I swear that after today, no more bread!
This week has been a bit bread heavy. Cheesy pesto garlic bread AND pizza on a loaf of bread. For someone who doesn’t live and die by a loaf of bread (I can easily pass up the bread basket but dessert? Never.), it means that these two quick little “recipes” (or let’s say… methods? Throw together meals? Trashed up snacks?) MUST be good.
This is it! I promise. I saved the best for last.
I mean… it’s a PIZZA LOAF. It will take you 30 minutes, tops. Cover your bread with cheese and call it a day.
Tell me why why why I never thought to make a quick little pizza on ciabatta bread? I’ve done French bread, pita bread, bagels, tortillas and even naan – but never a ciabatta bread. Also, I haven’t even made one of these breads recently. I almost always make my own dough and it becomes a production – albeit a delicious one – and the cleanup is insane because I essentially throw flour everywhere.
Cleaning as I go will NEVER happen. Ever.
French bread pizzas were one of the first recipes I shared on the site. They are so easy and versatile and I’m not too proud to admit that we used to throw back a Stouffer’s French bread pizza every now and then when I was a kid. And the mac and cheese too. The burnt and bubbly cheese parts. I caaaaan’t.
There are a few things I love about the ciabatta pizza loaf though. First, the loaf of bread is wider than the French bread so it can serve more people. It makes dinner seem more substantial in this millennial world where it’s all about how we FEEL. You know?
Second, the bread is so wonderfully chewy and when the outside toasts in the oven, it’s a texture lover’s dream. Even though bread would never be my drug of choice, if I had to pick one bread to eat on it’s own, it would certainly be a ciabatta if for the chewiness alone.
GAH. It’s so good.
Every time I share a pizza photo on Instagram, I get lots of questions about what sauce I use, what cheese is my favorite and where the mini pepperonis come from! The toppings on this bread are exactly what I’m doing now for homemade pizza dough too.
When it comes to sauce, well… you guys know I don’t love tomato sauce. On pizza it’s fine because hello, it’s PIZZA. But I have zero desire to make my own. Back in the day, I used Mids. Then I started using this DeLallo’s sauce and just last month, moved to the cherry tomato sauce from DeLallo’s because it’s sort of sweet and perfect for margherita pizzas, which usually have my favorite sauce.
Cheese? Oh hi, you’re talking to the queeeen. I like a mixture of three cheeses, plus finely grated parmesan for topping. I tend to go with provolone, mozzarella and fontina, all freshly grated (this makes a ha-yuge different in melt quality!) and if I only have two on hand, that’s fine too. But definitely a mix.
I love to brush my dough or bread with olive oil and sprinkle it with garlic powder. Yes, I know fresh garlic reigns supreme, but unless I’m mincing ten cloves, I won’t get the even flavor. So garlic powder it is.
Also! A sprinkle of dried basil and oregano IN the toppings makes for so much flavor. Sometimes I’ll sprinkle it over the sauce and sometimes over the cheese – whenever I remember.
I used to be a super plain pizza gal – cheese only and lots of it – but when I was pregnant with Max I stopped loathing pepperoni. So weird. I don’t like huge slabs of meat though (save your jokes please), so the tiny pepperoni are key! This way, I can put a ton of it on Eddie’s side of the pizza and be a bit more sporadic on my side. I find the mini pepperoni by Hormel at my grocery store.
I finish the whole thing off with a sprinkle of fresh basil and oregano and a touch more cheese. Of course. I mean, who do you think I am? But for REAL, this is my perfect pepperoni pizza method and it gets rave reviews. It’s so easy but the little things like the spices and three cheeses make a difference in the total package.
And when you put it on ciabatta bread, you can serve it to all your friends this week! With lots of beergaritas. Wins all around.
Ciabatta Pizza Loaf
- 1 loaf ciabatta bread sliced in half lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup freshly grated provolone cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated fontina cheese
- ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese plus extra for topping
- mini pepperoni for sprinkling
- fresh basil and oregano for topping
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Drizzle the olive oil over the sliced ciabatta bread. Sprinkle with the garlic powder. Spread the marinara over top and cover with the dried basil and oregano.
- Mix the cheeses together. Evenly sprinkle them over the sauce. Top with the pepperoni. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and top with extra parmesan and the fresh herbs. Slice and serve.
Just look at the meltiness!