French bread pizza is one of the fastest, easiest ways to get homemade pizza on the table. It’s nostalgic for adults and cheer-inducing for kids, and this (budget-friendly!) homemade version far exceeds the kind from the freezer aisle. It’s extra cheesy, a little messy, and only needs a handful of ingredients to come together: It’s comfort food at its best. We should all be eating more French bread pizza.
The Best Ingredients for French Bread Pizza
One of the best parts of French bread pizza is that the ingredient list is short. For starters, you’ll need a loaf of soft French or Italian bread (more on that below). It doesn’t need to be fancy — whatever’s in the bakery section of your local grocery store is probably perfect. Grab garlic, a can of pizza sauce, some shredded mozzarella, Parm, and fresh basil and you’re good to go. If pepperoni is your thing (or you have another favorite topping), get that too. Heat up the oven, and you’re in business.
3 Secrets for Perfect French Bread Pizza
Making French bread pizza isn’t hard; you barely need a recipe. However, there are a few tricks to know if you want to make the best French bread pizza possible.
French Bread Pizza
- 1 (12-ounce) loaf
soft French or Italian bread
- 1 clove
- 3/4 cup
pizza sauce, store-bought or homemade
- 1 cup
shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup
other toppings: sautéed onions, sautéed mushrooms, pepperoni, cooked sausage, cooked bacon, diced peppers, leftover veggies, or any other favorite toppings (optional)
- 1/4 cup
grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons
coarsely chopped or torn fresh basil leaves
Rimmed baking sheet
Heat the oven to 425ºF. Arrange a rack in the top third of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.
Slice and compress the bread. Cut the bread in half crosswise with a serrated knife, then cut each half lengthwise so you have 4 pieces. Place the bread cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet and press down firmly and evenly with your hands until it’s compressed by about half.
Toast and season the bread. Flip the bread so that it’s cut-side up. Bake until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and rub the cut-sides of the bread all over with the garlic clove.
Top the bread. Spread the pizza sauce evenly onto the bread. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and pile on additional toppings, if using.
Bake for 10 minutes. Bake the pizzas until the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 10 minutes.
Finish with Parmesan cheese and basil. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and basil. Cut each pizza in half and serve immediately.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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