Hubby made some homemade Ciabatta bread yesterday, so we decided to have Ciabatta Pizza!
It was a nice change from our usual homemade pizza. We used the same topping ingredients we normally would, but since the bread was already baked, it made for a wonderfully crunchy base after we turned it into pizza.
We sliced the Ciabatta bread length-wise and then in half, so we could each have some with the top and some with the bottom of the loaf.
We used a jar of chunky tomato sauce (spicy red pepper), but canned crushed tomatoes can be used to add a nice fresh taste. Of course, you can use tomato paste in a pinch too (water it down a bit if you find it too thick or the flavour a bit intense). I don’t buy pre-made pizza sauce, as I find it to be overpriced for the amount you get. There are so many varieties and flavours of pasta sauce to choose from these days, so you’re bound to find something you like. Even a plain sauce can be doctored up by adding your own herbs and spices.
Hubby used a cheddar-mozzarella blend on his; I went for an Italian blend and added a bit of grated parmesan.
We almost always have diced bell peppers and onions in the freezer, so they’re pretty much a staple for our pizzas.
I love loads of mushrooms and baby spinach on my pizza, which I sauté ahead of time. I find the mushrooms never seem to cook enough during the bake time for a pizza. As for the spinach… It’s so much easier to put sautéed (or at least wilted) spinach on a pizza, otherwise you end up with a giant mountain of raw baby spinach that makes it almost impossible to add any other toppings without them toppling off.
This time, we used some thinly sliced pepperoni. It really cooks up nicely (baked first and then under the broiler for a few minutes). Sometimes we add some deli ham or cooked chicken breast. Of course, you can skip the meat too… I sometimes do, but you’ll never convince hubby that’s a good pizza!
Homemade pizza is so versatile. We make individual pizzas and love being able to add our own ingredients. I haven’t ordered or purchased frozen pizza in years.
Before we started making our own pizza, I used to buy the frozen rising crust varieties. One day I took a good look at the nutrition facts, and I was shocked how much fat and sodium was in one pizza – even the chicken and veggie version (which I mistakenly thought was healthier)!
If you don’t like the thought of making your own pizza dough, you can often find it at the grocery store. Sometimes it in the refrigerated section with the deli meats and cheeses, but I also used to buy it frozen.
Years ago, I used to buy the thick PC Splendido pre-baked pizza crusts that were pretty tasty (especially the one with shredded cheese baked in). They were rather pricey, but still much more economical than ordering in.
I just searched online and I don’t think they make those crusts anymore. The closest I could find was PC Thick Pizza Crust, or PC Thin Pizza Crust (if you want something lighter).
I am sure if you check the bakery section at your grocery store, you’re bound to find something similar.
Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to pizza crust as your base! You can use a nice loaf of bread like Ciabatta, Italian or French. How about a baguette, panini buns, pita bread, bagels, english muffins, tortillas… so many choices!
Do you make homemade pizza? What’s your favourite type of crust? How about toppings?