Growing up, my experience with french bread pizza was of the frozen variety. I’m sure you know the ones I’m talking about. You get two in a box and for a quick meal, you just throw them in a hot oven and you’re done. They are not bad for frozen pizza and dinner is ready in 20 minutes. A few years ago I came up with the brilliant idea of making my own. OK, it did turn out that others may have come up with the idea before me, but in my head the idea is mine. What I can tell you is that homemade french bread pizza is super easy and tastes so much better than the previously mentioned frozen sort. The perfect solution for a busy weekday dinner.
The recipe I give you here is for margherita pizza. Why is it that such a simple pizza is so good? Sweet tomato sauce with some fresh mozzarella and a little fresh basil sprinkled on top and you feel like you’re in Italy. Margherita pizza is my favorite thing to order when I’m at a good brick oven pizzeria and I also like to make it myself at home on a hot pizza stone. So naturally I tried it out for a french bread pizza. Why not? It’s a quick and easy meal and I have to tell you it’s really good. Just make a little salad while it’s baking and dinner is served.
Now feel free to use the recipe below as just a guideline. I use fresh mozzarella but if want to use a different cheese, go right ahead. Use some of that bagged shredded mozzarella if you want. I promise not to tell anyone. Off course, go ahead and add a topping or two if you feel the need. It’s pizza people! You really can do whatever you want.
Margherita French Bread PizzaPrint Recipe
Margherita French Bread Pizza
- 1 French or Italian Baguette
- 1 can of San Marzano Whole Tomatoes
- kosher salt
- 1 garlic clove
- olive oil
- 1 ball of fresh mozzarella
- fresh basil
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Make a quick pizza sauce.
Pour the can of tomatoes and it's juices into a bowl or sauce pan. Crush the tomatoes with your hands or a potato masher until the whole tomatoes are just bite size pieces. Stir in a 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Set aside. *
To make the pizza:
Split the baguette in half, length wise. Drizzle a little olive oil on each half of the bread and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes until slightly crispy.
Peel the garlic and cut it in half. Rub the garlic clove over the cut side of the bread. This adds a little garlic flavor.
Spoon some of the tomato sauce over the bread and spread until covered.
Slice the fresh mozzarella about 1/4 inch thick and arrange over the bread.
Bake the pizzas for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the cheese in nicely melted.
Let cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle with some of the fresh basil and then cut across 2 to 3 inch pieces to serve .
The sauce here is a simple tomato sauce for pizza. I like it because it has nice pieces of tomatoes in it, you do not have to cook it and it literally takes one minute to make. When heated in the oven, the natural sweetness of the tomatoes comes out. Simple and easy! That said, feel free to improvise.
Saute a little garlic in olive oil first, then add the tomatoes and let it simmer a bit. Maybe some fresh basil? Add in a pinch of red pepper flakes for a little kick of heat.
Use your own recipe for marinara sauce. I'm sure it's wonderful! Try not to use a jarred sauce. They actually are more expensive and do not taste as good as a simple homemade. BUT if that is all you have on hand........it will be fine.