Pizza is an all time classic for families and is something often seen as a ‘cheat meal’, a frozen doughy disc which you can pop into the oven when you’re short on time, serve with chips or salad or have as a take out in front of the television on a Saturday night. Likewise with bread, sandwiches, toast and baguettes, savouries form a huge part of everyday life, which is why my children and I love this quick and modern twist on the classic pizza.
I know this might seem a little random, but it’s not the done thing to eat a pizza for breakfast, and if you enjoy a few slices of toast in the morning why not jazz it up with something other than baked beans or jam.
I start by placing bread under the grill on a medium heat to lightly toast it on both sides. Here I have used a medium sliced white, but wholemeal, seeded or batch loaf would work beautifully too. I also store my bread in the fridge as it makes it last a lot longer, stay fresher and toast better. I then slice strips of extra-mature cheddar cheese from a block, layering it on top of each slice of golden toast to form a base. I return this to the grill for a few minutes on a very low heat whilst preparing the topping.
You can have whatever topping you like on your pizza bread, from meats and olives to sun dried tomatoes and peppers. Today I have created the children’s favourite, a non-fussy tomato, mushroom and onion mix with a drizzle of extra virgin oil and salt and pepper to taste. I mix the vegetables, oil and seasoning together in a bowl to coat it evenly before spooning it into the melted cheese on toast and returning it to the grill for another few minutes until the vegetables have softened.
By cooking it slowly and in the stages of bread first, then cheese then the topping, you get a very light and crisp base with a gooey and succulent topping. Sometimes I add garlic and fresh basil, sunflower seeds or toasted pine nuts. I leave mine whole and pick it up with my hands as you would a slice of pizza, and cut the children’s into quarters. Pizza breads go lovely with a side salad, potato wedges, carrot sticks and a mint yogurt dip and literally take several minutes to make. You could even try it out on ciabatta, muffins or crumpets. What are your favourite toppings?