right out of the oven thanks to La Brea Bakery’s Take & Bake French Demi Baguettes, top with all the good stuff, then pop them right back into the oven.

These are the most epic French bread pizzas you’ve ever had.

Especially if you’re wearing sweats and binge-watching rom-coms on Netflix.
french demi baguettes

french demi baguettes, sliced open

french bread pizza, margheritas

french bread pizza with bacon and egg, pepperoni and jalapeno

french bread pizza baked, cut
This post sponsored by La Brea Bakery to introduce their frozen Take & Bake Demi Baguettes and French Dinner Rolls, now available in the frozen aisle at select Wal-Mart locations. Click here for $1 off coupon for the breads at Wal-Mart, or use this store locator to find the breads in other stores.

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