Easy weeknight supper idea

For the past month or two (or maybe longer) Little Bit has been asking me to make “pizza bread” for dinner.  I made it once a long time ago and it was apparently one of her favorite incarnations of pizza that I have made.

I’ve resisted making it because, frankly, it was a lot of trouble.  Making the dough, letting it rise, rolling it out, chopping up all the ingredients, etc.  And it has just seemed like we were too busy to bother making it again.

But she has persisted in asking and so, when I saw that the grocery store had French bread dough on sale last week, I decided to try an experiment.

And it worked!

Super easy, super fast pizza bread!

A perfect weeknight dinner idea, ready within 45 minutes and so very tasty. Almost as good as the made-from-scratch version.  The family loved it and I loved how easy it was.

Here are the cast of characters:

Easy Peasy Pizza Bread Ingredients
Easy Peasy Pizza Bread Ingredients

Not pictured, frozen bell peppers (chopped) and Italian seasoning.

The most difficult part of making this dish (and seriously, this is not difficult) was unrolling the bread dough.

Unrolling the dough
Unrolling the dough

Once I unrolled the dough, I sprinkled it with the mozzarella cheese blend and added the toppings.  We like sausage, pepperoni and bell peppers. I was super lazy last night and used frozen bell peppers that SuperMan had chopped for me when we only needed half of a pepper for a recipe.

Toppings
Toppings

(I hadn’t put the cheese on yet in this picture)

Once I had all the toppings in place, I rolled the bread back up into a loaf, sealed the seams and the ends and popped it into the oven.  I baked it at 350 for about 35 minutes.

While that was baking I warmed up some spaghetti sauce I had left over from another recipe. You could certainly use jarred sauce if you have that, too.

Once it was finished, we sliced the bread and gobbled it up.

And I mean, literally gobbled. I didn’t get a single picture of the finished product!

Seriously, though, this was so easy and perfect for a busy weeknight meal.

I hope you give it a try.

Quick and Easy Pizza Bread

Pillsbury prepared French bread dough
Shredded Italian cheese blend
pepperoni slices
Cooked sausage crumbles (I used Jimmy Dean frozen turkey sausage crumbles)
chopped bell pepper

any other pizza toppings you like

  1. Unroll the bread dough. (I did this on my silpat baking mat. If you do it on your counter be sure you spray it with cooking spray first so it won’t stick)
  2. Sprinkle about 1 cup of cheese on the dough
  3. Add your toppings
  4. Roll the bread dough back up, sealing the seams and the ends. Score the top with 2-3 shallow slices to allow for expansion in the oven.
  5. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool for about 5-7 minutes before slicing and serving with warmed spaghetti sauce.

Cheesy Breadsticks

My plans for dinner on Tuesday night went awry when I couldn’t make what I’d planned – and I ended up coming up with a new dinner to cook.

I rummaged around on my Pinterest pins and tried to find something that would be easy to prepare and simple for the girls to serve/eat as I would not be home at suppertime and I wanted minimal fuss for them.

I ended up stumbling across this pin – and it was a fortunate stumble indeed. We thoroughly enjoyed these – and the girls took leftovers in their lunches today. I sent them with a salad and these breadsticks for a side.  They were pretty excited about their lunches (which is always nice).

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I’d strongly encourage you to try this one night. Other than the rise time, it was pretty quick to assemble and well worth the wait for the rise.  GREAT, kid-friendly food (and would be good for a game-day snack, too!)

I served ours last night with marinara for dipping. I had some leftover spaghetti sauce from Sunday’s dinner, but you could easily use a jarred sauce. If and when I use a jar sauce, my preference is to use Barilla or Bertolli Tomato Basil marinara sauces.

The secret to these breadsticks:

I think the secret to these yummy breadsticks is the fact that I tried to mimic the environment of a pizza oven like you’d find at a pizza kitchen. You know how they cook pizza in a screaming hot oven? Like 900 degrees or something crazy like that? Well, I think that is part of what makes them so good. The dough rises fast, cooks crisp and turns out fantastic.

So, I tried to do this in my oven. There are a few suggestions for you:

  1. Preheat your oven.  As hot as you can. 500 degrees is the max on your oven? Go for it. I cooked mine at 500 degrees.
  2. Preheat your pizza stone. While the oven is heating, put it in there and let it get smoking hot, too. Don’t have a pizza stone? Use an upside down cookie sheet. (suggested in the original recipe I linked to above)
  3. Roll out your dough on parchment paper. This will allow you to just slide your parchment paper right onto the baking stone and then right off the stone and onto a pan when you take the pizza out. Less chance for accidents that way.

I did make some modifications to the original recipes, so I thought I’d share my finished recipes with you here –

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Cheesy Breadsticks

1 recipe pizza dough (recipe below)
2 Tbsp butter, room temperature
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 c parmesan
2-3 c mozzarella (or Italian cheese blend)
salt/pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees (or as hot as you can)
  2. Add pizza stone to preheat with oven.
  3. In a small bowl, mix butter, garlic & Italian seasoning. Set aside.
  4. Roll out your dough on a piece of parchment paper. If you are using the fool-proof recipe below, you should get two “pizzas” out of it. I rolled mine to about a quarter of an inch thick by about 12-14 inches in diameter. (although it was nowhere near a perfect circle)
  5. Spread the butter mixture on the dough
  6. Sprinkle your cheese on the top.
    (I also sprinkled some mini pepperoni on there before I put the cheese down)
  7. Slide parchment paper onto a cookie sheet and then off the cookie sheet and onto the baking stone in the oven.
  8. Bake for about 9-10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and brown. Your dough should also bubble up nicely, too.
  9. Remove from oven. Let cool for 1-2 minutes before slicing into strips.
  10. Serve with marinara for dipping.

Pizza Dough

1 cup very warm water
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 Tbsp honey (I used Agave syrup)
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning (I used Mrs. Dash Italian Medley)
~3 Cups flour (I used King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour)

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine water, yeast & honey. Let the yeast “bloom” for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the oil, half of the flour (1.5 cups) and mix with a dough hook.
  3. While mixing, add the Italian Seasoning, salt and gradually add the remaining flour a little at a time until the dough begins to form a ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Knead for 6 minutes.
  5. Once the time has elapsed, remove the dough hook and form the dough into a ball.
  6. Lightly oil the mixing bowl and put the dough ball back in.  Cover with a towel and let rise in the for 45 minutes to an hour. (preheat your oven while dough is rising)

You can use this dough for breadsticks, pizza, calzones, etc.

You can also add 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese to the dough for a cheesier crust. You may need less flour if you do this.

Remember, doughs are going to behave differently based on the humidity in your home – if it is a rainy day, you may need more flour than the recipe calls for. If it is dry, you may need less. The three cups the recipe calls for is a good guideline, but use your instincts and go slowly adding the last half of the flour into the dough. Let it incorporate a little at a time until you have the right consistency.  If you’ve got enough flour, your dough should not stick to the sides of the bowl and you should have a nice ball of dough that is not sticky to the touch.  (the original recipe I used has some good pictures of the consistency you are looking for)

Linking up with the Weekend Potluck.