Monday, February 7, 2011


We were invited to a Superbowl party this year at the house of a good friend. This is the dish I took to share. I turned this Crusty French Bread Recipe into Pizza Bread. I remembered to take "before" pictures, but of course,was in a run out the door to the party and forgot to take a picture of the finished product. This dough makes 2 loaves of french bread or 2 loaves of pizza bread. No kneading required really. So easy, and everyone should try it!

Crusty French Bread (my camera is pretty awful, but I wanted you to see how it looks while baking)

1 package (2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (HOT but no hurt)
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon oil or melted shortening (I used oil)
4 cups all purpose flour

In a 2-cup measuring cup, measure the hotish/warm water. Add the yeast and sugar. Stir well to dissolve, leaving your spoon in there. Let this rest while doing the next step.

In a large bowl measure out the flour and add the salt. Stir well.

Back to the yeast/water. It should be becoming foamy and cloudy. If it is, then add your measured oil. Stir a little bit - very gentle... those yeasties are ALIVE!

Dump the oil/water/sugar/yeast mixture over the flour/salt mixed together in the large bowl.

Using your spoon (I use a wooden one), mix this all together. I actually have to use my hands and mix this in - kneading about 5 times to incorporate all the ingredients all together.

Spray with a little cooking spray or lightly oil/grease some plastic wrap and cover the bowl (I just spray my dough ball with cooking spray and cover with a walmart bag.)

Let this sit to rise in a location that isn't too drafy. I put mine in the microwave (off) and shut the door.

After this has risen, place this dough on a floured surface, Divide in half (2 loaves) and using a floured rolling pin, roll each half until its about 1/2 inch thick. If you are making french bread, just roll up each half and place the loaves on separate sprayed/greased cookie sheets to rise (45 minutes). Slice 3 shallow vertical cuts across the loaves to allow the bread to expand when it bakes (you do not do this step when making the pizza bread), and then bake (PREHEATED 400 degree oven for 30 minutes).

Turning this dough into PIZZA BREAD:

If making PIZZA BREAD, spread with some pizza sauce, sprinkle some parmesan cheese, toppings of your choice on the rolled out halves, along with grated mozerella, to within about one inch of the sides.

Roll up and seal the dough as best as you can. When I baked mine, some still leaked out, but that's okay... it tastes great and you are going for that "rustic look" anyway right?

Place on a greased/sprayed cookie sheet. I spray my loaves with cooking spray and sprinkle additional parmesan cheese.

Let rise for about 30-45 minutes in a non-drafty place,and start preheating your oven to 400 degrees.

Place in oven and bake 30 minutes. Let this baked loaf rest about 10 minutes before slicing.

This is completely AWESOME leftover. I go ahead and slice mine in thick slices and place any leftover slices in a baggy for lunches/breakfast/snacking the next day.

Variation. I think you could slice this like for cinnamon rolls, place in a greased pan and bake like you would cinnamon rolls but these would be pizza rolls.

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