Imagine a world where you could have homemade pizza without kneading, proofing, or fiery hot bricks in your oven. Oh wait, you don’t have to! You can witness it first hand, because today we present to you The French Bread Pizza®.
… Okay, we didn’t invent The French Bread Pizza, but we are making it cooler with things like roasted beets and smoked gouda, because marinara and mozzarella are so Neapolitan.
If you’ve had French Bread Pizzas in the past, I want you to forget about what you thought they tasted like. An ideal French Bread Pizza should be light, crispy on the exterior, soft on the interior, sauced lightly, have a layer of melty cheese, and contain only a handful of complementary toppings. Taking a closer look at each ingredient, the bread you use should be surprisingly light for it’s size and soft in and out; if your bread is too rustic, your pizza will be dry, dense, and sharp, which is no fun. The sauce and cheese you use depends on what style you’re going for, but our roasted beet mayo is silky, vibrant, and subtle whereas the smoked gouda melts nicely, has a pleasant smoky flavor, and a strong saltiness. Unlike regular pizza, French bread doesn’t have borders of crust, meaning toppings can fall right off the side if they’re piled on too high, so just remember to choose wisely and go light.
Let’s take a minute to take a specific look at bread, because the bread you use is going to directly impact the quality of your pizza. While this is called French Bread pizza, it can be difficult to find French bread that’s vegan, as it traditionally contains eggs and sometimes milk, so if you can’t find French bread, choose the lightest, white baguette you can find. As long as its soft with a fine crumb, it’ll work nicely! For the best bread possible, check a store that sells local and freshly baked baguettes.
If you know how to put things in the oven, work a broiler, and how-not-to burn caramelized onions, then these pizzas are fair game for you. All in all, this ‘zah is:
- A quicker alternative to regular pizza
- Savory, lightly sweet, and smoky
- Crispy, soft, melty, and silky
- And way better than those frozen French Bread Pizzas you ate as a kid (just me?)
If you like what your tastebuds are tellin’ ya, leave behind a nice rating, share your thoughts with us in the comments, or show us your creations by tagging @noeggsorham on Instagram.
A ‘Zah a Day Keeps the Pain Away,
Roasted Beet Mayo, Caramelized Onions, and Smoked Gouda French Bread Pizzas (vegan)
Soft, crispy, and lightly toasted French bread is topped with silky sauce, deep sage, sweet onions, and melty cheese.
Roasted Beet Mayo
- 1 small beet, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 3/4 tsp vinegar
- 1 medium yellow or sweet onion, finely diced
- 1 tbsp vegan butter or olive oil
- heavy pinch of salt
- 2 foot-long French Baguettes, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 ½ cups shredded vegan smoked gouda cheese*
- dried, rubbed sage
- large sea salt flakes
- Pre-heat oven to 425° F. In a casserole dish, toss beets with olive oil and a heavy pinch of salt, cover with aluminum foil, and bake in pre-heated oven until fork tender; about 40 minutes.
- While beets are in oven, start caramelized onions by heating a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Once hot, add in butter, onions, and a very heavy pinch of salt (about 1/2 teaspoon). Cook until the onions just barely begin to brown around the edges – about 4 minutes – then reduce heat to low and cook until they’re sweet, greatly reduced in size, and caramel in color – about 30 more minutes – stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and set aside.
- When beets are finished, blend them in a mini food processor or personal blender cup with enough water (about 1/4 cup) to make a smooth paste. Whisk together 3 tablespoons of beet puree with mayonnaise, vinegar, and a hefty pinch of salt. Set aside for now.
- Turn your broiler to high and toast bread on both sides until lightly browned & crispy. Pay close attention to the oven, as they’ll go from toasty to burnt in less than a minute.
- Spread beet mayonnaise on the inside of each slice of bread – about two tablespoons per slice – then sprinkle on a pinch of rubbed sage, evenly distribute the onions & cheese, and sprinkle a light pinch of large sea salt flakes on top.
- Place back under the broiler until cheese melts and sides of bread are browned. Enjoy while fresh!
*We used smoked gouda slices by Follow Your Heart, which we hold together in a block and grated using a microplane.