Time for a soccer mom classic. That’s no insult to soccer moms or their footballing culture but instead a tribute to their fast, easy, cheap and fairly tasty food preparation skills. Soccer moms got shit to do and feeding a horde of kids, a dad and any friends who’ve made their way to the table requires simple recipes that can satisfy the masses. Enter French bread pizza.
It’s super simple, has a satisfying home cooked taste and goes from cutting board to mouth in about 12 minutes. That sounds like a perfect combo for my expat readers – many of whom lack any serious cooking skills. I’m trying meet the needs of my readers, not run some fancy pants cooking blog.
The New Oven
Well, it’s happened. I’ve finally broken down and bought a toaster oven. It’s a swanky toaster oven pretending to be a real oven but my experiments roasting vegetables and baking brownies have shown me that my new oven definitely has some limitations.
This one is crazy simple. Sometime in the future I’ll provide you with a real homemade pizza recipe but that’s going to require some research into dough that will work well in China. I’m thinking about making a China sour dough mother. For now, I’ll provide you with a very serviceable DYI pizza recipe.
French Bread Pizza – Makes 4 pizzas.
1 loaf of fresh French bread (I recommend Bonjour Amy if you have one near your house)
1 Jar of any brand but Hunts pasta sauce*
1 bag (250g) shredded mozzarella cheese**
Toppings: It’s your pizza, you figure out the toppings. Smithfield bacon (cooked), olives, pepperoni, green peppers, ham, pineapple, onions or whatever else you like are good choices – except corn. Corn on pizza is gross. I’m talking to you, Chinese people.
No laughing at my non-alcoholic beer. I’ve been on antibiotics for a week and a half and I’m losing my mind.
*There will be enough leftovers for you to make a pasta dish the next day so buy a bag of noodles too.
**I used the Bega Tasty farm fresh cheese from Oz because the store was out of shredded mozzarella. It worked out fine.
Pre-heat your toaster oven to 210C (about 400F)
Put some aluminum foil on your baking sheet or wire rack for easy clean up.
Cut off the ends of the French bread. Cut the bread in half. Split each half creating a top and bottom like you would for a sandwich.
Put sauce on the bread.
Add a few toppings.
Put on the cheese. Make it as cheesy as you like.
Add some more toppings.
Put the pizzas on the foiled baking sheet/wire rack and stick it in the oven.
Bake pizzas for 6-8 minutes making sure to watch after 5 minutes – toaster oven cooking times vary wildly. Everything is already cooked so we’re just looking to melt and brown up the cheese.
Eat that crunchy, cheesy goodness.