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Ciabatta Bread Pizza

1/24/11: Ciabatta Bread Pizza

Meal details: Pizza with a Ciabatta bread crust, homemade pizza sauce, and a pepper, pepperoni, and cheese topping.

Defining moments: First time for us to try out Ciabatta bread, which, by the way, is an Italian bread that is usually used when making panini. The interior of the bread has very large holes so it a great candidate for soaking in flavors like olive oil.

Recipe sources: No recipe was needed for this pizza. Annemarie came up with the concept last Fall and we've been waiting to try it out since. We actually prepared our bell peppers for the freezer in a special way (cut them into ring shapes), just for this pizza.

The pizza sauce was concocted by me, so read on to find it!

What I learned: I created a very tasty recipe for the pizza sauce. I made Sloppy Joe's the Saturday before (I used this recipe here), and I kept a pint of our tomato puree and about a cup of canned tomato paste. On the day of this pizza's creation, I combined these two ingredients with some spices, sugar, and apple cider vinegar. I'll write it out here:

Homemade Pizza Sauce
Yield: Makes about 3 cups

  • 2 cups (16 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup (8 oz) tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. white sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tbsp. dried basil
  • 1 tbsp. garlic salt

Instructions: Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and cook over moderate heat. Reduce until consistency resembles apple sauce. I recommend tasting at this stage and adjust seasoning if necessary. When it comes to a tomato-based recipe, you usually need to change something in your ingredient lineup.

Now how exactly did I put this pizza together?

I cut the ciabatta bread loaves in half lengthwise and brushed them with a 1/4 cup of olive oil. I then placed them in the oven for about five minutes at 425F; just to crisp up the cut side. I then smeared my pizza sauce over the entire surface of the bread and followed it with lots of shredded mozzarella and monterey jack cheese. On top of the cheese, I fanned out some pepperoni and bell pepper rings evenly. I moved both pizzas to the oven preheated at 425F and I baked them for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese was golden brown and the peppers were sizzling.

Any modifications? Created this recipe.

How it tasted? Very, very, very, very, GOOD! The ciabatta bread made a terrific, crunchy crust and the sauce was zingy and had distinctive tomato flavor.

How about a 2nd time? Oh yes, definitely. And maybe next time I will use homemade ciabatta bread--sounds interesting, huh?

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