One of the guilty pleasures from my childhood is French Bread Pizzas. Processed junk but tasty with it (so shameful). However, there is no need to reach into the deep freeze and sully your “foodie” name to enjoy them. If you think ordering a pizza is the fastest way to get one at home, then I hope this recipe persuades you there’s no reason to not make your own!
It takes about 10 minutes to put them together and less than that under the grill to cook. Sure, handmade, slow-risen pizza dough is utterly delicious and hardly difficult but it requires a bit of forward planning to wedge it into your busy day. Plus these little beauties are super frugal and can make use of yesterday’s baguettes plus whatever toppings you have left in the fridge to use up. It’s always satisfying to clear up tupperware pots of odds and sods in the fridge.
The first time I made these, Hungry Hubby turned his nose up at them and had a sausage baguette instead. Boy was he sorry when he saw the pizzas! He sat next to me with puppy dog eyes looking longingly at all those colourful, tasty toppings on my pizza as he ate his beige dinner. Of course I shared and he loved them too.
I think they would be brilliant party food as you could make as many as you could fit on one oven tray at a time and slice them into fingers to make for easy nibbling. These delicious, easy and frugal French Bread Pizzas will be especially good if you’re reading this as I post it, half way through January when pay day seems a lifetime away ;)
- 1 baguette a bit stale is just fine
- 1 400 g can whole plum tomatoes*
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 6 slices of salami
- 1 baby pepper capsicum or bell, thinly sliced
- 2 spring onions finely chopped
- 4 cherry tomatoes halved if large
- 3 tbsp grated mozzarella
- A generous grating of parmesan
Preheat the grill to high and set the oven shelf with about 3-4 inches spare (too close and the pizzas will burn).
Slice your baguette lengthwise and if necessary, cut a bit off the bottom so they lay flat on your baking tray. Pop under the grill if they are very fresh for barely 2 minutes to crispen them up a little, not colour them - this means the tomato sauce wont make them soggy.
Now I get lazy here and use clean kitchen scissors to chop up the tomatoes which I drain in a fine meshed sieve. Sprinkle on the oregano, add the garlic and season then mix lightly and share between the two lightly toasted (or slightly stale) baguettes.
Follow with your toppings - mine are suggestions more than anything so feel free to add or subtract whatever you like. Just remember the pizzas will cook super fast so you don't want thickly sliced veg which won't cook quick enough or any raw meat products. Leftover roast chicken, slices of roast beef, canned tuna - all good ideas!
Finish by sharing the mozzarella between the two pizzas and then grate over a good coating of parmesan.
Pop under the grill for approximately 5 -7 minutes until the cheese is blistered and bubbling.
Serve with a nice big side salad.
* = you really do want to use whole canned tomatoes as the ready chopped ones are too watery for this fresh sauce.
Of course, the toppings are infinitely customisable to your preferences or simply to what you have left in your fridge!
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