PIZZATTA, or: How to make a pizza from a loaf of stale ciabatta.

This is another easy dinner. (I’m sure you get the idea that that’s my specialty!)  A stale loaf of artisan bread makes a great pizza crust. I tried it with a fresh loaf and it didn’t work well. Just ask Rachelle and Jim. The fresh bread was too soft to hold the toppings and fell apart. You can call me if you want to rescue an old ciabatta from my freezer sometime.
You’ll need the usual things for pizza. I always use a tomato layer of some kind, but I know it’s not essential.   After that, the sky’s the limit.  I used onions, mushrooms, capers,  hot pepper flakes, oregano, mozzarella and parmesan.  The only tricky part of this meal is slicing the loaf of bread horizontally into 3 or 4 good 1″ thick slices.  You need a good serrated knife and a careful attitude.  Don’t cut your fingers! It is helpful to take off the domed top of the loaf.  Also try to shave off some of the bottom crust, because it can gets hard in the oven.

For the pizza pictured, I used these ingredients in this order:

1 pound loaf of stale ciabatta (at least 5 days old)

1 tablespoon white truffle oil from Scratch and Dent. (Thanks, ladies!)

1 1/2 cups of tomatoes (some home canned and some store-bought diced;  drain well)

3 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

1/4 onion, sliced thinly

2 tablespoons dried mushrooms, porcini and shiitake, rehydrated in warm water and squeezed dry

8 ounces grated mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and squeezed gently

1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp mexican oregano

Here are the photos to get you hungry and motivated:

A nice, rectangular stale ciabatta.

Sliced for pizza. You will use the pieces with way too many holes to patch the bigger holes in the other slices.

This pan of sliced bread is ready for the toppings. The wastage is on the right. Mostly pieces of the top and bottom crusts.

Before baking at 400 degrees for about 12-15 minutes.

Remove from oven when there is some browning of the cheese.

Tried and true. Hope you enjoyed the post!

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About longslowrise

Mimi Kibler and her husband Alain Kieny live in Parsons, West Virginia. In 1997 they founded LaFontaine bakery to supply the area with hearth baked breads and other treats. Her mother taught her the wonder of food and cooking. French master baker Didier Rosada taught her traditional european sourdough techniques. She is an enthusiastic gardener, birdwatcher and home cook who loves trying new and exotic foods.
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