Thursday, September 24, 2015

Anchovy & Roasted Red Bell Pepper Italian Bread Pizza

     Italian Bread Snack Pizza!
     It has been a long time since I have seen anyone doing any Italian Pizza Bread recipes.  French Bread Pizza and Italian Bread Pizza are almost the same thing.  The dough recipe for both Italian Loaves and French Baguettes are nearly identical.  The difference is this ... For Italian bread, ice is not thrown in the oven to create steam in the first two minutes of baking.  It is the steam that creates the hard crunchy crust characteristic that is associated with French Baguettes.  
     French Bread Pizza was a very popular snack food item back in the 1970's and 1980's.  Home cooks bought a pre-made canned tomato sauce, a bag of grated mozzarella, a few pizza toppings and a French baguette, then they were happy at home making great French Bread Snack Pizzas.
     Pizza Bread was also offered on a few bar snack menus back in the early 1980's.  I can attest to the fact that Pizza Bread was not a big seller at bars.  The reason why is easy to understand.  Bar patrons did not want to pay money for something they easily made at home.

     Home made pizza sauce is far better than anything that can be bought at a supermarket.  When you start a Bread Pizza with good basic ingredients, any gourmet pizza toppings that you choose will be a fitting choice!
     This Italian bread snack pizza will not be to everyone's liking, because I put anchovies on the pizza.  Some folks detest anchovies for a good reason.  They have only experienced cheap low quality anchovies that have a strong salty fishy flavor.  Further up the food chain are high quality anchovies that have a gentle umami flavor that is not salty.  Premium quality anchovies sell for a higher price, but the difference in flavor is well worth the money spent.  High quality anchovies are usually packaged in glass jars instead of cans.  Some of the best anchovies are imported from Italy.
     Pizza Sauce:
     This recipe yields enough for 2 to 3 small bread pizza snacks.
     This is one of many versions of Italian style cold pizza sauce.  The ingredients are mixed cold, because a true pizza sauce only cooks in the oven!
     Step 1:  Place 1 cup of imported Italian canned crushed plum tomatoes in a mixing bowl.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 2 pinches of oregano.
     Add 1 small pinch of crushed red pepper.
     Add 1 minced garlic clove.
     Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
     Step 2:  Stir the ingredients together.
     Set the pizza sauce aside.
     Anchovy & Roasted Red Bell Pepper Italian Bread Pizza
     This recipe 
     Step 1:  Split a 6" long piece of Italian bread in half lengthwise.
     Place the bread on a baking pan.
     Step 2:  Spread thin layer of the pizza sauce on the bread.
     Sprinkle a generous amount of grated mozzarella cheese over the sauce.
     Place 3 thin sliced strips of roasted red bell pepper on the pizza bread, so they are evenly spaced.
     Place 2 imported Italian anchovy filets between the pepper strips.
     Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the pizza.
     Step 3:  Place the pan in a 450ºF oven.
     Bake till the cheese melts and light brown highlights appear.
     Step 4:  Remove the pizza bread from the oven.
     Sprinkle a little bit of fine grated imported Italian Parmigiana Cheese on the pizza bread, while it is piping hot.
     Step 5:  Set the 2 pizza bread on a plate.
     Garnish the plate with Italian Parsley sprigs.
     Good imported Italian anchovies do make a difference! 

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