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Monday, April 22, 2013

French Bread Pizza

Mostly, I want to use this as an opportunity to explore the difference between Italian bread and French bread. I've made several pizzas on Italian, and called it French bread pizza; tonight, I decided to make authentic French bread for the job.
There are subtle differences between Italian and French bread:

-Italian bread is formed into a medium-fat loaf, while French bread is rolled into a long stick.
-Italian bread is made with olive oil, French bread contains no fat.

With these things in mind, here's my French bread pizza recipe. For more detailed breadmaking instructions, see Italian bread.

1/2 cup water between 85-105 degrees
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
Your favorite pizza sauce and cheese

Stir yeast and sugar into warm water, allow to proof. In a bowl, combine flour and salt, add yeast mixture. Stir to combine and turn out onto a floured surface. Knead for 7-10 minutes. Place dough into a lightly greased bowl and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Once dough has risen, punch it down and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. On a clean smooth surface, spread dough out into a flat rectangle, about 10"x18". Roll dough up tightly to form a long loaf. Using a sharp knife, score the dough diagonally 2-3 inches apart. Place loaf on a cookie sheet prepared with a sprinkling of cornmeal. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450. Spritz loaf with water, and place it in the oven. Spritz again every 4-5 minutes until the loaf is done; it will take on a rich brown color and sound hollow when tapped.
Once bread is cool, slice it into 4 slices as shown, first vertically down the middle then each half horizontally. Prepare your oven's broiler. Add sauce and cheese to your bread slices and broil for 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned to your liking.
E N J O Y. :D