French Bread Pizza

Based on The Best French Bread Pizza

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed, or garlic powder to taste
pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley, basil, and/or oregano leaves (optional)
Kosher salt
1 large loaf French or Italian bread (soft super-market bakery bread), about 18 inches long and 4 inches wide, split in half lengthwise and crosswise
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (or some marinara sauce)
8 ounces freshly grated whole milk mozzarella cheese
2 ounces grated Parmigiano-reggiano (optional)
additional toppings as desired

Adjust oven rack to upper position and preheat oven to 425°F. Heat butter and olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Add garlic, pepper flakes, and oregano and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in half of parsley/basil (if using) and a big pinch of salt. Remove from heat.

Place bread cut-side-up on a clean work surface. Using a rimmed baking sheet, press down on bread evenly until compressed to about 2/3rds of its original height. Place bread on top of rimmed baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush half of garlic/butter/oil mixture evenly over cut surfaces of bread, making sure to get plenty of bits of garlic. Top with about 1/4 of the cheese and place in the oven until the cheese is just melted, about 8 minutes.  Set aside

Add tomatoes/sauce to remaining garlic/butter/oil mixture in pan, stir to combine, increase heat to medium, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to maintain a bare simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until rich and reduced, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Spread sauce evenly over bread, then spread remaining mozzarella on top of sauce, then any desired additional toppings. Put back in the oven and bake until toppings are hot and cheese is melted and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with Parmigiano-reggiano (if using), remaining parsley/basil (if using). Allow to cool slightly, cut each piece crosswise into strips and serve.

Published in: on October 20, 2014 at 6:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

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